Vietnam postcard

[From January 2009.]

Two days yesterday. One in sun embraced serenity along red clay Mekong delta roads and paths, school children in smart navy slacks and pressed buttoned whites, noodle shack, cilantro garnish with hot tiny peppers, shattering green wavelengths into the distance of rice fields or crops I can’t recognize, I’m in a gentle, lazy soaring without pedaling coast. And another day of forty five kilometers of approach into Chau Doc, churning traffic chaos, quite so: this is the thirteenth most populous country in the world, construction constriction on the route with buses scooters bikes thunderstorms, now mud torrents and I have it pinned full race tempo to just get there in contrast to the dallying before.