Sunday, October 10, 2010

Fishing in Villages with a Bamboo Poll

The other day I rented a two dollar bicycle and headed south out of Ho Chi Minh toward these little huted villages. The bicycle squeaked and was rusted as I peddled through rice fields and along muddy dirt roads.
I stopped to watch a pantless boy lead a cow to pasture. I stopped later to fish with a group of boys along a fallen tree dangling their bamboo rods into the shallow filthy pool. We caught nothing, but they got quite a laugh out of me.
Later, back in the city, I chatted up this Duthcman who was leaving his Vietnamese wife and child. He said they were still best friends, and that he loved his baby, but he was an artist and felt stifled here. I just watched the sunlight fall across the glass on the window while he talked.
Got caught in a rainstorm and watched this woman street sweeper. She was wearing a rice conical hat tied with a strap around her neck, a maroon plastic tarp tied around her body, and had a gucchi watch and bracelet. She smiled at me, so stylish, this woman was, while picking up the trash. I wanted to follow her around for a day.
I've begun writing my Rock N Roll Romeo and Juliet play. It's a musical with Beatles songs and Shakespearean passages with Chinese jokes set in Taiwan in the early 1960's. I don't care what anyone says, it's brilliant.
I'm kicking myself for not taking Xian with me on this trip. Rebekach would have struggled, but Xian would have loved these temples and parks. We could have ridden in rickshaws under stars and dined in outdoor cafes together beneath lantern lights. We could have broused night markets and made faces over spicy shark fin and duck entrails. Nobody will ever listen to my whispers like my children. I laughed so hard today, fishing with those boys, but afterward, I felt guilty as sin for doing this alone.

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