Today was something different in Ho Chi Minh City. I decided to go for a longer investigation and get completely lost but I also wanted to find the “hems” or alleys of the city and see them. I also did this in Hanoi. The hems are fun places which are microcosms of the bigger city. Small shops and people come and go. Children run down the alleys laughing and smiling and I can hear the echoes of their “hellos” as they duck into a small shop to buy something or to find friends. I saw similar things in the small streets of Tokyo and Hiroshima. The alleys and small streets are cultural dynamos with people and things coming together in wonderful ways.
Finding a hem to explore is fun as well. You never know if one will end or if there will be connecting alleys that have even more surprises in store as you wander. I wandered one north of the old quarter in Hanoi where it ended and as I was walking back, one of the people sitting out in front motioned me to turn right. She was smiling I think knowing I wanted to explore the hem.
So today in Ho Chi Minh City I found one as well turned out to connect to another street that, in turn, connected to a street I wanted to get back home. I don’t like just taking the iPhone out to check Google Maps without trying to find my way. As I exited the hem today, the other thing I was wanting became evident. A Circle K store with ice cold water waiting for me. Ahh! To sit on the side of the street on a chunk of concrete or a step and drink that water. I felt renovated and continued on but the hem I found would not be repeated today. I don’t know what district it was in or where it connected or started. I also don’t know where it ends because as I turned away it continued across a major street.
So I got away today and got lost but got found. And in the work of doing both I managed to take some photographs of my voyages down a hem and other streets in Ho Chi Minh City. A wonderful day spent with steps and camera. Its like the thing I enjoy more than anything when venturing forth in a place.
Here is a link to the photographs from the day’s explorations. Its just updates to my shared Google Photo album but contains the “today” photos you can view. I will be going back tomorrow to something new or perhaps something old. Perhaps a museum tomorrow or a walk along the District 1 streets or a visit to the market may call me.