Dongs, motos, and smog: Vietnam

I handled a lot of Dong in Vietnam. You cannot imagine how many ways you can insert Dong in your daily life. I should probably mention that the Vietnamese currency is Dong. 

vnd-500000-vietnamese-dongs-2

After our love affair with mostly Europe (Spain, Portugal, Bulgaria, Serbia) and the hit-it-and-quit-it tryst in Africa (Morocco), it was time to move on to South east Asia. 

Hanoi was my ‘home’ for November. I embraced the adventure of crossing the street, hopping on the backs of Uber moto, eating bun cha where President Obama ate, and drinking obscene amounts of Vietnamese coffee. 

img_0936
Uber Moto
img_0931
The Obama special bun cha

About a fortnight into the month, I had a visitor. There’s something indescribable about being in the company of someone who knew ‘the before Remote Year’ you. He and I took a trip to Ho Chi Minh city and relaxed on the beach in Vung Tau. 

img_0872
Vung Tau
img_0771
Saigon/Ho Chi Minh City

Despite these wonderful memories, I didn’t love being in Vietnam. In fact, I was more than ready to pack up when the month was over. My month was, admittedly, a perfect shit storm of circumstantial events. If you follow me on Snapchat, you were privy to the snaps of daily construction behind my building and the occasional rant about the staring. If you remember the hair touching and personal space invasion story in Serbia, it was even worse in Vietnam. To top all this, we were in Vietnam on Election Day. 

We watched the elections over avocado toast and Vietnamese coffee in a nice cafe. By the time Ohio’s results rolled in, a few of us had switched over to Hanoi or Saigon beer. Keep in mind that this was probably around 11 am on a Wednesday (Asia time zones for the win). 

img_0879
MVP: beer on Election Day

Among us, there were mixed reactions. They ranged from disbelief to indifference. As I left Puku cafe around 2pm that day, I walked outside and was met with the ever-chaotic streets of Hanoi. The Vietnamese I saw along the way were going with their life as usual. Although my world had imploded, nobody seemed to notice. 

This feeling was familiar and unsettling. I felt this way back in Lisbon when I heard about Philando Castile. 

I’ve been wrestling with this post for a while because it made me face the harsh realities of life and made me address some of them #Politics #ImWithAnybodyButTrump #PrayForAleppo  

In my daze, I wanted to scream. DON’T YOU KNOW WHAT THE FUCK JUST HAPPENED?! THIS SHIT AFFECTS ALL OF US, DAMMIT!!! 

This silent torture woke me the hell up. This is what people in Syria/Nigeria/Kenya/Afghanistan feel or felt like during their various tragedies. We were on the other side. I was in a country where people didn’t seem bothered by the new US president-elect. I still can’t believe that he’s going to be POTUS. 

I became more aware than I had ever been before. It had become too easy to ignore all the shit going on because it seemed so far away. The rest of my month was spent reading up on ways to donate to worthy causes. It’s sad that this is the extreme that it took for a lot of us to get seriously involved.  

As always, thanks for reading. I’ll leave you with a few more pictures of my time in Vietnam.

Indeed, I am

img_0818
Vung Tau stroll
img_0814
Thanksgiving meal 2016
img_0790
Google is my friend
img_0651
Street food eats
img_0625
Dragon fruit & rambutan
img_0597
I have a thing for clocks
img_0549
My models: Gor! and Clare
img_0617
A beautiful church

 

Advertisements

One Comment Add yours

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s