"The sharp knife of a short life

I've had just enough time..."

- "If I Die Young" The Band Perry

I see Beauty in many things. And like the ghosts that only speak to you if you notice them, they tell me wondrous tales. With my camera and my thoughts, I captured these as faithfully as I can to share with you. And by doing so, they gave me the reasons. And though the thousand reasons may not all be sweet and some indeed bitter; they are still reasons to live. Come to think about it, that is Life, isn't it?

Monday, 5 March 2012

A Tale of Two Baguettes – Part II: I Found Paris in Saigon.

I've had just enough time to...   meet her again in Saigon.

Taken in a bakery where I spent a lot of time

Years later, I found Paris in Saigon, the land of conical hats and floating “Ao Dai” (Vietnamese national costume). I could not believe how far she has fallen. She has put on weight and appeared shorter if that is possible. She plied her trade by the road side. My heart bled. What has Life done to my love to lay her so low?

She was almost weightless in my hand. But when I put her to my lips, a rush of nostalgic feelings overwhelmed me. The familiar taste I thought long lost brought me close to tears. It is the same yet different. The aroma is just as rich. No, more so; almost to the point of over-powering for there is the strong lingering scent of melancholy years mixed with regret. I embraced her tightly and caught this shout before it escaped my throat “this heart still beats!”

Taken in a bakery in Hanoi

In South Vietnam she now flourished. She still retained most of Paris in her but has adopted local Asian flare. The climate agreed with her and she bloomed. I left her in good health and a sad farewell. And I went to Hanoi where I met her sister.

At first I did not recognized her for she was in the company of several young men in leather jackets. They seemed to enjoy her company but I thought she was nothing like her sister or Paris. On first look there are some similarities but that is where it ends. She has none of her finesse or even smells the same. They even put sugar on her to sweeten her up like some cheap perfume.

What is sadder still is the poverty of the land she chose to stay. A runaway inflation has made her too expensive to be enjoyed. So she is found in the company of those few who can afford her and they treated her with disrespect. I would like to help but she does not want it out of pride or something else.  It was shaping to be a tragic tale but it is not the end…


  1. These shots are taken in Hanoi recently and I’ve always been interested in baguettes whether in Paris, Saigon or Hanoi. The baguettes in Saigon are much different from Hanoi which retained little of the true quality of a good baguette except its general shape and appearance (which are also far from being satisfactory). Though I prefer the Paris version most of all, the Saigon has its own distinctive qualities that makes it a good bread by its own.

    ★Tàu Bửu Vương Photography added this photo to his favorites.
    Wow! you're at Viet Nam at this time?

    الله أكبر * " ALLAH HU AKBAR! "
    This photo was invited and added to the PHODDÁSTICA!!! ® group.

    Excellent candid, my friend!
    Have a great week!

    ★brdonovan added this photo to his favorites.

    great shot

    ★garageismi added this photo to his favorites.

    So glad you found your lost love!!!!

    1. By the way, this is a true story not a concocted one meaning I did catch that night train from Lucerne to Paris and sneaked into a Paris bakery at four in the morning to learn about making French Breads. It was one of my most ‘romantic’ adventure. 

      ★Tàu Bửu Vương Photography added this photo to his favorites.

      A real sweet and delicious story..I loved the first photo that you've posted in your blog, why don't you publish it in here? A real nice shot.Ciao

      STAY BLESSED, Thou.
      الله أكبر * " ALLAH HU AKBAR! "

      ★ineedathis added this photo to his favorites.
      Well any time I walk in to my bakeshop I feel the same:-) the only thing I don't bake baguettes in forms, mine are put straight on shelfs,
      Great shot! have a great week my friend!

      This photo was invited and added to the PHODDÁSTICA!!! ® group.

      Great story .
      Grand image.

      ★garageismi added this photo to his favorites.

  2. This was the first picture of Part II in my blog which I did not publish in flickr. Oceaniablu thought I should so here I shared it with my flickr friends. It was taken in the same bakery where I spent a lot of time in. :D Hope all of you have enjoy the fresh aroma of bread, more to come :)

    Thanks Oceaniablu for the suggestion. Agreed that it should be put here to be complete :) Thanks!
    I'm off to Jakarta this afternoon. See ya when I get back. Meanwhile, the story continues in my blog in 2 days time. If you're too impatient for the conclusion before I get back, drop in there to have a sneak read. There are other stories. Suggest this one but read Part I before reading Part II for the impact. :)


    The Visual Poet
    Wonderful close up!

    This beautiful chapter has been seen in WRITTEN PAGES.


    bianchimaniv alias Lilith

    ★OCEANIABLU added this photo to her favorites.

    ;) it's so nice of you to take consideration of the suggestions :)

    الله أكبر * " ALLAH HU AKBAR! "

    ★ΞSSΞ®®Ξ added this photo to his favorites.
    :D great landscape

    ★lichtbildung added this photo to his favorites.
    Mmmmmmmmmmmh - you´re doing very well!!! Excellent image!!! =))

    Wish I had some !

    ★dodagp added this photo to her favorites.

    I do believe I can smell this right through the screen!
    Beautiful (and tasteful ;-) picture of these delicious looking loaves!

    ★i_still_believe_in_u and Uscè added this photo to their favorites.

    Great focus, my friend!
    Excellent shot!

    This photo was invited and added to the PHODDÁSTICA!!! ® group.

    ★Tàu Bửu Vương Photography added this photo to his favorites.

    I had written a comment here,Thou.
    Have you deleted/removed it ? What went wrong with it,my friend ?
    As far as I remember,I had written: Do they use a starter in the dough as you used one for the plot of the saga and also something about the flavour and the scent of the baguettes and the plot.
    Stay well

    These are desirable cuts, when they don't open we call them blind cuts and not as desirable:-)great close up my friend!

    ★ineedathis added this photo to his favorites.

    A 1000 Reasons
    Hi Doda, No. I did not delete anything. Never had in any comments from anyone so sorry there must have been a bug in the program somewhere. Please write them again if you can remember what is written.
    Unless it is a sour dough, no starter is used. They are just fermented for a long time to get out the flavor. Giles in an earlier comment said - he cannot understand why bread in France taste better than UK. That is because different methods of bread production is used. Many UK bakeries used a short time process and in UK commercial bakeries, the Chorleywood Process which is a mechanical dough development instead of the straight dough method in France which are fermented for much longer hence having a much richer aroma and all round better bread.

    a fine shot of these baguettes! want now a fine french cheese too with a glass of wine... :))
    Oh, I think I go hungry - hehe!
    ho.ge added this photo to her favorites.

    Jelly_23 (
    I love the close up in this photo, it reminds me of the true European food, which I truly miss. Good Work!

    ★Tulay Emekli added this photo to her favorites.
    This is so inviting ! Warm and soft it must be!I love it ..and I do share your feelings about crowds in museums!

    ★Omair Haq added this photo to his favorites.

  3. Your credit card is just gorgeous -- and also such a beautiful surprise. Any woman could be thrilled to get this kind of.
    Many thanks for a person inspiration.


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