Scooters on the streets of Hanoi  
Scooters on the streets of Hanoi

Snow

It is the land of snow, even though nobody has seen it in many years. I am riding through it with the scooter oblivious of the chaos on the road. All I think about is to keep moving. I don’t want to feel the burning air of humidity, the one much higher than the place where I came from.

 

I was born in Warsaw in 1988. A year later, in my hometown, the biggest market in Europe was created. In the old sport stadium everything was literally traded: clothes, jewelry, pets, medicines, furniture, food, antiques, illegal software, guns, alcohol or tobacco.

 

As a child I used to go to the “stadium” every weekend. I amply absorbed the surrounding atmosphere and discovered about people from around the world. The market was in actual fact the workplace for immigrants from old Soviet Union countries, Africa and Asia.

 

It was once even called “Vietnam-town”. All thanks to a group of Vietnamese, who changed their trading platform there. There, it was the first time in my life I have tried Pho, heard about karaoke or stories about the rice fields. Also, this is where I have decided that one day I will visit Vietnam.

 

I didn’t come to Hanoi in search of beautiful scenery or Asian charm. I wanted to find elements associated with Poland and meet people who have spent some part of their life there. Just to find out whether something Polish was left in them. What is it that they are missing? And when asked, the same word keeps appearing: snow.

 

Snow is what the heroes of this story were longing for.

Thu, translator of Polish literature  
Thu, translator of Polish literature
The flat of Mrs. Oanh, a Polish teache  
The flat of Mrs. Oanh, a Polish teache
High-rise housing block built by a Polish-Vietnamese company  
High-rise housing block built by a Polish-Vietnamese company
Dzung, counsellor at a law firm; he has Polish citizenship  
Dzung, counsellor at a law firm; he has Polish citizenship
A Chopin figurine on the TV set  
A Chopin figurine on the TV set
Pupil sof the Polish-Vietnamese Friendship Memorial school  
Pupil sof the Polish-Vietnamese Friendship Memorial school
Thanh, in Poland he organised the Five Flavours Film Festival  
Thanh, in Poland he organised the Five Flavours Film Festival
Pistachio fans can be found in most of flats in Hanoi  
Pistachio fans can be found in most of flats in Hanoi
from "Snow"Hanoi, 2012  
from "Snow"
Hanoi, 2012
Scooters on the streets of Hanoi
Thu, translator of Polish literature
The flat of Mrs. Oanh, a Polish teache
High-rise housing block built by a Polish-Vietnamese company
Dzung, counsellor at a law firm; he has Polish citizenship
A Chopin figurine on the TV set
Pupil sof the Polish-Vietnamese Friendship Memorial school
Thanh, in Poland he organised the Five Flavours Film Festival
Pistachio fans can be found in most of flats in Hanoi
from "Snow"Hanoi, 2012