We arrived in Saigon late on Saturday: hot and humid, crowded at the airport, but soon we were making our way through this astonishing city. Signs everywhere of the destruction of long ago, but so hauntingly beautiful in so many ways — a palace here, a post office there — but most amazing of all to me are the people themselves on their motorbikes, mothers and fathers with their babies sandwiched between them.
And they carry all sorts of things with them: so far we’ve seen a man with a plate glass window, another carrying a massive amount of noodles, and a woman carting a tree. Families pile up their belonging and each other, and children under the age of six aren’t required to wear helmets. The really little ones are sometimes asleep. And most people wear masks because of the smog here.
In the market, women grabbed us by the arm and tried to sell us their wares. But there is another, more feminine side to women here, especially those who wear the traditional dresses that we see everywhere.
Even the nuns are beautiful here. And the children — more on them in a separate post. Meanwhile, we visited a pagoda yesterday, and the Post Office, and the Reunification Palace, and the War Museum which was powerful and terrible and sad. At night we walked to the waterfront, had dinner on the roof of a hotel with the most amazing food: a feast, including wine, and all for about $42 US.