Life Life

10/02/2021 - 08:19

Peaceful spaces...

Hue, my hometown, is dreaming a dream of peace and prosperity. That is still known not to be easy, but at least knowing to dream, the initial steps can be taken…

A peaceful early morning

Working, I heard the phone ring. Whose was this strange number? I wondered and dialed.

On the other end were the crisp laughter and the familiar voice of one person. "Guess who?" This time I realized her. Oh, my girlfriend in childhood... I did not know how she could find out my number. But it has been more than two decades. No contact or news. No blame...

Making an appointment at a familiar cafe, she told me she had returned to the school festival and also to revisit Hue, the land where she used to live and study for nearly ten years. "Hue remains lovable and seems to be getting prettier..." she said while gently stirring the fragrant cup of coffee.

She said she had just snatched a visit to Dong Ba Market to buy some gifts. Passing once-familiar Tran Hung Dao Street, she suddenly found this street airy, friendly and pleasant. Searching the memory, she discovered it was because the fence separating the street from the park along the Perfume River was demolished.

Our Hue thought up and did an exceptionally enjoyable thing - She smiled.

The ironwood pathway creates another lovely and cohesive space for Hue City

It was time to stop the chat. She had to leave in order to fly in time, return to the family, to everyday work. As for me, I did not understand why my feet kept me wandering around the streets of Hue, the streets that I still pass countless times each day. Perhaps therefore, everything becomes familiar to me; the changes did not shock me as the old girlfriend had gotten…

The demolition of the park fence on the north bank of the Perfume River has been the policy initiated and implemented by Hue City since 2017. For Hue's formal and somewhat closed lifestyle, it was a very strange thing and promptly became an event that received widespread media coverage.

There were many supporters, but not a few doubted the success. However, the work still got under way. And then, everyone got a surprise.

The chilly, hard fence disappeared, suddenly "revealing" an airy, friendly and cute space for an urban area on the north bank of the Perfume River, from Truong Tien Bridge to Phu Xuan Bridge.

And according to Mr. Nguyen Van Thanh, the then Chairman of the City People's Committee, from the pilot on the north bank, the demolition of the fence spread to the south bank. Both parks and offices, even some businesses on Le Loi Street such as Silk Path Grand Hotel (formerly Green Hotel), Hue University, or Park View Hotel (Ngo Quyen Street), Nam Giao Hoai Co Restaurant (Dien Bien Phu Street) ... found it to be so reasonable and cute, so they responded. They replaced the old, hard and heavy fence system with low wall sections combined with green trees, not only creating a soft hedge but also adding charm and invitation from the businesses...

Green space on the bank of the Perfume River

Actually, when the policy of demolishing the fence was made, there were many doubts that it was voluntaristic. It was said that the fence sometimes could not provide enough protection; now how could security be ensured when the fence was broken down? Petty thefts alone were also a big headache.

But the fence, as the folk often say, "can only ‘fence’ upright people but cannot ‘fence’ malefactors". For malefactors, no matter how carefully you fence, they can break into. And for upright people, there is no need to hedge to avoid nuisance. So the city was determined to perform it, and time, though not yet long, showed it to be a very plausible idea.

I drove the car slowly along the south bank of the Perfume River. Although there remained some places in a mess due to the fountain ahead of the Provincial People's Committee and some sections of sidewalk under construction…, an expansive, intimate and poetic space came into view.

A romantic Le Loi Street, a system of parks, a walking street and a legendary deep-blue river produce a breaktakingly picturesque blend I have never met anywhere I passed. That space will be expanded as far as Nguyet Bieu, Long Tho.

Symmetrically on the north bank lies an even more wonderful space stretching from Chi Lang through Dong Ba, Truong Tien as far as Thien Mu. Said to be more wonderful because on that bank, the expansive and intimate space is also associated with Phu Van Lau Park, with Hue Flag Pole, with the sacred magic of the mossy citadel, listed as the heritage of humanity…

The fences are vanishing and so peaceful and friendly spaces are opening up. Suddenly a funny association flashes. Is Hue, my hometown, dreaming a dream of “dropped objects not picked up; doors not closed by night”? It is a dream of peace and prosperity.

It is known that it is not easy to realize that dream, but at least knowing to dream, the initial steps can be taken… And is the fact that the daily changes of the renewed city, the rise to top of the country in IT application, the powerful spread of "Green Sunday", "Saying no to disposable plastic bags", the strong and humane movement of the historic migration in the zone 1 of ​​Hue Imperial City... the confident movements and steps to make my Hue’s dream soon come true.

Story: Hien An

Photo: Hien An - Trung Phan