i struggle to find any truth in your lies.
i’ve been hiding in my own world for quite some time- for good and bad reasons, but that soon shall end. the early fall has diminished, and now i’m finding myself in cold weather, grey skies, and hot cups of coffee kinda days.
what exactly have i been doing? where have i been? well, since the last time, much has changed. i’ve moved down by the water into a temporary home, found a new job (hello pastry chef), and have decided my next steps. cloak and daggers have consumed me, along with fair company, routine, and a sense of being okay with being okay. autumn disappeared quickly; in comparison to last years’, i found that this was much more relaxing. and i also found, that despite certain circumstances, i was happier.
and now i find myself torn- between being happy to leave relatively soon, and being content with where i’m at. maine is still temporary. another journey to my homeland is in the near future, along with a short trip to europe perhaps. just a few more months, and i’ll be gone. bittersweet. but everything ends.
regarding happiness. it’s come, it’s lingered, it’s been subtle- but it’s been different this time. interesting to say the least, but i’m not giving it much thought. it is what it is. analysis hasn’t a place in this situation. i’ll just revel in what i have for now. cautiously of course.
regarding my flat. it’s quaint, it’s domesticated, it’s mine and all mine. it’s as close to home as i’ll ever let myself get. it’s just a roof afterall.
regarding my new job. pastry is ultimately the direction i wish to head in, and while i had a sliver of that this past spring, i could barely contain my yearning to do more, as well as managing the restrictions placed upon me. so what i’m beginning soon will only be a step in the right direction.
regarding cloak and dagger and other projects. we’ve received a fair amount of publicity in the past few weeks, which has worked in our favor. to be honest, i was scared it was heading down the shitter, and while everything must end, i had hoped that cloak and dagger would remain in Maine for at least a year. i have plans of dragging it with me wherever i shall go, but i think Portland can stand a few more months of underground dinners. alternative projects? a dim sum pop up to be opened this spring. get your steamed buns and dumplings from the two vietnamese kids on the block– interested in joining forces in the Chinese Laundry or Cloak and Dagger? Let me know.
regarding my rambling? i’ve keyed you into the most recent events in my boring life. perhaps i’ll make this a regular thing.
it’s sad to think that august is over. that the summer is closing to an end. i haven’t had such a low-key, solid summer in years, and was more than pleased to experience that over the past few months.
coffee, beers, freckles, sunshine, working, cloak & daggers, late night excursions, pop-ups, tandem, morning dates, brunch, farmers, so pleased. bukowski, sallinger, and vonnegut, all rockin’ my world.
i’ve had really nice company, and i’ve had really nice times.
i’m in a good place as of now.
July has gone by so quickly. In complete honesty, it’s been an insane month. So much has happened– most things being good, but some bad. I’m currently running on very little sleep and am anticipating this month’s cloak & dagger, a new apartment, and sunshine.
All I can say though is that I’m relatively content, which is a pleasant feeling. I’ve been in good company and have had many low-key days which have been much needed.
Also, I can’t stop listening to this.
the past few weeks have been very interesting to say the very least. there has been a lot of change that has taken place- most of which is good. a new job, new friends, new adventures. i’m desperately in need of a new living situation, which i suppose is next on the list- but besides that, everything has been decent, to say the very least.
a really nice fourth of july, followed by moonrise kingdom, an easy weekend at work, a trip to the beach, and the Vinland dinner tomorrow. all good things. at the same time, i’ve felt relatively violated by a couple people who are supposed to respect me, and thus, i’ve been extremely cautious lately. most things are taken with a grain of salt now. maybe that will end soon. probably not though.
clearly i’m just ready for permanent change. despite the fact that i’m rather content with 98% of the things that are consuming my life at the moment.
today, nothing went as planned. but maybe that was the plan?
sometimes i’d love to disappear.
i’ve been pleased, i’ve been irritated, and now, i’m ok with being ok.
there’s a fair amount that’s making me happy.
even undercooked sweetbreads. and all nighters.
it’s summer, so here are my observations thus far:
shipyard beers, encapsulating flames, ok with being ok, relieving stress, watching ash disappear out the window, freckles, daylight lasts forever, bad jams, being buried in books.
I’m pleased with what the past week has rendered. Sunshine, physical fitness, pleasant meals, enriching conversations, new books, new and odd opportunities, comfort that is rarely felt. Plans, new knowledge, novelties within antiquities. Sitting on the most comfortable of couches with one of my best friends explaining how everything is going up in flames, and how we both found it interesting. Beautiful photos from Noma and el Bulli, a new percolator, apricots. It’s all been nice. I’m ok with being ok.
And Vonnegut is still rocking my world.
+ another and, I might feel less lonely than usual. Well, shit.
reflections whilst in vietnam
There’s nothing better than the scent of Vietnam- a mixture of monsoon winds and rain, rotting vegetables, thick clouds of cigarette smoke, daylight humidity, the pungent ripeness of durian, tropicalia, and the red sun overhead. it’s distinct, perhaps the most distinct scent that I can associate with a physical place, and it’s memorable. The past three weeks have opened more doors than I initially expected. From recognizing the importance that family holds for me, to understanding that wanderlust is only something that has seeped into my bloodstream- it will be permanently plaguing, but that’s ok, I think I can handle it.
I’ll miss my family here, much more than I expected. From the very beginning of this trip they welcomed me with open arms and huge grins, granted they had never known my father, and it’s been a long time in the making since I came here, but I felt comfortable quickly. From the beautiful breakfasts of cold meat and banh mi, to the motorbike rides around Phu Giao, Saigon, and Binh Phuoc, I can’t begin to describe how happy these past few weeks have made me. Despite mere moments of heat exhaustion, sleep deprivation, and being too full to stand, I’ve reveled in everything that Vietnam has offered me.
Last night was one of the most moving experiences I have had in a while. A going away dinner at my uncle Thanh’s, where we ate sandwiches, drank American beer, looked at the stars, played with puppies, and enjoyed one another’s company. I was serenaded by a chorus of voices, telling me that Vietnam is forever (despite it’s communist message, I find myself agreeing with the sentiment) and we drank to the country that has brought us all happiness in the past three weeks. Then driving through the deserted park and getting late night coffee with my good friend Ngoc was also meaningful. Neither of us can communicate with one another besides with our facial expressions- and after listening to bad karaoke, drinking ca phe sua da, and the banana smoothie I’ve been waiting for since April30th, we drove around Phu Giao for the last time. I was bid farewell by another mixie who, despite only knowing me for less than a week, gave me one of the most heartfelt goodbyes I’ve ever received. Hospitality here is beyond what westerners can comprehend- but only if you allow yourself to experience said hospitality.
The days have been completely saturated with heat and sun, sometimes unbearable, but always appreciated. Spending time in Hue and Da Nang also brought about a plethora of new experiences. Thien Mu Pagoda in Huế was one of the more memorable places. I met a Mahayan Monk there, who, for lack of better terms, was absolutely magnificent. He spoke no English, but told me to learn Vietnamese. His dedication to his calling in life was incredibly inspirational and moving at the same time. The other experience that was particularly meaningful was on the river in Hue. We were riding a dragon boat in the middle of the evening when some small children rowed up beside us asking for money. While it’s typical for kids to be great scam artists, these children were just so authentic. I couldn’t tear my eyes away from their sad faces, and this only made me more grateful for the life I lead. After sending them off with some money and cake, I couldn’t stop thinking about them, about their futures, about the fact that they are being deprived of so much. My uncle told me the money we gave them would buy them enough food for a week, but even then, I still am saddened by the state of the world.
There’s really too much to reflect on in a single post. My bags are packed, only a few goodbyes said, and tears have been shed. I will miss this country, my family, and the culture. I’m sure it won’t be long until I return however.
More reflections to come…
shiiiiiit! so good.