Looking Back: Saigon

| December 22, 2009 | 2 Comments
saigontraffic Looking Back: Saigon

Saigon traffic infused with beer and night...

Saigon (June 22, 2002) — Delightful and disconcerting, Saigon is Vietnam on amphetamine. The ante’s always up in this city: where Hanoi slows down and shutters its windows, Saigon is just getting warmed up. Take, for instance, Notre Dame Cathedral: lit up at night in neon, it looks more like it holds a nightclub in its bowels than a nave. Saigon sprawls—not lazily, mind you—in all directions. And here, like elsewhere in Vietnam, yet more fiercely and savagely, cyclos and motorbikes dart through the streets, like swarms of two-stroke bumblebees spitting exhaust. They move en-masse, as if they possess—like insects or birds in flight—the preternatural ability to sense in which direction the congregation will move. And like this they continue, and occasionally one or two will fall off to drone down back alleys or splash through puddles and disappear.


We’ve started a new category on our blog called ‘Looking Back’ that will include an occasional entry from our journals that date back to 2001 when we first began writing about living and travelling abroad. We’ll present these paired with a photo in the form of a verbal postcard. Together, these postcards provide an (in)formal and often (in)coherent narrative of the trips we’ve taken!


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Category: Looking Back

About the Author ()

For nearly ten years now, Daniel of Two Go Round-The-World has explored how travel captures our imagination and engages our deepest emotions. One half of the duo that maintains the widely read Two Go Round-The-World blog, Daniel treats his subjects not only as works of art but also as symbols of the cultural and political forces that inspire them. His latest book, The Physics of Flocking, gathers his favourite writing featured over the past two years on Two Go Round-The-World in columns like 'Looking Back' and 'The Whole Picture'—along with new reflections.

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    • Daniel says:


      Thanks, Nico! I recall a recent study that found that living overseas may help to stimulate creativity. The study also found that the more time you spend overseas, the better your creative boost will be. Perhaps there was a correlation. Could have been the amount of beer and wine I had been drinking, too, though!

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