What is Hanoi Part Three.
That one hellish summer.
A year in Vietnam sounds fun, right? Well, hold your horses, slow your roll.
Think on it for a minute. Cause it’s a hell of a commitment.
Because when you’re not used to heat – unbelievable, unbearable
Unfathomable, disgusting, humid, insane, lung destroying
Stinking, stormy, hot tropical madness.
You’re not ready. Nobody is.
Not. A. Single human that has never spent a summer in Hanoi
Could possibly know – even guess
How insanely uncomfortable a Hanoi summer is.
Imagine – if you will, an obese human’s sweat evaporated
And was collected and stored within the filter of a gas mask.
And then every sweaty day you have to wear said mask
And inhale that stinking, sweat-essence.
It gets in your lungs and lives there, mix that up
With arguably the most polluted city in the world
Sip it down, swallow it whole and integrate it into your drowning soul.
Drowning in your own sweat.
Now you’re a little closer, closer to the truth
Of the purgatory you will experience because
You don’t wanna go outside, because if you’re lucky enough
To have air conditioning you should stay inside.
You should really just stay inside.
Because, hiding out where the city isn’t trying to actively murder you
I like to sleep in a cold room – it brings me peaceful sleep
And I’ve slept sans-aircon in Uganda, Valencia in high summer
In a little caravan, the Nevada desert, London when it’s brutal
And NOTHING compares to the relentless un-comfort you feel
When trying to sleep in Hanoi in August.
Blast the air condition, balls out – no covers and good luck
I had a balcony, it was wonderful – the sun rose over the rusty rooftops
sun dancing over Cardinals arguing on lightning rods
But, during those three summer months
When the sun is hell-bent on burning your retinas
You can sit up all night drinking Bia Ha Nois as the aircon soothes you
But, the very millisecond the morning sun rises over the giant red flag
With yellow star,
You can’t breathe, your skin turns to jerky
Your beer turns to warm piss
And you have to shut the doors – draw the curtains
And Cry into your bed-soup while you pray for December.