Shadowlands.

Hanoi in Motion.

The foreigner, precisely by going to another country, brings a whiff of a different world into the lives of the locals he meets. From that point on, both are in the shadowland that lies between the existence we lead and the one we occasionally dream of.  (Pico, Iyer, The Man Within My Head)

A vendor in Hanoi whizzes past us on the street. We have just arrived from our overnight trip to Ha Long Bay and are slowly making our way back to our hostel. Leaving is imminent and though nothing stops long enough for us to fully appreciate it, I take one last deep breath whilst standing on the sidewalk, attempting to breath in all of Hanoi. Everything becomes meaningful and packed with nostalgia I didn’t realize I had.

I tell myself now, “This is the existence you lead.” Elsewhere, my mind responds, “That’s where you want to be.”

Hanoi, 2012.

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