23 June 2013

LOOKING BACK: Vietnam 2012

I didn't know what to expect when I was going to Vietnam besides those triangular hats and rice paddy fields.  You can imagine my surprise when I arrived at the airport in Hanoi, when I was bombarded by insane taxi drivers all aggressively in my face wanting a fare.  I ended up sharing a cab with a guy I met on the plane who had initially negotiated our fare for the cab, but when the cab was dropping him off, it seems the fare switched on us that it was double the price for the two of us.  So, the situation became a bit hairy and let's just say that he threatened to call the police on us.  And that was just the beginning of the insanity that is Vietnam.  My time there would be filled with plenty of other aggressive locals in my face trying to sell me some thing. Days would be filled, literally filled with thousands of motorcycles crowding the streets while I played my own real-life version of the video game Frogger.

Most people who walk away from Vietnam will say that it's crazy, the people agressive, they sound like they're yelling at you, and it's just... well, different.  It's not anything like the rest of SE Asia and it's definitely not for everyone and that's ok.  I was blown away by how gorgeous Vietnam is, how a society was able to rebound and rebuild itself after a devastating war that was merely a few decades ago, and how incredible the food is all over the country... ok, and how cheap the beer is.  You know a country is on to something when the beer is cheaper than bottled water!

I went for three weeks and stayed for six.  It got a hold of me and then I was the one that didn't want to let go in the end.  I traveled with some incredible people there many of whom I still keep in touch with, have seen since, and will see again.  I even lost a friend there.  But just as life and the Vietnamese do, we move forward, rebuild, and remember those who were in our life for even the briefest of moments.


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