Tag Archives: autumn

Hanoi’s October



I will persuade anyone who is willing to listen that Hanoi is at her best in October. When alstonia scholaris flowers-hoa suastink streets at night, and leaves turn yellow gradually against dry breezes blowing summer-leftover heat, you will have no choice but fall in love with her. When October comes, Hanoians hastily buy Vaseline for their lips and blazers for the winter. The city celebrates her independence day with flowers and flags at every corner. Scooter-ing along the streets could give you an odd feeling of certainty that autumn has not changed throughout her thousand years of age.

This October, I sang Crawling up the hill the day after I left my dream job, hummed random made-up tunes to entertain my newborn nephew, and started working in coffee shops again. I am stocking up with the sun, the smell, the feel of Hanoi before I will leave my birthplace again. I hope I could keep pieces of her in my heart for nostalgic days to come. Just wonder if she would keep a place for me among all hustle and bustle.



I was in Bute Park of Cardiff one crisp morning late October when I saw a blonde girl in a bright red dress. She was walking bare feet holding a pair of silver high heels. Her skin was pale. Her hair was tangled. She might have done the walk of shame after a night-out, but she was pretty. Somehow her colours both blended in and stood out in her surrounds. Above her was puffy white cloud. Beneath her were layers and layers of yellow leaves. Sky was blue. River water was aqua. Leaf colour was abundant: green of life, red of fire, yellow of nostalgia. A variety of the subtlety. Sunlight danced through morning dew to create absolute colour richness. A luxurious treat for eyes.

I did though wonder how it felt like when her bare feet touched the wet leaves on that crisp autumn morning. She must have been cold. Her feet must have been sore. She did not look like she was in any hurry to leave the park for some warmer place where she could rest her feet. I was glad that she took her time. I knew that as soon as she got out of my sight, my perfect autumn painting would start to dismantle. Her colours would be missing. More and more leaves would fall off. Branches would be left bare fighting their way against frosty wind. Colours would fade off into greyness. Autumn would be defeated. Its beauty of fragility would be gone. I can still take pictures. I can still write poems. But for such autumn beauty, I might have to wait for a while. I guess I as well will.