After Pho and Spring Rolls — it all rules

This is a feel good post. I’ve written a few travel posts and some introspection posts. Retirement is such a change and especially to whisk away to Hanoi. Not have a car, debt, insurance or even an address in the Bay area. I sat at the usual place and imbibed a few beers and watched the Hanoi afternoon slowly spiral to evening. There’s a certain life quotient in Hanoi I seem to have been missing in the San Francisco Bay area. Maybe its the mix of people I see. Oldsters, youngsters, tourists, ex-pats and I get a sense that people here enjoy the food and the beer and the weather. I hear lots of laughter and people enjoying perhaps sitting on a street corner. Much like the 10-year old girl told me that she was happy learning. A novel concept. Happy learning. Coming from 20 some years doing IT and having projects that immediately went to RED its a concept worth drinking a beer or two over. The happiness concept. The retirement concept.

It dawned on me this morning as I woke up a few times and fell back asleep. This has to be the best thing in a long time. The main questions are not what is going to fall apart today on the project but instead what coffee shop should I try.

In the evenings, after three beers I settle in and listen to Google Play Music. The same playlist I carefully built for walking before. Its still the music I love. And I sit here wondering and sometimes catch myself opening Google Maps to look at what I should do tomorrow. Answer: there is nothing to do tomorrow. I can walk in any set direction and see whatever I want.

So I wonder. Wonder how good this all is now. Hanoi and Vietnam. The food and beer and the people. Away from the life that was led from 2009 to 2018. Amazing.

In other News…

Today I played with the camera a bit and a few things. One is the TCL100 Mark II telephoto lens. This lens subtly changes the character of the included lens. I decided to shoot with it all day today. I also delved into the camera’s Acros simulation which lets you get some really high quality black and white that is punchy, edgy, and contrasty all by itself. You can dial in more but its fun to just play as it is. So I shot around the Lake in Acros for awhile. Walked the 12k steps or so which I ended up with. Sweated a bit. It all felt good.

Here’s some samples using the Acros sim and some regular shots using the standard Provia film simulation.

This camera. Wowsers. What a fun camera to play with in a place like Hanoi. I get all the street photography I could probably ever want. Here’s a few shots of some people as well. Its a great camera for those urban moments.

Perhaps the thing so likable is the stealth mode. I really enjoy the candid nature of street photography. Some of that goes away with the telephoto lens since this huge lens thing is poking off the front of the camera. So when I really want to get things on the street, the camera is naked.

Tomorrow I’ll play with the wide angle lens. Stay tuned. More to come.