Good morning (and goodbye) Vietnam

21 07 2011

It’s Thursday morning here in HCMC and I’m all packed up, ready to head home. Claude Debussy’s Clair de Lune is on repeat; it reminds me of the end of Ocean’s Eleven when all the hard work is over with, and all of Danny Ocean’s eleven is admiring the beautifully lit up fountain outside of the Mirage Bellagio hotel on the Las Vegas strip.

Yesterday, I visited my paternal grandparent’s old house to pay my respects since I couldn’t make it out to their mausoleums. Several of my uncles and aunts who were in town also visited with me. I didn’t realize it until it happened, but my trip didn’t feel complete until I stepped into that house (one that I’ve stayed at every visit until now), lit some incense for my grandparents, and then spent some time eating fresh fruit with any relatives who were able to make it. It’s only fitting that that was storybook ending to my trip, the denouement to an improbable sixteen days of adventure.

My breakfast waits for me downstairs: it’s another special home cooked vietnamese specialty: Hu Tieu Nam Vang. I’ve eaten like a king all week, and my stomach’s kingdom size has increased its land considerably. The neighborhood is bustling around me, carrying on with its daily cacophony of sounds. Hammering, dog barking, people on the telephone, children in the street playing, someone’s tv turned up way too loud… just another typical Thursday morning here in District 1.

I have so much more to share about the tail end of my trip that I didn’t not get to write about. Those stories (along with the remaining pictures) will have to wait until I get back. I’m glad to be going home, but it’s been another amazing trip. Maybe not a once-in-a-lifer like my previous trip where I buried my grandma, but it’s a trip for everyone who yearns to understand humanity as one, global entity. All it takes is an open mind, the ability to set your reservations aside, and a whole lot of humidity.

Goodbye Vietnam. Hen gap lai sao.

-JL

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One response

22 07 2011
Jillian

Bellagio! not mirage! =P

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