The street food is delicious and the people are good but it is hard to take the speed, the noise, the MSG, and the smog of a Hanoi life for very long.
I travel by bicycle or motorbike, from a good job with a local NGO to meditation or yoga class but still feel strung out and depressed after a week or two in this city. I find that all my senses are filled with heavy-metal dust. - I need a lot of support and Lac Long Quan is one place where I go to get it.
On the west shore of West Lake there is a small bulk producer of macrobiotics. - They have saved my life in this smoggy fast-paced action-packed city.
Macrobiotic is about a person's whole environment, from food to social interactions to the climate and geography. It views sickness as the natural attempt of the body to return to a more harmonious balance with the dark and light aspects of life - it is really about diet and lifestyle.
Here is a poem by Matsuo Basho, translated by Robert Hass
A monk sips morning tea,
the chrysanthemum's flowering.