It's just after 4pm on Tuesday afternoon. I'm sitting at our kitchen table, eating a crepe to tide me over from my 10am breakfast to my 9:30pm supper.
From my seat in the kitchen I hear birds chirping; I don't know if they're pets or free. Birds are the most common pet around here.
I can see the houses of over 24 families.
I see over a dozen electrical wires in front of my windows.
I see clothes hanging to dry out the neighbors' windows.
I see several awnings out for peoples' foodstands and stores out of the front of their homes in the alley.
I see a guy working at his motorbike shop, fixing someone's motorbike, and the owner watching.
I see two girls walking by, with blue jeans, sandals and long, black hair.
About two feet from me are two palm trees, right outside my window. On a higher floor in the house, when I open the window, the palm branches come inside, which, is kind of annoying. And funny. Who would ever think that I would have the issue of not being able to close the window because palm branches are in the way.
I see a young woman, pausing with her bike to text and do up her jacket. It's 77 degrees out.
I hear horns honking.
I hear safety gates in front of (everyone's) homes squeaking. I see most gates closed in front of people's row house homes.
I see bars in front of my windows, and solid cactus/thorned plants in the flower boxes outside my windows, which I believe for safety.
I see the roof of a neighbors house two houses over. It's made of corroggated tin and has several large rocks on it.
I see the three houses of my neighbors directly across the street from me. I would estimate that our front doors are less than 10 paces from each other.
I see the different color houses of my neighbors, and where the color changes, I can only guess, is where the house ownership changes from one family to the next. Yellow, white, green, light green, gree, white, pink, white, yellow, white, corral, green, light green, blue.
I see small cement builtin ramps from the paved alley into people's living room/garages, (also cement) so people can park their motorbikes inside.
I see a child riding on a motorbike with his mom. She's wearing a helmet. He's not. That's how we always see it.
I see a pet bird, in it's cage, hanging on the outside wall of a house. Perhaps that's one of the birds I'm hearing.
I see a woman sweeping the alley in front of her house, with a straw broom, through a puddle.
I see the top few floors of two hotels.
I hear a baby screaming.
I hear motorbikes driving through our alley.
I hear people speaking in Vietnamese.
I am looking out into the alley, from my two kitchen windows.