Flowers on concrete

It’s time to celebrate. Harvest time.

City folks here in Vietnam go home where beer and Banh Chung (Bean Cake) are waiting, while country folks truck in their flowers and fruits in the opposite direction to sell in the city.

This year, we don’t see the return of H5N1. So eat on. Chicken and ducks.

A friend of mine has an orchid farm in Dalat. He could hardly come down for a visit . Too busy.

I am glad for him. Harvest time. The dead even got their fake money (burned by the living to be sent along with well-wishes. R.i.P.)

We chatted about cemetery in the States vs here in Vietnam. People did not know that in New Orleans, LA , people were buried in stack-up tombs (below sea level, which occasionally broke the dyke as happened during Katrina).

The French left their architectural signatures both here in Vietnam and elsewhere like in New Orleans, Montreal and Cote d’Ivoire.

In Paris, they managed to keep traffic out of the city.

Here in Saigon, people  build out more which attracts more congestion (commercial long-haul are restricted to off-rush hours).

Young students are eager to go home. This will ease traffic for a few weeks.

Perhaps there will be enough space for flowers to be sold on concrete sidewalks.

Flowers remind city folks of “Green Field”, lush country side as seen in “Good Morning Vietnam” (soundtrack by  Louis Armstrong’s What a Wonderful World). That lush green got sprayed years ago with Agent Orange,whose destructive consequences are still being sorted out.

Yet, lovers still go on “parking” in the parks, vendors still go on selling bouquets (for households to decorate their shrines) and the young eager to grow in height and wisdom.

A Vietnamese New Year song aptly says it all “Wishing the farmers with great harvest and young lovers their love nests. So let’s toast” (notice the imagery : harvest and nest etc..). Tet is inclusive, not just for city folks, or the living. It’s democratized even to the afterlife. Even tons of concrete or chemical can’t stop the sprouting of branches. Flowers on concrete.


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