Sài Gòn

It’s the little things.

The water bottle holders that they give you at the store.  The street food vendors peddling spring rolls.  The raw coconut I bought and watched as a woman cut it open with a machete.  The motorcycle ride to an expat, classy-as-fuck coffeeshop.  The heat waves while walking past herds of pikipikis under a scorching sun.  The green tea ice cream. The eye contact with locals sqatting to eat their rice and chicken on the sidewalk.  The Vietnamese coffee.

My life is defined in the most minute things.  To be honest, I live for them.

I live for the way the waitress bows and holds her left hand to her elbow when giving me my food, I live for the 1oth person today trying to give me a ride on their motorcycle, I live for the hollars from construction workers as I pass by their hoard of traffic cones, I live for reminiscing with people I just met, I live for hearing the Canadian/Dutch/American/Japanese/British girls’ tales of woe in love.  For empathizing completely.  I live for connection, feeling, love, energy, change, passion, difference, challenge.  For the power and self-sufficiency that comes from walking across the city to a museum on your own, clutching a map and your leather journal, with your purse in front of you becuase, well, shit gets stolen.  For the wind in my hair as I soak up the life that is all too real for these people that I’m lucky enough to wander between and around.

Now, onto the things I’ve seen today…

The War Remnant Museum was incredibly anti-American.  As an American, I could appreciate that.  Self-awareness is the door to reality.  Did you know that 3 Americans lit themselves on fire and burned themselves to death in protest of the Vietnam War (or American War as it’s called here)?  Did you know that 1 Japanese man did the same for the same reasons?  Did you know that tons of countries from Denmark to Germany to Tanzania to Japan had protests opposing the Vietnam War in addition to the multiple that happened in the United States?  Did you know that Vietnamese born today are still suffering from birth defects due to the spraying of Agent Orange by American troops?  Well, now you do.

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