My Nam: A short piece on Vietnam by one of our team
This week on Places & Space, our Intern Yvonne Mwiza writes about her experience of the South East Asian state, Vietnam.
Xin Chao! A cabbie says to me as he helps load my luggage into his vehicle. It's 2:00p.m. on the 21st of June, 2010 and I'm at Noi Bai International airport, Hanoi, Vietnam welcomed by what I would later find out was 40 degree weather, 70% precipitation. Yes I did live through that for the next 2 and a half months and yes, it did work wonders for my tan. I could give you what would be a very compact guide based on my time there but it wouldn't even begin to do justice to the gem that is Nam.
So I'll tell you what got me up every day: the children I taught at the Children's Palace, the scores of people practicing their morning tai chi by Hoan Kiem lake, the lunch time snack of ban minh and an iced coffee, the promise of a cold beer at the Bia Hoi on Luong Ngoc Quyen after a long hard day's work, the many places I planned to visit - Halong Bay, Ho Chi Minh City, the many things I hoped to see - the water puppet theatre in Hanoi, the festival of light in Hoi An and the many things I couldn't wait to try - the famous Hue dumplings, that unforgettable fish hot pot at the blue lagoon in Hoi An.
The hustle and bustle was exhilarating; it made me feel like I was part of something bigger, something exciting and that is why it will always hold a place in my heart as 'My Nam'.