So if you decide you can’t be bothered to read this post, just skip to the end and listen to Beast Koast instead! You won’t regret it! Music bliss…
I’m still in Hanoi. which is in Vietnam in case you didn’t know. This is what I eat for breakfast every day:
Yesterday, walking down the street I see an old lady with a plastic bag literally all the way over her head. It was raining and she obviously forgot her umbrella. Luckily the bag was see-through or no doubt she would have ended up walking into the lake.
Oh and before I continue, if anyone knows where all of the breakdancers in Hanoi hang out, please let me know! I need to practice and all I see in the streets are skateboarders, inline skaters, joggers and your regular bunch of old people doing bizarre stretches.
It has been 10 days since my last post, sorry about that I have been pretty slack! I must be travelling and on the move and clearly way to busy to even think about writing a blog post right? Wrong! I’m still in exactly the same place I was 10 days ago. In fact, I am in the exact same cafe in the centre of Hanoi, Vietnam as I was when I wrote my last post.
There are a few things on my mind that I would like to write about today and I will therefore cover the following topics (no doubt I will ramble on about a bunch of other random crap as well):
– Asian Music…What Is It All About?
– Things I’ve Noticed About Living In A Dorm
– Some Commentary About ‘The System’ And All That Jazz
– Hanoi And The Water Puppet Theatre
– What Am I Currently Listening To?
– BEAST KOAST(!!!!)
So now you know the rough areas I will be covering you can decide whether you actually want to continue reading.
Ok, so now I’ve probably lost all 3 of my readers! Never mind, I’ll carry on anyway.
Asian Music…What Is It All About?
OK, so there is probably a lot of decent Asian music out there but somebody needs to explain some of the more, errrr, interesting songs to me. For example, yesterday I was sitting in the street outside a local cafe and Christmas songs were playing on the radio. They were covers of popular Christmas songs sang by what sounded like a 3 year old. It was completely bizarre. Do people really enjoy listening to this kind of stuff? I am not dissing the music, I genuinely want to know how anyone can find this enjoyable to listen to…it perplexes me!
This brings me on to another subject:
Censorship In Music Videos
So I was on a night bus in Myanmar (Burma) and a music video came on the television (it was a fancy bus!). There was a guy and a girl and it was all in black and white and they were clearly very in love. Then it switched to some colour footage of the same man looking at a photograph of this same woman and he was quite clearly in distress…crying even! So I assumed that she had either broken up with him or died (God forbid!). Nothing new here I thought as most Asian music videos seem to centre around some kind of love story. The end of the music video approaches and, oh wait hang on what is this man doing…!? He has pulled out a gun! Don’t do what I think you are about to do! It’s not worth it! He points the gun to his head and……..yep, BOOM! He is dead. End of music video…on with the next one about some sad dude looking at a photo of some girl. Ok so WTF!? How is this even allowed to air on television?! Especially in a country such as Burma! What is this teaching the kids?
Also, what is the massive obsession with karaoke all about? I think everyone wants to be a star!
Everyone just wanna be like me cos me so sexy!
Things I’ve Noticed About Living In A Dorm
So now ‘travelling’ alone once again, I have pretty much no other choice than to move into a dorm to keep my spending down. So here are a few things which I have noticed about living in dorms:
– People will sleep with the light on if there is one person still awake in the dorm, regardless of the time and are often too shy(?) to turn off the light themselves.
– The one person that is still awake will often just leave the light on, and nobody will ever know why.
– If at least one person is still sleeping in the dorm, regardless of the time, they are often too shy(?) to turn the light on if they need to see to do stuff.
– People are super polite to each other and say “excuse me” and “sorry” a lot, regardless of the situation, because no-one will ever want to risk offending a stranger.
– For some reason I will always go to sleep with my headphones on when in a dorm, but not when I have a private room…? (don’t ask me why!?)
– Dorm rooms in Australia are MESSY!
– In Australia you will ALWAYS get the top bunk in a dorm room unless you decide to move in and wait for two months for someone on a bottom bunk to leave.
I remember when I arrived in Perth in Australia and walked into my dorm room I wondered whether I had in fact walked into a war zone that had recently been bombed. It was probably the messiest room I have ever seen. Ok, well maybe not EVER but it was pretty bad. This is basically because people actually LIVE in these rooms because, in case you didn’t already know, Australia is EXPENSIVE. There was one guy in the dorm room on a bottom bunk who had installed a huge flat screen TV on an arm at the end of his bed and enjoyed staying up all night playing Playstation. He seemed rather occupied with killing people in this digital world, regardless of what time it was. God I sound so old! Let’s break the tension and have some lighthearted entertainment in the form of the following photo:
It’s legendary communist leader Ho Chi Minh playing a game of pool! No idea what bidaductung.com is all about, the website doesn’t actually load for me. Let’s hope I’m not advertising some dodgy website right here!
Some Commentary About ‘The System’ And All That Jazz
I don’t know if it’s just been because I have been looking for it, but lately I have seen an increase in the number of articles directed at how we need to ‘escape the system’, how we are all ‘slaves’ and how we must change the way we think about the way in which we are ‘supposed’ to live our lives. We don’t have to work a 40 hour week in a job we despise, it is possible to make a living doing something we love. Apparently this is the case. I have yet to prove this fact as I am currently still working on actually getting a stable income. And I’m sure that plenty of you out there are perfectly happy in your current jobs. To each his/her own.
I recently read an article which went on about how when we have a stable income we are careless with our money, and so end up spending way more than we actually need to, purely to fill a desire to feel like we are reaping the benefits of these wonderful jobs we have. Is this to justify doing something we don’t necessarily enjoy? I am currently spending approximately $10 a day on food and accommodation. It’s pretty damn cheap to live out here! And I am happy with what I can get for my $10 every day. I had an amazing chicken noodle soup earlier for just over £1. But I know without a doubt that if I had a stable income that I would end up spending way more than I do now. Why?
What is it about having money that makes us/me so careless? Is it just because we ‘can’? I think that we all desire a life of luxury don’t we? Maybe this is the same reason that leads so many of us to obsess over the lives of the rich and famous. I think that our obsession with a lot of celebrities is down to us wishing that we had the same freedom in our own lives to spend and do as we like, and it is often due to unhappiness that we obsess over things we we don’t or can’t have ourselves. Am I wrong?
I don’t really know how I have managed to end up here but there is actually a newly identified psychological condition called ‘Celebrity Worship Syndrome’ (CWS). Bizarre. Anyway, this is supposed to be a travel blog(!) so let’s get back on track…
Hanoi and The Water Puppet Theatre
So the other night I met an English girl and we decided upon an evening of water puppetry at the Water Puppet Theatre in Hanoi…and I have to say that it was amazing! So much better than I had imagined. It looked like this:
Look at those cute little puppets! Reminds me of Pob….anyone? Pob? Nope? Ah ok…
The story was all a little confusing if I’m honest (maybe I’m just stupid?) but the puppetry was amazing and very entertaining throughout! There was a little guy riding on a water buffalo and dragons with fireworks in their mouths…it was all very exciting! The people you can see on the left were all playing traditional Vietnamese instruments as well and the singing was pretty good too. If you are in Hanoi, check it out!
What Am I Currently Listening To?
So let’s forget Asian music for a moment as I list my current music listening choices:
Now I have no idea how long her latest album has been out but I just discovered it the other day. Current favourite track is probably ‘Chasing Time’. Would be tempted to say ‘212’ but it has been played to death in the past!
Specifically the track ‘No. 99’ which was released recently. This guy has SKILLS and his style takes me back to the good ol’ golden era of 90’s east coast Hiphop.
Particularly feeling the track ‘Keep It Close’ ft. Kerli. If you’re partial to a bit of dubstep, check this dude out! He’s from California and I love his style…maybe you will too?
Just discovered Sivey recently. He’s a music producer from Manchester. First heard his track ‘Pillow Talk’. I would describe his style as laid back, chill out dance…? Feck knows, all these different music genres confuse the hell out of me!
This brings me on to a YouTube music channel that you MUST(!!!) check out!:
Slick, laid back tunes! Hiphop, soul, funk, dance, electro, a bit of all round but the type of music that you should probably be cruising along to in your convertible Chevrolet with one arm resting out of the window whilst you smoke a cigar with sunglasses on. Here is one of the latest mixes on their channel (by Ta-Ku who is also sick!):
So I’ll leave you to go grab your shades and cigars, and I should probably go and sort my life out.