Hanoi can be overwhelming at times, and for the two months I lived there I often found myself wishing for peace and quiet and tranquility. Unfortunately my bedroom backed up to an auto-garage with a penchant for Britney Spears throwbacks at every hour of the day, so even at home there was no peace to be had. But sometime around the end of the first month I discovered that trying to change Hanoi
into a laid-back city was a ridiculous notion, and instead I should look for tranquility in the chaos. And there is not place more chaotic in the city than the streets. One night, walking from the Ancient Quarter to where I lived on West Lake I actually found that moment of peace. On the broad sidewalks of the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum neighborhood, with the evening mist and smog, a brief lull in motorcycle traffic and some nighttime revelers. It wasn't quiet, and it didn't last beyond the instantaneous click of my camera shutter, but it was exactly what I had been searching for.