The bridges of Hue

 A river runs through Hue passing gingerly under two bridges, one the American, one the French. Traces of history linger in the air in Vietnam like constantly falling ash. Old women address you as madame or monsieur yet know no French. At the Citadel, the ancient royal residence, buildings held together by moss with geckos dashing in and out of bullet holes lay juxtaposed to rebuilt structures whose ornaments and colors waltz with your eyes. The market seemingly as old as time is constructed by clothes towering above, a mist of deja vu of the Citadel; bullet holes of A&F, Prada, REI, incenses, Marlboros, fresh meat, Rolex and scurrying rats while bubbles of English pop around you in a sea of incomprehension. Mercedes tumble by on the two bridges as a woman carrying two baskets with a bamboo stick waits for her turn to cross the ebb and flow of motorbikes. You feel lost in this rain of ash till you squat on a plastic chair for a coffee. Cigarette smoke passes by as words begin to flow like the rain on the sidewalk. How old? From where? Huda beer! Karaoke! Whiskey! And for a second the ash stops. There is no time in a conversation over coffee and cigarettes, there are bridges being built and lives crossing back and forth.

Morning in Hue

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