Tet has finally left us, and now, it's back to the grind.
For most people, it's back to work, back to school, back to life as it was before. This means for many, they will be leaving their home towns and taking their memories to keep. Tet is a special occasion, and after experiencing my first one, I can see why this is the most important occasion of the year in Vietnam.
The streets will begin to be more crowded again, shops will be open, students will be learning, labourers will be labouring and us writers will be writing. The familiar sounds that disappeared during Tet, the quiet that helps make this occasion memorable, will be no more. The grinding of saws, honking of horns, flames of welders, splashing of water from street stalls, flicking of cigarettes, and echos of loudspeakers again fill the streets and ears of Hanoi. During Tet, it's as if the city took a holiday from itself. All those sounds that we stop noticing due to their abundance, well, they are back, and because they were gone, we may notice them again now, at least for awhile. In a few days, they will again be just another normal part of our everyday lives.
All of those warm feelings, special memories, and unique experiences, may easily fade to the distance if one allows them. The routines will start, the regular daily activities, and all could be forgotten until this time next year. All of those things that we put aside, "to take care of after Tet", are now back in front of us. The alarm clocks we turned off, the items we put away, they are all back once again.
Part of what makes anything special is that it is different, and at no time of the year will that be more evident than during Tet. Everything changes, things go away, life becomes a little bit more peaceful, a little bit more important, all that we have gotten used to can be brushed aside, and then, it all comes back. And here we are, Tet is over and life is back. This is a chance to reflect and embrace all that one may have shared and to remember it, because in the coming weeks and months, it can be easy to forget. As for me, I'll never forget, and I'll try not to let the routine become too routine, after all, I enjoyed all the randomness of Tet. I think I will try to have my own Tet, every week, and never let go...