No Rain, No Gain

Ho Chi Minh City struck me as a city in transition. I saw little shacks and markets, but I also saw high-rises and small businesses lining the main streets. Small businesses are a standard mark of growth in an economy, and there were restaurants and craft shops that popped up everywhere I looked. There were also global companies that had store locations in the city, like McDonalds, Versace, and Louis Vuitton. The traditions of Vietnamese culture are still imminent with the help of Ben Thanh market and the post office, but even they have gotten to be quite the tourist attractions with the souvenirs available as tourism grows as an industry. The streets are a tourist attraction themselves, as the enormous amount of motorbikes compared to the amount of cars and the utter disregard for regular traffic laws was surprising and overwhelming. The country of Vietnam impressed me a lot today when it was absolutely pouring down rain because it continued like nothing was happening, while Americans would have easily pulled over their cars or gone inside until the rain subsided. My cover image shows the vast effect of the rain. At the Welcome dinner, I was prepared to be served a dish and finish almost all of it to show that I was satisfied with the meal but that it was enough food. However, the food was served in a family style, which allowed us to choose what we liked. Because we were foreigners, I believe they knew we would struggle with the chopsticks and had forks readily available to accommodate. The student’s reception ceremony was so welcoming and fun and the food was delicious today. We saw globalization first hand as the Vietnamese students sang American pop songs as we waited for language class to start. As the Vietnamese say (which I learned in language class today), Xin Chao tam biet! Goodbye!IMG_1075IMG_1047IMG_1061


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