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.
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.
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.
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).
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