Yuvia's Travel Email

Date: March 15th
Subject: Balance

Xin Chao (when saying hello to a group),
Vietnam has at least seven different ways of saying
hello. It is something different based on your age and
your sex. The categories are broken down into younger,
same, older and oldest. Plus each is different
depending on if you are male or female. Basically it
is a nightmare. I can never tell how old Asian people
are anyway. Every time I say hello is a gamble. I am
just glad it is here where people don't have such
heart felt issues with aging. The only ones I say with
any sort of confidence are the babies and the
toothless, gray haired, hunched over elders.
So, I learned quite a bit from my Vietnamese friend
who I took a trip with. Everything comes back to one
of the fundamental necessities of life. Balance. He
(An) loves America, believes they were doing the right
thing to be here. It is only because the north won
that they show America as such a horrible monster.
I think is is possible that the truth lies somewhere
in between.
There also must be balance when traveling here.
Travelers in Vietnam are very divided (kind of like
the country). Some people love it and some people hate
it. I was loving it...Then a lot of my friends were
hating it and I was seeing much more of the negative.
The Asian people are very in tune. If you are positive
and happy, they will treat you with love and respect.
The tiniest bit of attitude turns everything around.
It is amazing the attitude they are capable of
throwing back. I much prefer to stay on the positive
The other day I was walking on a completely abandoned
beach. The only other life was a huge elephant walking
toward me.(okay, so there was some people on it, but
they didn't really count.) We started off quite far a
way and did not cross paths for a good 45 minutes. The
entire time I was thrilled and filled with some sort
of awe struck joy.
It was so special to me that the entire time the
elephant was completely aware of my existence, and I
hers. I felt like we shared something. When we finally
crossed paths she only looked at me for the passing
moment(I wanted us to hug or something?)...She was so
big. I could not take my eyes off of her.
I followed her footprints in the sad. They were huge
and set perfectly apart.
Looking out over the long cost line of Vietnam, on
untouched white sand beaches it was just one of those
moments where you must stop and say Wow, I cant
believe I am here now, experiencing this.
Tonight I take a 16 hour bus ride to Hanoi. I am one
day delayed because of a passport screw up..Everything
is okay and I got to watch CNN while I waited.
I think I am going to suffer some definite culture
shock when I get home.. Just the news alone blew me
away. I could not believe or take serious what I
seeing. We are talking about an insane war that is
going to kill many, destroy...who even knows what.
Divide the world even more than it already is, plus
everything that I am so uneducated about I have no
right to even pretend..
But, suddenly it is all about some "road map to peace"
False documents, nervous world leaders trying to smile
with confidence, and Bush being, well, Bush..
Unbelievable! As bad as it sounds all I could do was
laugh. Looking at it from this world, it seemed so
unreal. So...out of balance.
Anyway, thanks for reading this.
It is nice to talk to people who despite everything
know that there is good in our country. The world is
cruel, it gets tiring.
Good luck to you, may peace rise from all of us.
love yuvia
© Hudson Cress, 2003. All rights reserved.
Disclaimer: All events and people are part of the elaborate fiction that is my private reality. Any resemblence to actual people or events is purely coincidental.