A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: AnhV

A damn nice musical death...

...is what you get if you die a Vietnamese

sunny 38 °C

Yep. True story. What drew my attention to this not so lively topic is my encounter with two funerals during the last two days. No, people are not dying constantly here in Hanoi because of hotness, even though I confirm that it is possible to do so.

It's just that funeral ceremony here is held within the household, and is accompanied by a professional band that specializes in a certain type of ethnic music called "nhac dam ma", "funeral music", and loudest possible cry of the dead's loved ones. It's hard not to notice when you pass by a Vietnamese funeral.

I have grown to like that kind of music recently. On this tacky site dedicated to the general introduction of the traditional Vietnamese ceremonial ochestra, it is said to be produced by 8 different musical instruments of such materials as silk (ty), bamboo (tre nứa), melon (bao) , soil (tho), leather (cach), wood (moc), stone (thach), metal (kim khi).

None of those sounds musical.. :/...like, melon for musical instrument? gotta check this site's accuracy.

Anyway, nowadays the instruments are gratefully A LOT more simple. Basic things like flute, fiddle, drum and lute.

Here is a video of someone's neighbourhood's funeral. The music is quite typical. As most traditional and ethnic stuffs, there are complicated, deep aspects of this music that only the band people can fathom.

Enjoy in peace.


How are funerals held in your country?

P/S: Im very annoyed I cant post the video directly on the entry. It looks less suspicious of being infected with virus that way.

Posted by AnhV 08:01 Archived in Vietnam Tagged educational Comments (0)

En Hanoi

sunny 40 °C

So a year in London has passed. I'm back in Hanoi now.

This summer probably is the hottest summer I have ever had in Hanoi. Not a welcomed record, really.
All day long I just feel like sitting in my AC-ed room listening to Avril, probably in reminiscence of chilled and dry London. Its like if I just step out there I will be eaten up by gigantic waves of dusts and the burning summer heat. Mom says Hanoi these months is being turned into a construction site as everything is being digged up and reconstrucuted as in preparation for the 1000-year anniversary of the city's being Vietnam's capital.

Feel sad...

So they are making Hanoi uglier and more concrete for her 1000th birthday..?

Cant be bothered to glance at Hoan Kiem Lake on my way to buy some seasoned mangoes.

At least the mangoes are still delicious.

All these friends of mine who sounded excited about hanging out during summer are busy with all their trips and stuff.

Im busy too with Avril.

And spa

And gym, and swimming, and yoga, and pilates. These are the only reasons Im leaving the house. Ha, so lazy...but it's too hooootttttttt, and dusty!!!!

Even To Hoai has moved to the suburb...Feel like Hanoi is shedding its antique skin to become sth else, sth unidentifiable...

Posted by AnhV 20:33 Archived in Vietnam Comments (0)

Imperial shit. Life's dilemmas

storm 30 °C

Amritsar, India, 1919.
Around 1,500 Indian people, civilians and rebels alike, were gathering in a big mob. Many of them were celebrating the Indian New Year festival, unaware of the rebellion going on.

Officer: You should not fire on 1,500 people like that, dude!! It makes us look ugly in the media!

Soldier: Sure thing. I wont kill all of them then, I dont want to accidentally kill off innocent people anyway.

Officer: But if you let any of the rebels escape, that would also put us in trouble. They would say that you have not looked further enough ahead. The big guys will fire you.

Soldier: Well...ok, I will fire until none of them is still standing.

Officer: Oh dont be stupid! The big guys also said that you should not look further than the dispersal of the crowd. You would be put on trial. I dont wanna be put on trial for your simplicity of action.

Soldier: Then...what am I to do???
After that lengthy and well thought-out discussion, they killed 1,500 people anyway.

Posted by AnhV 08:42 Archived in India Comments (0)

June day

overcast 11 °C

It is a weirdly gloomy June day in London.

I wonder if you can really stare at the raindrops forming themselves on the window glass and evaporating one by one and the gray, overcast sky and relate the whole scenery to June weather.

I simply feel unmotivated in this kind of weather. I am happy to resort to my hibernating mode. Even if I were to physically decay on a day like this, I guess it would not make much of a difference. I guess I have got SAD. It has been raining persistently since morning, so basically for more than 6 hours now. I dont know about before that, I was not up then.

But the BBC weather says its gonna be wickedly sunny tomorrow (no, they dont actually phrase it that way). And my final exam is coming the day after tomorrow. I cant wait to finish it and to see how different it will be to go a day without worrying about unfinished readings about the British imperial shits. I have forgotten how it feels to be under no obligation.

Talking about obligation. It is quite depressing really because we simply can never escape obligations most of which, sadly, are imposed on our lives by ourselves. Obligation to do well in exams, obligation to finish what you started, obligation to be nice to people even when you are in foul mood because, well, they did nothing to cause that mood in you, obligation to always take the greater part of the agony in an angry situation. But wait, who says I have to fall under a certain category? I dont really know if I belong to the "conventional mob", but then I guess I dont really even care. I just want to live my life, say what I want, do what I want?

What if that way of living turns me into a super self-centered person?

What if that way of living would hurt the people I love and the people who love me?

But then does it mean that they only love the person they want me to be, not myself?

Ahh, fuck it, after this exam shit, I am gonna be back to my awesome self.

Obligation to motivate yourself when you are feeling down.
Obligation to cling onto life without a clue about why you have to do so.

Ahh but I dont wanna commit suicide. Not today. I still want to see the sun tomorrow. And finish the exam on Thursday.

Now Im gonna get back to work.

Here is some fortune-telling to cheer up the sun lover in me. :)
Weather chart

Weather chart

Posted by AnhV 07:42 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (0)

I <3 London

Well, most of the time...

overcast 13 °C

When I first saw those hoodies with the slogan "I <3 London" on them being sold in those souvenir stalls that appeared every 100 meters as I was strolling along the commercially well-lit Regent street, I thought "Would be a cold day in hell before I buy one of those." It was a cold October day, I was exhausted from a day at College as a first year History student. And London was ugly.

Well, that was 7 months ago. Even so nowadays it would still be a cold day in hell before I buy one of those tacky hoodies. Honestly, they could have been significantly improved in style and colour. Something that says I <3 London simply cannot look identical to something that says I <3 New York, or worse, I <3 my boyfriend. That type of hoodies cannot demonstrate the beauty of London.

As a person who grew up in Hanoi and went to a private school in Blackpool, I honestly had not experienced the life in a "real" city, that is a city that does not go to sleep at night, where in every moment there is something interesting going on somewhere, and a city that is there for you to devour its culture, its cosmopolitanism, and its vibrancy. London is such a city.

Up until the last sentence I still thought that London was somehow definitely much vaster than Hanoi, but surprisingly its area is just half of that of Hanoi. Hm that is news, thanks wikipedia. Then again, that fact makes it even more amazing that London seems to be constantly boiling with all kinds of activities, events and non-events going on everyday. I guess each city has its own charm. And I am truly lucky to be able to experience them both at depth.

It is now springtime in London, and the cherry blossom trees on the side of the roads, despite the flooding trafficking, release their light pink petals in the wind in the most tranquil manner. They whirl up into these tiny pink tornadoes every time I cycle past them. Will upload picture soon.

These days I am buried in revision for the exams, but fortunately I am still sane enough to appreciate the beauty of London as always. Hah I just hope that exams will go well, then I definitely will gather some mood to write a decent entry.

Posted by AnhV 15:23 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged living_abroad Comments (0)

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