On 15 March, I departed from Nội Bài International Airport in Hanoi, Vietnam. It’s a small, chaotic airport that has a line of shops by the boarding gates. There was a small shop that sold books but while there were bestsellers, particularly Dan Brown’s, none had the word “time” in the title or was about time travel. This prompted a modification in my criteria in that I included books that dealt with time in any form. Even then, there wasn’t any I could find in that airport. I left without a BFF book.
I made up for it by buying something at home, from a regular bookshop and not at the airport, which was why the title of this post says “sorta.” It deals with time, that is, a day, but isn’t something I bought or read at the airport. Everything is an illusion anyway.
I had read the book this story is related to — Every Day. Every Day tells the story of A, who inhabits a different body each day. He/She falls in love with Rhiannon, the girlfriend of one of the bodies he/she inhabits. Rhiannon falls in love with A as well. It’s not difficult to imagine how complicated this relationship becomes. Another Day tells the same story from Rhiannon’s point of view.
I enjoyed reading Every Day because it tends to be poetic at times, which is to say, somewhat more intelligent than the more straightforward Another Day. As someone who doesn’t identify with a body, A is predisposed to thinking in terms of ideas, while Rhiannon, with the more basic gender and body identification, in terms of occurrences. (Should she kiss A when he/she’s in the body of a girl?) As a result, Another Day is less cerebral and to me, it loses the magic that makes Every Day such a novel concept. It is merely a story, retold unnecessarily.
Of course, as my BFF cheat, Another Day works quite well, being one that deals with the concept of time.
On the note of my travel, my friends and I booked the Hanoi trip without any idea of what we were going to encounter there. There was one word that describes Hanoi: chaotic. This word fits its roads and its airport. The motorbikes outnumber all other vehicles and all of these vehicles can come from anywhere that crossing the street is quite a challenge. You don’t look just right and left (or vice-versa) but 360 degrees. In fairness, you don’t see the expected road accidents but it was a short holiday. Also, the food is delicious, but not really something I would brave the chaos to experience again. The one thing that made up for this chaotic holiday was Halong Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The cave is majestic and was worth the hundreds of steps we were threatened with. The tour guide said before we went in that once we had started, there was no turning back, because the boat that was going to take us back to civilisation would be on the other side of the cave. Half of my group begged off and stayed on the boat, but I didn’t want to miss out because I knew it would be a long time before I’m in Hanoi again. I’m glad I dismissed the fear and I was rewarded with an amazing experience.