Rural moment in urban landscape...let the illusion begin...
Rural moment in urban landscape…let the illusion begin…

Good morning from Vietnam. The place I chose to be in for that magical in-between-the-chapters week…having waved goodbye to an exorbitant amount of boxes containing ALL MY LIFE, I cruelly abandoned The Cat (That is her version. I lovingly gave her the possibility to make new friends while on a decent holiday at The Cat Castle … ) and made my way over to this part of South East Asia. Where there is no work to be done by me. Not a single pair of shoes to be designed and discussed and checked and checked again AND CHECKED AGAIN and then despaired over. Where I do not have to steel myself every day for an onslaught of what might propel my way…trying its best to throw me off my motorbike/ path/ life’s mission….well. Not bad. NOT BAD AT ALL!

Stepping inside...without those shoes...
Stepping inside…without those shoes..

So there. The world is my oyster and all that kind of thing. I am here to RELAX. To turn the reality of moving house into something like a vague memory, a distant impression…a blurry vagueness only grazing the very outer rims of my mind. If at all.

This is the concept. And then there is Saigon.

Having a break and watching the world go by...in stylish outfits, no doubt.
Having a break and watching the world go by…in stylish outfits, no doubt.

Full of people. Mostly locals. All speaking in rather loud and to my German ears completely incomprehensible sound fragments. Startling, really. Certainly adding to the feeling of floating around slightly disconnected…uninvolved. Watching. Sitting down for a meal at a local pop-up food stall not even pretending to blend in. More watching. Being very openly stared at and discussed and laughed at? about? by all sorts of Vietnamese folk. More often than not being greeted with ‘Good morning, Sir’ – especially in those areas frequented by fellow Westerners, who are still here, in droves. Lots of old white and dare I say ugly men having ‘charmed’ a Vietnamese girl/woman into hanging out with them…one can observe various stages of those relationships…from early days with almost real sparkles in those eyes in that couple over there – negotiations in place … then, rather comically, seated on the table next to them, another match clearly made in heaven…fast forward the odd year, and ‘happy happy’ has been replaced by something small and furry and bleak…indifference? Despair? Giving up? What a situation. And you can find it all over Asia…so I move on. Keep watching, and finding pleasure in all those little moments and objects appealing to whatever it is inside of me they touch.

A little bit of - unintentional - Pippi Langstrumpf...
A little bit of – unintentional – Pippi Langstrumpf…

Today is my last day amongst the life force that is Saigon. It has been great to check out of the daily routine which was Darwin and into the dusty and monsoonal onslaught over here. Although compared to Indonesia, I find it almost empty…which is of course certainly not the case. But really…one can casually cross those big big roads with almost no visions of imminent death popping up…although just like everywhere in that part of the world, little people driving massive shiny Western cars have abandoned all pretence of even wanting to stop – for anything, really! So my step quickens when I see just another metal ship on wheels with seemingly no one in the driver’s seat hurl itself at enormous speed along those streets…move over, insignificant little human being with no apparent status symbol attached to your body…OUT OF MY WAY!

Awaiting the next customer to pedal around Saigon...a quiet moment before yet another immersion into the madness...
Awaiting the next customer to pedal around Saigon…a quiet moment before yet another immersion into the madness…

I have met my share of cats and dogs and birds and humans…all living and breathing in their own little oasis around town. A lot of what I saw seems to be still very much in the fangs of ‘traditional’ thinking…and I loved those talks with the young woman who was my host for a couple of days…already well travelled, and clearly on her way to make her life as enticing and open to different cultures as possible…no ‘controlling’ Vietnamese boyfriends for her!

And this is her cat Chi Ba:

Chi Ba having a hint of a whisper of 'sitting down time' before more play...kitten in Saigon!
Chi Ba having a hint of a whisper of ‘sitting down time’ before more play…kitten in Saigon!

Now off to have some breakfast…and maybe even risking another massage…WITHOUT the cucumber on my face I had no intention to incorporate into my classic ‘head neck and shoulder’ request…at least that was what I thought I was asking for….but then, Vietnamese a tonal language…I should be grateful it was only cucumber….

And for the first time I won’t be giving you a link to a shoe designer….simply because I am writing this on some sort of contraption different to my oh-so-familiar laptop at home….and it is a miracle I managed to squeeze all those photos in the right spots without causing any major implosions…but you could google Ann Demeulemeester….she of the Dutch fashion movement….

Have a friendly Tuesday everyone….as friendly as possible, that is.

Good bye from Saigon – with a last picture which SOMEHOW reminds me of the Queen….royal electricity device….?

Whatever it is....looking good! And somehow retro...
Whatever it is….looking good! And somehow retro…

 

 

 

 

 

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