Tạm biệt, Việt Nam

Having flown from Ha Noi to Seoul, South Korea that morning, I left Incheon Airport at 4pm on March 8th and arrived in San Francisco at 9am…….on March 8th.
Jan Kirby ~ Time Traveler.
It’s nice to get those hours back. It makes up (a little) for the godawful amount of time I spent on that plane. I sat next to a sweet Vietnamese couple who’d asked me to help them fill out some customs forms. It felt nice being able to assist.
Jan Kirby ~ Translator. ‘magin ‘at!
Upon leaving Ha Noi, upon arrival at San Francisco….. upon this whole traveling back to the States experience… there’s been an underlying and overbearing sense that there’s something terribly wrong with this picture…..Mike’s not in it. He’s not here. He’s in Ha Noi. It’s not as if this was any surprise. It’s not as if I didn’t know this was coming. Yet I feel in shock. As if some part of me has been severed from my body, my psyche, my existence. We went to the other side of the planet together, we’ve been in each others lives for years…..where is he?
He wants to stay in Viet Nam. He loves it and it’s his home…..and I’m happy for him. But I miss him badly. I miss my buddy.
After my rather rough start in Viet Nam, I fell in love with it, too. But I want to keep traveling. I want to see more of the world and experience another culture….or two…. I’ve got the travel bug pretty bad and feel it’s my time to do it….now’s the time.
I’m at my best, dear old friend Lin’s house in Oakland, California right now. Relaxing in the sun in her lovely back yard, jazz playing on the radio. Such a beautiful, friendly, soft spot to land.  Thank you, Lin.  I’ll be staying here about a week. Then on to visit more friends and family.

So, while I relax and adjust to my new time frame, I have another love letter or two to send to Ha Noi….that lovely, crazy city……the first is to Minh’s Jazz Club….

…….yeah…….jazz…..in Ha Noi…..who’da guessed?














The atmosphere…..










….the instruments…..

















…..the band…















(love this bass player ~ he strolls all over those frets!) →












……and Minh.



Of all the nights I went to Minh’s, the night I brought my camera he wasn’t there, unfortunately.  But here are a few pictures of pictures of Minh.


Here he is with Herbie Hancock →



17Handsome chap, isn’t he?

“The place in Ha Noi to catch hot, live jazz.  Bar owner Minh teaches saxophone at the Ha Noi Conservatory and moonlights here.   Jamming with a variety of musicians including his talented son to top-notch international jazz players.” ~ Viet Nam Guide

Indeed.  Minh is the coolest cat ~ seriously.  Great saxophonist.  Great teacher of great saxophonists.  Generous host.  All ’round classy guy.  He and his fellows will be seriously missed.

If you’re ever in Ha Noi, you must, MUST visit Minh’s…..at least once.

4 thoughts on “Tạm biệt, Việt Nam

  1. this is one of the best you have written. You really put a lot of feeling into it. Like the ending of a great movie. oxox


    1. Thank you, Lin……funny ‘replying’ here when you’re right in the next room! It’s lovely being here with you (and your wonderful family and friends).


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