Call me a ball of energy on crack but I just really feel the urge to move, put my feet to work, dance, march, parade…whatever it is. The bar/club scene in Hanoi is dreadfully sad …well at least at the hours I’m out…no dancefloor, tables in isolation from one another, people huddling around bottles short and tall, doing their little bounces, and bobbing of the head. You know how they usually compare clubs to a zoo with all these party animals gone completely wild, well here, you’ve lost your way into the reptile section: subdued movement, reserved stares and drinking in much alcohol (rather than sun) hoping to warm things up a bit. It makes you feel more or less like a complete awkward pack if you’re full out dancing. Anyhoo, I hadn’t gone out in a gazillion of what seemingly is the laziness that accompanies age. The crew is now feeling the lag, and wtf, we’re like 24, already sound of cracks getting up from sitting too long, and complaints of trance music leading to migraines. Is it truly just a decline in the quality of life and health or is it just purely, people sulking in boredom so much, that 1 or 2 years after the good old days of partying, they feel like complete retired and washed-out folks? Such pessimism, I know…but complaining is a trait of any reunion, whether it be after months or purely days. Here in Hanoi, you can complain about anything and people would still listen, nodding their heads in agreement.
Today’s talk session was on Justin Mott, an American photojournalist and freelancer whose work has been featured on the New York Times, publications for the Smithsonian…etc. We focused on his life here in Hanoi, following a 17-yr-old Agent Orange victim named Nụ,
who cannot see, hear, nor speak. He first initially met her at the Friendship Village in 2007. What started out as a pure way of finding a topic to shoot some photos for work has gone beyond that. Skeptics would believe otherwise. Nevertheless, Yes, I genuinely believe that if Justin were in it for just the photos and fame of somehow capturing the un-captured then he would have left long ago. But he still visits Nụ when he can, offering her, the child in isolation, the friendship, not knowing for sure if she even realizes him, auctioning off many of his works to help find personal care for her. I find it touching, and inspirational. Have a look at Justin’s website and the story of Nụ.
And if time permits, Justin says one should come to the Friendship Village, see the children and Nụ , sometimes it’s as simple as a human touch that they need. I’m motivated and hope you are too.
Yes, I really feel the urge to move…