Friday, August 16, 2019

Travel in Reverse, Cambodia to Tokyo by Way of Hanoi and Hong Kong

From Cambodia's memories to Hanoi's hot soup, for a night, 
to Hong Kong's protests and  Tokyo's pop genius the next day. 
Where are we again?

A few years back, we traveled from Paris to Provence,
Hiking along the way of St Jaques,
By food and by air,
By train and by car.
Toulouse to Brussels,
To Prague,
Den Hag,
Back to NYC.
Not necessarily in that order.

It felt like that Sunday on the way out of Cambodia.
Eating Peking Duck in the airport,
Drinking an Angkor beer,
Reflecting on the fate of Cambodia,
Such great people, who endured so many of our bombs. Today, thousands of landmines are still there. Fifty years later, the ripples that destabilized their country, they are still reverberating.
Visiting Cambodia, we thought we were there to visit temples, but the real feeling that lingers is the legacy of bombings, interventions, colonial escapades, cold war calculations, civil war, and genocide.
Millions of tourists come
Yet so little goes to the people.
on our way to Vietnam,
By way of Hanoi
Where we ran around,
Taking in the city of scooters and Lau soup, that had gotten its claws in us.
Spend the night and made our way out of the old French Quarter,
Watching families eat,
Women make soup.
People  sit outside.
Scooters make their way.
Vines hang from the banyon trees.
We enjoy the best Lau soup.
Sweat dripping from my head,
My shirt.
Beers for a quarter.
Soup for three for five dollars.
The city alive like none other.
Anthony loved this  place.
Its  like New Orleans plus ten  every night.
How could he leave it?

Back to the airport,
Flying to Hong Kong,
Where teargas flies.
And Beijing still calls the shots.
So much for “one country, two systems.”
There is a protest at the airport.
We fall the call for call for freedom.
The good people of Hong Kong need to determine their own fate.
I hope the world stands by Hong Kong!!!!
Oh God, I hope the world is paying attention. Hong Kong wants true democracy. When Bill Clinton gave China most favored nation status, the argument was trade would liberalize China. All my professors in college said so. I guess that little experiment didn't work out. Enough, not another crack down!
Catch our flight.
Just as outgoing flights are canceled.

On our way to Tokyo.
Another train,  another subway, another  walk to another hotel.
Staying in Shinjuku.
A final few days to stroll,
Hang out with the model.
And say goodbye.
Our minds are pouring.
Where are we.
Where are we sleeping?
What  town/
Where are we  staying?
What time is it?
Where  are  we?
Third country in one  day.
Friends write,
Hoping we made it out of Hong Kong. 
Back in Tokyo.
We’re ok.
We hope everyone is.
The pull of history is still with us.
Reflections on isolated Cambodia still reverberating.
How could it happen?
Hopefully never again.

Tokyo crazy, rebuilding from their own war.
Their own fables.
Hanoi scooters.
Hong Kong protests.
Angkor temples.
Cambodia struggles  for peace.
History still lulls and pulls. 


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