Sunday, November 30, 2008

Proust in Hanoi

[The picture was taken in the Green Tangerine restaurant in Hanoi.]

I was looking through the stamps on my passport recently, and it showed that during November last year, I was in Hanoi, Vietnam. I remember the books I brought with me to Hanoi, among them Proust's Sodom and Gomorrah, which I eventually finished reading.

It's amazing how we end up in places we least expect. This time last year, I was supposed to be in Laos, but I ended up in Hanoi because of some unforeseen circumstances. Same time last year, I had not thought I would be living and working in this city of the United Arab Emirates. I had been thinking about other things, some of which seem irrelevant today.

One thing though: this time last year I thought I could finish reading the Proustian epic. That plan has not yet come to pass. *sigh*

6 comments:

jpderosnay said...

i just love these photographs you take. you have such a good sense for light and composition! in pics like these it really makes me wish i could be there.

i love this kind of reminiscing. looking at passports and remembering times... and especially remembering the time when one bought a book and kind of mapping out the trajectory of you reading it and where that time took you.

ovidiayu said...

ditto on the photos.

I don't know anything about light/composition but the coffee cup/Proust makes me want to paint that--maybe in pencil wash with quotations along the border.

& I love how your travelling life sounds even though I hate travelling myself!

Bybee said...

I'm confused about the Proust books now because they changed all the titles...don't know which is which and in what order.

I love your photo.

Stefanie said...

This time last year I too was thinking I could finish Proust! You are farther along than I am though and there is always next year!

Melanie said...

I love this picture. By the way, it took me 2 years to finish Proust, and I was reading them (in a pocket size 12 vol. set) mostly on the bus as I had a 1/2 commute at that time.

Dark Orpheus said...

JP - Thanks - but for every 1 good photo, I took many more lousy ones.

Ovidia - Thanks. But to enjoy the memories of the travelling, one has to endure the travelling. Sort of like yoga. To enjoy the fruits of one's labour, one has to labour!

Sometimes when I'm lost on the road, I wonder why did I spend all this money do this.

Bybee - I usually look for the numbers on the book - volume I, volume II etc :)

Thank you on the photo.

Stefanie - But my god - it has been 2 years since I first started on Proust!

Melanie - 2 years? Okay, now I feel better about taking more than 2 years on Proust ;)