Sitting on the back of a motorbike driven by a Vietnamese called Han I have discovered today the real Vietnam.
The motorbike trip itself has been an experience. I felt very safe but I would not dare to drive myself here. As soon as I will get access to a video editing software I will cut some minutes so you can see how is it.
Once we left the city we went to the outskirts passing through rice fields, the most common product farmers plant here, and got into the jungle, crossing small poor villages and visiting one of the local markets in one of the villages, where I took the picture featured in this post. When you are crossing those bamboo and banana trees you can have a feeling of how war should have been here.
In this market obviously nobody was speaking English, but somehow I managed to have some conversation with three women, who kindly offered me some fruit or vegetable (I am still not very sure what was it) dipped in an extremely hot sauce. I should have said no to the offer when I saw the face of one of them while eating it, but couldn’t resist. And they laughed and laughed when they saw my face and gestures once I ate it. In the market they were selling lots of vegetables and fruits, and dead and alive animals. In the picture I caught some of the fish they sell, together with frogs and water snakes.
After that I went to visit Tu Duc Tomb, where the last emperor of Vietnam rests. He is considered by most of Vietnamese the man who ‘lost’ Vietnam to the French.
By motorbike I went to a Buddhist temple to have lunch with the monks. It was obviously a vegetarian one and everything was delicious. They prepared some home-made tofu and the location was breathtaking.
Then again in the city I went to my first pagoda, Thien Mu, where I got to know more about Buddhism and listened for first time how the monks play the gong and the deepness of its sound.
I had today a taste of what is really life here, with $200 salaries. But, as I was explained today, they consider their life as a stick of incense: the part you can burn is the money, so you can burn it for a while but at some point it will turn off. But when money/incense is gone, there is the bamboo stick, the luck to be happy, and that lasts forever.