Generosity, happiness, and spiritual emptiness
Love this post, I am so happy to have found your page!
We've traded tribal belonging, succor, sustenance, best for the tribe mentality, and extreme support when down, for individualism, technology, narcissism and material wealth. The current US ethos is that individuals matter as much or more than the majority. Institutions that replenished haggard spiritual foundations have been eroded by those who feel threatened by others' beliefs. We have divers beliefs without unity of thought, without a sustaining spiritual foundation and without the nurturing boundaries of a tribe, and are thus alone and subject to all the starkness of our chosen state.
Did you ever write a Part 2 for this? Really great reading, thanks!
You feed and water a horse. But that’s literally water. There’s hydrated. I keep coming up with something related to quench. I guess beer-ed and the like might be best.
Loved this piece. I’ve experienced this type of hospitality and way of living in South America and had similar questions about what’s missing in the place I call home by virtue of birth.
Thank you for sharing this bite of Hanoi. It nourished me.
Great post, thanks, loving the armchair travel. Interesting thoughts, you’re seeing life as an observer, gives you food for thought. As they say, travel broadens the mind.
As always, so great to feel like I've gained insight from living like a local in Hanoi. I'll be wary of that "constant misery of always comparing yourself to what you might of, or should have been" – Thanks Chris!
Wasn't it Janis Joplin who sang "freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose" in Me and Bobby McGee? I've always loved that saying.
Love the photography.
Great post and beautiful photos, especially the people. Love your photos and your observations. Just discovered your blog and subscribed. Keep up great work and thanks for sharing your stories.
What do you think about what this Japanese man has to say about Japanese culture?
Maybe what you hate isn't the culture of the United States, but the way you feel reading Twitter and the news. Here's some good advice about reading the news by another guy on substack. I bet it goes triple for reading Twitter.
Reading the news is the new smoking
I quit. I feel great. You can too.
Jun 14, 2022
"Especially compared to the US."
Why is your formula always the same?
Intriguing and fascinating article until your routine and all-too-predictable crescendo of US-bashing.
I get it: you dislike the US. Ok.
But try at least to avoid being so American-centric that every article has to revolve around the comparison.
You're writing for an American audience: I already know about the American experience in 2023. Tell me more about Hanoi.
Pls. I signed up for a one year paid sub and I hate to think that I've figured your curveball out already.
This post was wonder filled; reminded me so much of my travels to India. It was such an adjustment returning to the US and realizing I had felt more “welcomed” there than I did in my native country. I too noticed the spiritual decay of the US on my return, and would love your thoughts on that. Safe and happy travels!
Thanks for this. So interesting to see this from street level.
Comparing Vietnamese street life to Twitter seems off to me.
Great post, Chris. I must say, have read a handful or more, that it's clear how horribly drab and, well, crappy the US is - compared to Hanoi for example. Maybe it's just my love of a good picture, but it's clear you have to work hard to find one in America - in LA for example, and even then they have a distinctly meager quality. I live in France these days, and frankly, I only have to turn around to find endless beauty in architecture, plants, the ocean, mountains and cliffs - and photogenic cafes that serve great coffee. I seriously suggest you forget about the US and spend your time walking in places that give you pleasure and show you beauty - they are everywhere, except, it seems, at home.