The collected writings of a Renegade Tourist

Tag night scene

Skäret Harbour, 10:48 pm

The moon rises full and bright above the headland on the far side of the small bay, the jagged silhouette barely perceptible against nearly black sea and deep blue night sky. The moon is big and orange like it can only be in August, casting its light in a streak across water. Only four colours yet this simple beauty is nearly impossible to capture with my camera so instead I try to memorize the moment while the cool breeze swirls gently around me.  

The Balcony, 12:08 am

I stand looking out over the seemingly sleeping city. There's a light breeze that makes it feel like the cold of the night air is creeping in through the gaps between my shirt buttons, and chill of the stone floor is seeping up through my socks. A new round of fireworks starts, I can hear the sharp cracks somewhere off to the right but they are hidden from view by the nearby buildings, all I can see is the colorful flashes of light on the surrounding facades. I stand there in the cold dark space of the balcony, the revelry and fireworks just on the edge of my consciousness, and feel that special kind of feeling that isn't quite loneliness but isn't really anything else either - clearing the mind from daily stresses and just absorbing the cool quite now, and yet, realizing somehow that you want to be where those unseen fireworks are. And that's the moment that I notice it, the fireworks are reflected on the windows of one of the buildings in the distance, the glass making the images ripple and become dreamy; a moment of beauty pierces my solitude and brings me back to reality. I listen to the fireworks for a few moments longer then let the cold drive me back indoors.

Wynn Palace, 8:41 pm

Everyone has seen it in some movie or other, the cast stand in front of that fountain in Las Vegas looking at the show in front of them. This is just like that, except it’s not a movie. In front of me is a large pond bordered on this side by the promenade and on the opposite, the Wynn Palace casion with the central building right in front and the wings set at an angle like open arms welcoming you in, it’s facade bathed in a warm golden orange. From the middle of the pond dozens of water jets, lit … Read the rest

Chengde temple trail, 7:15 pm

There is a rounded opening in the wall of trees, just big enough for two people to stand side by side, framed by overhanging branches and low bushes silhouetted against the background, a barely perceptible difference between the shades of gray. A path, its gravel surface painted a light gray by moonlight, runs through the undergrowth, undulating slightly as it stretches out to a point somewhere in the distance. Thanks to the full moon my companions and I can navigate the darkness without using our flashlights, it enables us to see the little flickers of light all around us. In … Read the rest

Baisha beach, 8:32 pm

The sky, clear now after a cloudy afternoon, is absolutely full of stars, the three in Orion’ s belt outshining everything else in the vicinity. The waves come rolling in to the beach  just a few meters away, the black water crashing down on the dark sand with a loud booming sound that fills the air. I put my arm around my wife, feel the warmth of her body against mine as she leans on my shoulder, and just enjoy the moment. … Read the rest

Koh Rong island, 9:14 pm 

The soft whoosh of the breaking waves fills my ears. The sea in front to me is black save for the white foam that flows up the moist sand only to recede back into the darkness, a thin line that changes with each wave. To my is left a pier, lighted at intervals by street lamps like a chain of glowing, yellow orbs in the darkness, then further out the shape of an islet, jagged black against the almost imperceptibly lighter night sky. To my right, the beach, the normally pristine  white sand turned a dirty yellowish grey under the … Read the rest

Treehouse, 02:28 am.

I’ve woken up and can’t go back to sleep, so I stand at the railing looking out into the night. Despite not having any lights I can see shapes in the darkness, the silhouettes of the trees, jet black against the charcoal grey of the night sky. Beyond that, stars, more of them than I have ever seen before, twinkling all over the sky. I take in the scene for a few moments before the night chill forces me back under the covers.… Read the rest

Treehouse, 10:01 pm 

I’m lying in my bed listening to music before going to sleep. I can feel the chill of the night air on my bare skin and hear, over the sounds of the music, the whoosh of the waterfall in the background and the occasional frup frup of a moth hitting the protective cocoon of the mosquito net surrounding my bed. It is pitch black like it only gets in really remote areas, far from any kind of civilization, the only light is the tiny amount spilling out around the edges of my phone where it lies face down on the … Read the rest

Central Pakse, 8:00 pm

I’m only a couple of blocks from the main street but the place is almost empty. A few cars and scooters passing by, an open shop down the street shining like a beacon and the warm orange glow of the street lights that shine for no-one. With so many travelers coming here you would think the place would be more active but it no, everything seems dead and deserted.… Read the rest

Just outside Moc Chau, 6:54 pm 

I have parked on a small patch of open ground just at the side of the road and turned off the engine. I am surrounded by the dark silhouettes of the mountains, only a few scattered lights here and there down in the valley. Further down the road, the lights from trucks and cars play through the light evening mist. Here where I’m standing everything is dark and quiet, no houses, no cars, no people, just me and the sound of the crickets. I stand contemplating the darkness for a moment then I look up.

Up above, the sky is … Read the rest

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