Date: Feb 22, 2003
Subject: in case you're interested
I just got back from my first ever three day motor
bike trip. I met these two guys from Israel and they
invited me along. It proved to be exciting. I
navigated as we roared through the streets of Saigon,
and now honestly believe I can do anything. We were
the only foreigners for days. When I did see another
foreigner (one walking) I turned and stared just like
everyone els. One of the guys I was with fell in love
with this beautiful, YOUNG, Vietnamese girl. He became
obsesses and half our trip turned into a way for him
to marry her. It was all fun and games...until it
wasn't anymore. My feminist side couldn't take it when
he started talking about how he could never find a
woman that he could stay with, and how perfect she
was. I questioned whether he considered the fact that
under her beauty, their language, AND cultural
barriers there may actually be a strong minded woman.
In the end he never went back to make the final
I am now back in Saigon. Tomorrow I go to the Mekong
Delta. It is the second largest rice growing area in
the world. The first is somewhere in Thailand.
I am staying with a wonderful family. Their first son
suffers from severe effects of Agent Orange. They
secretly whisper of how the U.S is good and the North
bad. Despite 27 years of constant care for their son,
poverty stricken and recovering from the trauma of
years at war they approve of the U.S. "They bring lots
of money to Saigon."
After a week they are the first I have met with these
views. Although the Vietnamese people (in general)
seem to hold no animosity toward "America", our
country is to Vietnam what Hitler was to Germany.. Pol
pot to Cambodia.. You get the idea. We really ruined a
lot over here. More than is ever mentioned at home.
The worst part is the land is still deadly in many
areas and children are still born with indescribable
disabilities. The U.S. is definetly not seen as any
kind of hero. It is seen as a set back, murderer and
so much More. The museums are full of the horrors
inflicted upon this country because of ours. I try not
to feel to ashamed. I try to continue to look at
people when they ask me where I am from.
Compared to Cambodia, Southern Vietnam is much more
advanced and modern. It is crazy that boarders can put
such lines between people and land, but they do.
Cambodia is dry, hot, poor and way behind the times as
far as roads and any other kind of development go.
Vietnam is green, clean and they are catching up with
the rest of the world. I guess it really only appears
clean because of all the rice. Garbage still goes on
Take care dear friends!!
Ban co vui khong?