Tottering Tet Trees!

by aengelson | January 28th, 2011

Well, Tet (the Vietnamese Lunar New Year celebration) is almost upon us, and that means the Vietnamese are getting busy. Buying presents. Buying heaps of snacks and beer. Getting ready to travel to their home towns to be with family. And buying kumquat trees.

The leafy trees with bright orange fruit (they seem more like mandarin oranges than kumquats, but who’s one  to quibble) are basically Vietnam’s equivalent of the Christmas tree. The live potted trees decorate home and businesses and in the weeks leading up to Tet, you’ll see plenty of the trees speeding around Hanoi. Some make their way via truck, but most are strapped on to the back of motorbikes, and it’s a favorite pastime of mine to see just how enormous a tree can fit on on Honda Wave…

We’re off to Bali for our Tet holiday, I may post some updates as watch we travel, so stay tuned! Chuc munh nam moi!

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About This Site

Hi, I'm Andy Engelson, a writer and editor who lived in Hanoi for five years and now lives in Geneva Switzerland. This blog is no longer active, but you can find more of my writing at The Lost Salt Atlas. I'm currently http://uncensored-cartoon.tumblr.com/ working on a historical novel set in the Northwest United States during World War II. In a former life, I edited Washington Trails magazine. I like to hike, travel, and play with my family.

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Just when you seem to yourself
nothing but a flimsy web
of questions, you are given
the questions of others to hold
in the emptiness of your hands,
songbird eggs that can still hatch
if you keep them warm,
butterflies opening and closing themselves
in your cupped palms, trusting you not to injure
their scintillant fur, their dust.
You are given the questions of others
as if they were answers
to all you ask. Yes, perhaps
this gift is your answer.
— Denise Levertov, “The Gift”

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