Dakao vs Dalat


Both have open air market. Both got some body of water that defines the city.

But that’s about it. 6 hours apart, they might as well be worlds apart.

Dakao, even without the street construction, can test your patience.

Dalat, even with a new bridge construction, can afford its  lake water drained for months . People here are patient.

Dalat fresh produce, from ground to table, is a given.

In Dakao, you have to get these from an A/Ced hypermarket.

Ironically, as one city starts its third shift, the other goes to bed.

Dalat has red dirt and misty weather. Dakao on the other hand is always noisy, dusty and hot.

Yet more and more people are pouring into District 1.

Must be the opportunities.  Yahoo has a piece about more Viet Kieu are coming back to open restaurants, coffee shops or to make movies. These are cosmopolitan Viet Kieu, at least, more of risk taker than Dalat tourists.

In the US, we have model minorities stereotypes e.g. Philippino nurses, Vietnamese dentists, Chinese herbalists, Indian engineers etc… To defy this “box”, young Vietnamese Americans are breaking out to run for offices, to receive Math award, to author a novel or self-help book (Impressive Impression for instance) and to be a lector at Yale. And like their Chinese American counterparts, a new wave of returnees are opening up off-shored centers, or just to test the waters.

In my opinion, they are coming back to “Dakao-like” opportunities, but they long for “Dalat-like” experience. One is dynamic, the other unassuming.

The head analyzes carefully, the heart whispers carelessly.

And to complete the circle , Dalat produces fresh vegetables for Dakao consumption.

The manure that brought forth produce out of red dirt become the supply for vendors selling on cement sidewalks.

City folks or country folks, both bleed red and often are too busy to read.

I read more in Dalat than in Dakao, where the sound of people toasting each other for health proves to be the only local distraction. Yet even amidst Tet celebration in Dalat, completely furnished with gay troop peddling lotto game, Dalat still proves to be an attraction, away from a Dakao of distraction.

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