Reflections and stories on six months of life, culture, food and friendship in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

My Photographic Diary

My six months are up, but my blog continues - for now anyway. I've still got a few entries in me, so don't give up on HanoiMark yet.

I intend to write a piece on the experience of reentry which has not been easy. One of the more productive ways I have been dealing with my return has been to organize and publish the best of my photos from the last six months on a Flickr website (click here to see). I admit I have a hard time weeding out photos, so it may be more than anyone cares to view. Feel free to view them selectively, even though I think they look best using the slideshow feature.

Note: They are not all of Hanoi. I've created sets of other places in Vietnam, and included piles of pictures of Laos. Also, I have excluded pictures of friends for reasons of confidentiality.

I have always regretted that I could not blog more about my incredible Vietnamese friends, but I have avoided getting too personal in order to protect their privacy. It seems to me that there is a paradox in Hanoi society. Life is at the same time more public and more private than it is in the West. On one level, everything is everyone's business. Life is lived more on the street than behind closed doors, and everyone loves to talk. At another level though it seems that people respond to this by carefully shielding parts of themselves. It always seemed taboo to broadcast personal stories learned in confidence - especially when many of those stories involve sexual identity.

The same goes for photographs, so while I'd love to post pictures of friends (to illustrate for instance the way Group A would occupy my living room), I think it would be unwise.

Flickr is much more than photo viewing tool. Like a blog, it also allows for comments, so if you have a question or a comment, feel free...

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