<< magazine top >>

The City of fatal ties

Can I use the word "Fatal ties" in good meaning? Here, I use the word as meaning "to come across accidentally and become inseparable relationship"

Talking about cities, there are many "city of fatal ties" to me all over the world. For instance, Villejuif where is just outside of Paris, Torremolinos of Spain, Staten Island in New York and Dakar Parcel Unit 4 in Senegal are some of them. Mostly, they are neither big cities nor famous tourist resort. Nevertheless, once I stay there for certain period, I have local friends. Then I visit there again and again. This is the city of fatal ties to me.

In the northern part of Vietnam, Ninh Binh is the city like that. Actually, Ninh Binh is tourist place. Because it's close to the Tam Coc where have a lot of exotic landscape which looks like Guilin in China. With 10 minutes bike ride, you can see the strange shaped rocks stick out from rice paddies, and can take a small boat for sightseeing too. Going through the streams in the rice paddies, you would see the beautiful landscape.
However, the sightseeing never takes whole day long. Maybe, a half day is enough. Ninh Binh is in day trip distance from Hanoi and passing point on the Route No.1 connecting between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. So there are not so many people who stay there for long time. Add to that, the weather of northern Vietnam is cold and wet especially in spring. Therefore, the tourists who have finished the sightseeing tend to escape from Ninh Binh so quickly. Perhaps the thing which the tourist expect for Vietnam must not cloudy sky and cold rain.

I stayed in Ninh Binh without any reason. If let me pick a reason, it's the fact that I was lazy.
While I stayed in Ninh Binh, I got know the people made business with sightseeing of the strange rocks, but at same time, they blew up the rocks with dynamite. The regional industry of Ninh Binh was "Bricks". Crushed rocks, means soils, were brought to the open air kiln of brick factory. Labors molded the clay and put it into the huge kiln. Therefore the city was always dusty and once rain falls, the street became so muddy. And smoke and smell of baking the bricks flew over the city. The people's palm bringing the bricks also muddy same to the city.

It's enough to make me gloomy that cloudy sky and cold rain continues day after day. But once I made familiar person, the city became comfortable to me. And next year, I visit Ninh Binh again. The people remember me very well. In this way, another "city of fatal ties" is made.

Apr. 2006

Today's piece
" Palm held a brick " Ninh Binh, Vietnam 2004

 Show it to me!  Photographing Vietnam with Christine

fumikatz osada photographie