My politics paper is done, my history paper is done, Saturday Feb. 25 we leave for our trip to Ha Noi. I have to say; forty years ago Ha Noi was not a place I ever thought I would visit. We will stop for overnights along the way in Hue, Dong Hoi, Vinh, and Ha Long Bay. If you google Ha Long Bay you will see that it is a major vacation area and tourist destination. Bernie and will get to witness the beauty of the place first hand. Y'all will have to settle for pictures unless for your next vacation.......you know the rest.
My assimilation into this culture must be complete. I came here with a mindset of experiencing the culture as it is and not attempting to bend it to what I want, even in small ways. The one exception is I have to ask for a chair in places where they sit on the floor. The arthritis in my hip just will not tolerate long periods of sitting on the floor. Other than that I take things as they are with as little fuss as possible. I have observed Bernie's experience here as very different from mine. She is right out there without being self-conscious regardless of the language barrier. I am much more reserved. Maybe because at one time I was here under very different circumstances and I am grateful to be invited to come back. Bernie's visit reminds me that although I did not experience culture shock coming here I have to be aware of it when I go home.
Bernie brought 2 boxes of American brownie mix with her from home. Tuesday's English class got to enjoy brownies...the topic of discussion was food. I learned that Vietnamese people eat EVERY part of the pig. The class was reminded of how much they love chocolate. Food is important in Vietnam and much of how the people interact has food at its center.
Tonight our discussion will be about "Work Life" so those of us who have experience will get to share that with those who are sill students. It is my understanding that parents here do not want their students to have a part time job because it might detract from good grades. A different cultural way of being.
Well it is time for my nap. If you make arrangements right now I can meet you in Ha Long Bay because... next vacation visit beautiful Viet Nam
Chao tam biet