Saturday, September 10, 2011

Where in the World is Jayne (1)

I've been in Viet Nam for two weeks but have not had time to write anything because all my time on the computer has been trying to set up a group e-mail address book. Have given up on that.
Things happen in twenty years and in Viet Nam that's and understatement. Twenty years ago Ho Chi Mihn City (Saigon) was a sleepy little --not quite village--but one could say town. Today it's one big, noisy, city. The Lonely Planet guidebook gives instructions on how to cross the street. Wait for a lull in the traffic (which rarely exists)--then step out onto the street and slowly cross. Do NOT go back or dart in any direction. Just wait for the parting of the seas so you can take your next step. A good thing we had practice in this by the time we got to Nha Trang because we rented bikes and with out our introduction into pedestrian traffic etiquette we would never have survived bike transits. Stop lights create a mass start for a motor bike marathon. Only difference is they are all going on different routes so the criss-cross pattern is really interesting--especially if you're in the middle of it. Then, thrown into the mix there is always one motorbike that's going the opposite direction from the regular flow.
Twenty years ago the War Museum didn't feel so anti-American to me but today it really is. The people don't give that feeling--they say the war was a long time ago and it's over now. Of course through out their history all they have known is struggle for independence. They seem to have achieved it and are doing well. Their baby boomers are now in their twenties and if they keep up with their economic boom along with the population explosion the cities are going to be one big parking lot.
Have a lot to report but no time to do so. Tomorrow we go for a three day boat trip in Halong Bay. It's the postcard perfect scenery area in Viet Nam. It's also the first place we are going to that I haven't been. We went on a boat trip in Nha Trang where I expected it to be nice and peaceful with beautiful coral. NOT SO!! No coral and hundreds of Vietnamese along with their carnival atmosphere on each of the islands we visited. After I got over the shock of not having a peaceful snorkel I got into the Vietnamese mode and rather enjoyed the trip. If this trip follows that same scenario I will not be that tolerant.
We arrived in Hanoi yesterday morning. I spent the morning arranging trips to Halong Bay and to Sapa--a trekking place in the mountains. We were going to go to see Ho Chi Mihn's tomb--he's in a glass sarcophagai for all to see. We found that it's closed in the afternoon and on Fridays. We are here for the only 45 hour period that it's impossible to see him.
Will send more later.

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