On exactly the same day two years ago:

While ridding my computer of useless and redundant files, I found these pictures dated 3rd of January 2009. I was with my Vietnamese friends visiting the port city Hai Phong, 100 kilometers from Hanoi. It was the height of winter and the shivery breeze from the sea exacerbated the chilling effect of the bitter weather. I was suffering from a breakout of pimples, flaking skin, asthma, and scores of discomfort associated with cold January. But those didn’t keep me from enjoying the trip and taking thousands of pictures which some just ended up, like souls do in the now defunct purgatory, in the recycle bin of my computer.

With Le at the gate of the Cathedral of Hai Phong. The city is one the few cities in the country with a sizable Christian population. My friend, Le, practices ancestor worship.

With Le’s cousin, Chi Anh.

By the seashore several meters from the Hai Phong Harbor, the biggest in Vietnam next to that of Saigon. The sea was unfortunately too murky, and without expounding on the thesis, too cold for swimming. But had I brought trunks, I wouldn’t let go of the opportunity to wade in the water in the dead of winter.

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