I wish I could write like her.

The Squeaky Robot

Five years ago, I decided I would love Hanoi. I was reading a travel piece on it while waiting for my dentist to finish drilling holes into someone else’s head. It seemed like a place for romantics – the literary romantics, the ones who can stare at a leaf for three hours and see the whole universe, the ones who spot a lone red balloon and are suddenly devastated. It seemed like Hanoians hovered on their scooters and bikes, creating a ceaseless, connected blur from dawn to dusk and through the night like a floating infinity symbol. It would be a place where I could be alone and not feel alone. Color would be everywhere.

These are lofty expectations. I typically don’t nurture these idealisms because the very hallmark of an ideal is its unattainability. Having absolutely no expectations for any place is the safest bet, and it often enables…

View original post 256 more words