Here’s a glimpse of the window I’ve been falling asleep next to for the past three weeks. I’m all about privacy but something about this makes me feel very attached - to the city, the streets, and the beautiful view I have from my room.
This city is as beautiful as it is ugly. The street paintings and tall buildings are breathtaking, and I make sure to stop and take it in everytime I’m awestruck by its art. It feels like magic. And that’s the thing about magic, right? One moment it’s all sparks, and the next it’s all thin air. Magic, it disappears. So I take it in as much as I can.
The ugly is in the city’s homeless population. It’s huge. And most have some sort of mental disability, which doesn’t help their case. The difference between homelessness here and back home is that the homeless here are so lonely. And isolated. It’s in a stark contrast to the aesthetic beauty of the city, so unified in its art, under its breathtakingly blue sky.
And that’s the other thing I’m in love with - the sky here. No matter what weather or what time of the day it is, the sky here is beautiful. So wide, so stubbornly blue, stretching its arms over our head like she’s…God.
I’ve been walking a lot. This is precisely one of the things I’d been looking forward to the most about coming here. And I’m enjoying every bit of it. I like it especially in the evenings when musicians play their chords and the tunes travel to the peak of the streets and then all the way down. Something about being part of such beautiful spirit feels very meaningful. Like my life is a piano and these strangers are playing their chords, holding the universe together, as we all dance our dances. Some tripping, some falling, some just…in motion, without a destination.
The street-side musicians remind me of Edinburgh; the waves of the hilly streets make me remember Stuttgart; the trip to Angel island made me think of Hai Van Pass in Vietnam. I guess each city has its own siblings hiding across the oceans - and us humans, we foolishly bask in our heroic pride thinking we’ve been able to separate them by borders.
It’s close to midnight here and I’m sipping on my last drink before I hit the bed. I’ve been sleeping quite early these days (as early as 9:30). Something about this solitude gives me peace enough to sleep. Sleep enough. There are constant honks or fire trucks or the wind or homeless people screaming outside and yet, something about this chaos makes me feel like I belong. Here. Not to the city per se, but this chaos.