Having a cold in the hot summer sucks. Double that in Beijing where the air is never really that fresh and clean. I’ve spent the last few days with a brain splitting headache that has me lying around with my eyes closed when I am not at work. I was close to buying a bottle of Gin to see if it worked better than the Tylenol did…
Welcome to Hanoi Vietnam. A great city to hang out in for a week while winding down the trip.
I want to talk about my grandpa. I am not sure why, but he has been on my mind for a few days. Charles Gowen is a guy that I deeply respect and admire. He was a Navy man, fighting in the Korean war. His unit was part of the “Train Busters” who destroyed the supply train line on the mainland. He was stationed on the HMCS Crusader which had the highest number of “busts”. In 1977 while working a heavy equipment in Saskatoon, he discovered the oldest Saskatchewan Native site that happened to be 6,000 years old (Now called the Gowen Site). For years he was a pro-level golfer, winning tournaments as far back as I can remember (even having a dedicated trophy room in his house).
When I was young, in the winter, he’d take me out ice fishing. It was more fishing for him as I am pretty sure that I would just spend most of my time playing in the snow. In the summer, he’d take me out golfing at Foam Lake Golf and Country Club. I have fond memories of that place. My sister, cousins and I would spend practically all summer there. It was the first time that I had tonic water. My grandpa told me to get a drink out of the cooler and I thought the tonic water looked good. He asked if I was sure that I wanted that. I was adamant. I recall the initial taste was alike to old rubber bands and I am pretty sure most of it was poured on the fairway off of the golf cart than into my mouth.
Now that I am older and living across the world from him, I don’t get to spend the time with him that I would like. Every time I go home I revel in the fact that I get to spend time with him, listening to his old stories that I have heard many times, that I would gladly listen to thousands more. Tales of traveling to Hong Kong with the Navy, going on shore leave and other adventures that only come from living a full life. I even love listening to what many would call mundane, the birds that have appeared at his feeder, the state of the harvest around Elfros, and who was doing what in a town of less than 100 people.
I can’t wait to get back to Elfros again.
I’ve always been fascinated with fishing. It is something that I would love to enjoy doing myself, but I don’t. Watching others fish brings more enjoyment for me that if I was doing it myself. I love how each culture has their own style. These shots were taken in Vientiane Laos on the Mekong River. Every night, dozens of people wade into the water with either simple lines and hooks or elaborate net setups.
I was here in 2008 and now that it is five years later, I was shocked at how much the riverbank has changed. In 2008, I enjoyed sitting on a stained woven rug on the dirt, enjoying freshly caught fish and drinking cold beers. Now the entire riverfront is a concrete mass with new 5 star hotel developments been added at an alarming rate. It looks nice, but I will always miss the sleepy little town feel.
All shots were taken with my Leica M2 and voigtlander 35 1.4 on Arista Premium.