Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Vietnam 1

Last few months have been rather hectic. I was contemplating last few days were pretty busy, but then it seemed like the last few weeks were, and when I thought about it a bit more, it seemed like the last few months were hectic. I decided to stop there, because, in reality, the last few years have been pretty hectic.

Anyway, since I am not in much of a serious and methodical do-work frame of mind, I have decided to unlock the mental shackles on my fingers and just let them type away, free from the limiting biddings of my uncreative brain.

Well! I just got back from Hanoi! As you may have observed, this page is slowly moving away from putting up photographs, but I’ll try to stick in a few in my next post. I think Hanoi can be effectively summarized by the following sentence:

“It is like a slice of France mixed in with a dash of Thailand and a sprinkling of China in the heart of South East Asia.”

Those words, and that description of Vietnam, were immortalized by none other than the infamous author, Alex W. That was his pen name. Until today, no one really knows who he is or what his real name is. Such an enigma…

Vietnam is an interesting place. The Vietnamese are an interesting people. They are hardy and practical and do not waste anything, are resolute and stubbornly persistent. I think they are the only country that the United States have been unable to claim complete military victory, and 30 years down the line, the mighty United States are still licking their wounds from this war. Shameful in defeat and withdrawal, despite leaving the country filled with landmines and with the horrific victims of Agent Orange, amidst other horrors such as military chemical warfare experiments, the Vietnamese have risen and are now proudly taking their rightful place as one of the up and coming success stories of South East Asia. Their never say die attitude, resoluteness and practicality resonate in every fibre of their daily lives, as can be witnessed if one is observant enough and spends some time there.

My trip there could be summarized into 5 themes. 1 = Food. 2 = Halong Bay. 3 = Traffic. 4 = Shopping. 5 = Culture.

In my next post, I shall expound briefly on each theme.