Wonderful Days of Naught

It’s been two weeks and a little change living in Hanoi Vietnam. I’ve found some interesting, fun, sometimes challenging things. One of the things that touches all three is this:

I have nothing to do most everyday

This creates a different spin on waking up, coffee in the mornings, observing my neighborhood through many lens. Take the street next to my place. It’s a busy market where stalls sell shoes, clothing, fruit and vegetables, street food like satay and spring rolls, small cafes with local foods, small stores with snacks, water and beer. Also, there are small specialty stores and pharmacies. But the main ingredient and the most fun to observe are the people! Southeast Asia is perhaps famed for its markets. But it’s the people and this market like Sanhe market in Taipei is not your tourist market.

So what does this have to do with the art of doing nothing? Well dear reader it’s this. A market like this and, in fact, my neighborhood with the nice people that sell pho right across from me, the Banh Mi stands, bakeries, coffee houses and the wonderful small shops I visit daily for snacks and water and beer propel me and make possible doing nothing. I believe the market, the neighborhood, and the people make it possible for me to lead this wonderful life of no accomplishment every day. Not challenged or needing a thing that requires planning except for the passport renewal, moments ebb by and are replaced by others.

Children playing, workers smiling and saying hello. The friendly shop owners used to me now. It creates the ability and enhances the doing of nothing. Long walks with no purpose. Mornings spent reading on my kindle. Latte at the ready. It’s an idyllic life this being a gentleman of leisure in Vietnam.

And Vietnam does it’s part. It gives me its Hanoi neighborhood freely. I’m grateful for the food and coffee and moments. The hellos of children and shy smiles of others. Thanks Hanoi for my moments of sheer indulgence that makes up 99.9% of this old retired guys life.