I am back home now, but have much more of my trip to Vietnam to share – that trip will probably be the topic of several posts to come. In case you might wonder, the “we” used in my posts is not the royal “we”, but referring to Gep, Kat and myself.
Although the official name of the city is now Ho Chi Minh City, we learned while we were there that the residents of Vietnam still refer to it as Saigon, which is a much less cumbersome name and so is what I shall use from now on. In my generation, Vietnam still conjures up thoughts of the conflict that took place there from sometime in the 1950s into the mid 1970s – the name change of Saigon to Ho Chi Minh City makes me question what was accomplished during that conflict. Were all those lives lost, all the grief suffered by the people of the country and our returning soldiers – grief that carried on for many for the rest of their lives – in vain?
There appears to be quite a lot of poverty and we suspect the hygiene is not always the very best based on the amount of trash on the streets and the innards of some of the businesses, but the people survive and earn their livings as best they can.
The motor scooter appears to be the most prevalent method of transportation
and we learned that if you wish to cross a street, you must take advantage of whatever gap you can find and go, go as if you own the world. They will swerve to avoid you. We did not find street crossings with signals of any kind.
In the streets, vendors pop up in unusual places, with many kinds of offerings. For instance, dinner?
The day after I arrived, while we waited for Gep to fly in, Kat and I wandered the streets. There is much contrast from one area to another, from very “lower” or “middle” class neighborhoods
where we came upon this group of people and asked if we could take their picture
and they asked Kat to join them
to the more affluent areas.
There is more to show about the streets of Saigon, but I think it’s time to take a break. This is “enough” for now, don’t you think?