Thursday, March 27, 2008

More tidbits

Alex and MyLinh are napping (and have been for about 2 1/2 hours). I have been enjoying an Amy Tan novel and The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis (a must read). I thought I would leave you with a few more tidbits before we head back to the Old Quarter this afternoon.
  • We spotted our first waterfowl today, a pair of ducks. Remember, we are on a large lake. This is a large city...and I am still puzzled by the lack of birds! Any ornithologist out there who can fill us in? We take pigeons and gulls for granted I guess, but imagine Trafalgar Square without pigeons...eerie.
  • The people have been incredible. I have never met so many warm and welcoming people in my life. We walked by another school today (a high school this time) and were mobbed again..."What is your name? How old are you? Where from?" The kids wanted photos taken with us and offered to share their snacks (mangos and spring rolls). We have been delighted again and again by the friendliness and graciousness extended towards us.
  • The chaotic elements of architecture are wonderful. On the same street you might find crumbling Chinese inspired buildings huddled against restored French Colonial villas. Squeezed between are brightly painted storefronts spilling guady wares. It is visually overwhelming and amazing.
  • There are not yards here, so the sidewalks become porches and yards...among other things. Some of the things we have seen done on the sidewalks: motorcycle riding, hair cutting, welding, cooking, butchering, eating, selling (everything from dragon fruit to watches), playing (from badminton to lotto), raising roosters (yikes), and fishing. This is a resourceful place!

The sleepy heads are now awake, so we will head out on the town. We had a great walk this morning (about 4 miles) along Westlake, and MyLinh seems to have recovered from the rich meal she so enjoyed last night! Alex just fed her yogurt, and we will look for something familiar to eat tonight as well -- pizza!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey Riann,

It would appear that the bird flu, local poaching/hunting of endangered species and pesticide uses have all contributed to the decimation of the Vietnamese bird population. At least that's what I could find in my quick search online. Also, you might not be there at the right time for some of the migratory birds...but I'm not sure of the birding season. So, I guess I can't blame Alex and his eating all their little feet for dinner for the lack of birdies in Vietnam!!

Great pictures and report. You all look like you're having some great times and wonderful moments. I'm so happy to hear that the locals are welcoming and friendly. That is a relief to me, cause Americans have been given such a bad name abroad. I'm so glad you and Alex are "our" representatives in this afar away land! Enjoy yourselves!!