Friday, September 25, 2009
Vietnam: a crazy, artsy, beautiful place!
Vietnam has been our biggest surprise yet. Saigon was an absolute trip! Its great just to sit at a corner and watch the chaos. It operates just like the "Bee Movie", chaos for us but there is complete harmony in the way people move around this city. Cars, buses, bicycles, scooters and modern day rickshaws loaded down with bamboo share the road and cross each other without hesitation, without fear. For our eyes, its shocking to see babies less than a year old held by their mamas riding side saddle behind daddy while they weave in and out of traffic. Old women with the traditional bamboo conical hats carry a bamboo stalk over their shoulders hauling huge baskets filled with fruits and vegetables. They maneuver the streets along with everyone else.
We had an amazing tour with a young guide to the Cu Chi Tunnels. We thought it could be fun for the kids to crawl through the tunnels, but what we got was a full education on V.C. war tactics and a bitter tone toward the american invaders. We learned that they were pretty industrious and quite good at surviving and thriving in their underground homes. Women and children lived down deep and helped with sewing garments, cooking and making tools. By the teenage years they were also fighting. It was an experience that turned our stomachs upside down and caused us to go searching for answers.
Now, we are in Hoi An enjoying a much lighter side of Vietnam. Hoi An is said to be the Venice of Vietnam. The buildings are heavily influenced by the French with bright ochre and yellows with the polution allowed to stain the buildings just enough to make them look cool! They are shuttered and many have french doors. The streets are lined with vendors selling beautiful handmade lantern, beautiful inexpensive clothing which they tailor on the spot, beautiful colorful scarves and some of the most beautiful art depicting the Vietnamese life.
We were amazed to see students coming out of school, a deluge of bicycles hitting the streets, everyone in uniforms.
The high school girls were all dressed in white silk long pants and had long sleeve silk tunics beautifully tailored to the body. They were all gorgeous with their perfectly straight jet black long hair. So exotic for our eyes. Picture to be posted.
We are all ready to discover more, but so far we love what we see!!