|If you know me, you know I love to travel. I tell people I will never be rich because every time I have two pennies to spare I am on a plane. My most recent trip was to Vietnam with a stop in Dubai on the way back. Vietnam was the first Asian country I had ever visited and it lived up to every expectation. With my daughter by my side, I traveled to Ho Chi Minh City, Hoi An, and Hanoi. The larger cities, Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi bustled with motorcyclists and masses of people. Crossing the street in Ho Chi Minh City is not for the faint of heart. Hoi An is a (tourist-trodden) ancient city that has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Food was everywhere, people seemed to be constantly drinking Vietnamese coffee (fantastic) and eating in markets, restaurants, and on the streets. The art work and historical sites that we were able to visit were beautiful and resonated with cultural significance. And the people. We were a bit of a novelty, first of all being black and secondly because my daughter's hair is part black and part teal which caused a stir wherever we went. But people were friendly in their curiosity and although I had to swat hands away from her hair on several occasions, it was hard to take offense to their interest.
Once a young girl, perhaps about eight-years-old came up to me and said, "Hello, my name is ..." I responded in kind. She looked at me blankly before smiling and skipping back over to her mother. I suspect that she had used up all of her English and could not understand my accent although I repeated the exact words she had said to me.
Before I left for Vietnam I had been working on a novel in my head. On my return, I felt as if something had been loosened by my travels...or perhaps it was jet lag...or indigestion. Whatever the cause, words have been flowing to the page ever since.
|View of one section of Ho Chi Minh City|
|4th century temple in 'My Son'|
|Beautiful Halong Bay|