I wrote this piece after my first week in Ho Chi Minh City when the shiny, novelty of the city wore off, along with my adrenaline. Photo taken on July 2 from the backseat of a motorbike, somewhere in Ho Chi Minh City.

I found peace in the back seat of a car

The language barrier left me to my thoughts

Neon Lights blur in the distance

The constant roar of motorbike engines whizzing all around –

the honking.

You get used to it. Eventually.

It melts into one sound,

that plays on repeat. Identified and filed under “City Noise.”

Yellow light

Yellow light

Yellow light

Crossing a body of water

A city reflected below

The city above. Alive.

To be discovered.

To be uncovered.


I found comfort in the night sky

Neon Lights above my head

Warm humidity hugging every inch of skin

Less People to dodge than under the sun

Easier to blend. Maybe.

The height gives it away. “Foreigner.”





I don’t think they ever stop


Walking around as if this city is mine

Neon Lights over head

A tiny alley

A broken sidewalk

The thrill of Something New around every corner

a new face

a new friend

a hidden bar

an overpriced drink

Just like home,

with the smoke,

and the music,

and the drag


Under Neon Lights

Where my anxiety subsides for a moment

Breath in the night’s energy

It itches at the back of my head

Jaw Clenched

Always too tight

A drink to ease the nerves

Or something to hold

to look like the nerves are at ease

Either way, it works


A cab ride home

Under Neon Lights

Neon Lights

Neon Lights

“City Noise” soundtrack plays again

The motors and the beeps and the voices fade away

Numb to the sounds

Thoughts to myself

Over a river

Halfway there

Under Neon Lights

Where I feel at home.