No rest for the weary


Saigon currently is under a shield of grey. The weary, the worried put on ponchos, just to take them off. False alarm.

Oh Come Ye O Faithful blasted out from neighboring homes.

Christmas is in the air. but not for those who make a living hand-to-mouth, and there are a lot them. Maybe this year is the year they can go back home to the countryside.

At rush hour, on CMTT, I spot one blonde girl in a taxi, engulfed by thousands of bikes, inching for any empty space.

The Western lady and the common folks, both try to get somewhere. But they are worlds apart (albeit separated by only thin glass). Even American felt hemmed in on narrow streets of Paris

let alone being in this tight a spot.

It’s symbolic of today’s Vietnam. You may find I-phone 5 and I-pad here.  You can even spot a celebrity now and then. But from their standpoint, even when it moves fast, it still cannot catch up with ROW.

With rising expectation we find more crime on the street. I heard two incidents where people yell “cuop” (thieves).  Scooters chasing scooters. Not sure who was who.

But on cooler days like today, with Christmas in the air, I hope for some rest,for myself and for the weary. For those who sell lottery tickets, those peddlers, recyclers, those who wear cone hats or contact lens.

We even have a blind singer who shouts “We will we will rock you“.  May he have some rest before tonight’s show.

It’s been hot here, with almost two weeks of drought.  You can see it in people’s faces.  Just find a shade, a tree, a breeze, a fan or a A/C room.

Don’t judge (until you experience it for yourself) why people start drinking cold beer around 3PM.  Or the girls, traditionally prefer lighter skin, only go out late evening.

With low GDP, high temperature and young work force, the combination hast been far from perfect albeit promising. As a whole, Vietnam has one thing in its favor: the future. For now, the analog generation is giving way to the digital.

And it’s the latter who shall rule. First online, then off. For now, the weary keeps selling lottery tickets, sweeping the streets by hand, and even starting a fire by charcoal. Just to earn those three meals a day is hard work.  Just so the young can play games online. Can learn English. And occasionally, ride a Wet-and-Wild at nearby theme parks.

Life is good.  The population is happy.  What’s a credit card anyway? I got my change back given to me in two hands. I respect that. Keep at it. Don’t lose it.

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