26 April 2007

How far is 1 day?

I'm now back in the comfort of home, KL, after nearly 2 weeks on the road.

On Tuesday morning, along the drive from my hotel in Hanoi to the airport, while passing thru what must be one of the largest open air, on the highway market in the world, I thought to myself: "How far is 1 day?"

See, in the 24 hours from me leaving the comfortable Hanoi Opera Hilton, I would have been in 4 cities in 3 different countries, in 2 time zones. I would have seen Ho Chih Minh City, stopped over for a night of sleep in Kuala Lumpur, and dashed like mad to make a flight to Singapore.

So, how far is 1 day?

I have been blessed with a charmed life. I have a job which afford me travels, which had opened my eyes to a world I never imagined. My horizon is times what my parents could have imagined. This life has made it possible for my day to be 4 cities, 3 countries and 2 time zones far.

Yet, images of the market in Hanoi continue to replay in my mind. For those of you who've travelled to Hanoi before, there is a 4 lane road / highway which runs a short distance just outside the Old Quarters. If you travel along it during the daytime, it's just like any 4 lane road.

In the morning, just as day starts, it's a massive market. Vegetables, fruits and flowers trade hands as they are loaded from the river running in parallel to the road. The entire road is so congested, it was hard to see how vehicles like my taxi could pass through it.

These people, the ones who trade here, the ones who buy from this market, their day is not as far as my day. I imagine them toiling the land. I imagine the vendors to break their back peddling the goods in the Old Quarters. I imagine growers worry about the weather the next week, anxious to have their produce make the market. And I see them repeating the cycle. Again. And again. And again.

It's the same day we all have. It's just different how we spend that day.

I'm so glad I days like Tuesday to spend, tiring as it is.


your half imaginary angel said...

*flys in to thank you for the +ve Chis*

Applegal said...

What a busy guy you are :) One day, I hope to experience something like this or something even better! ;)

One day do facial, next day do spa, third day do hair and nails, haha, just kidding! XD

In the future we will be able to fly faster and further. Then, I wouldn't be surprised if I hear you saying you're going to many more countries from more time zones ine one day.

World is getting smaller, like you always say.

Jemima said...

"It's a small world after all
It's a small world after all
It's a small world after all
It's a small, small world.."

may said...

certainly a positive chi-ed outlook on your tiring but fun travels. never been to Hanoi, but I hope to someday, to see that market!

moz monster said...

the real deal angeliu:
*+ve Chis to you*

Wah ... why over 3 days? Why not over a single day? Hahaha ...

Yes, it's a small world indeed.

I don't know if it's an attraction ... but it's certainly an experience ... a market right in the middle of a highway !