It’s day four, and I still can’t wrap my head around that we’re actually here.
Today, after a traditional Vietnamese fashion show and another language session filled with counting, we made an unexpected visit to McDonald’s – a surprise especially pleasant to Kate, who cried tears of joy on the bus. It was interesting to observe the perception of McDonald’s that the Vietnamese people hold in contrast to that of ours; our friends explained to us that this fast-food-staple serves as a rare treat, rather than a frequent stop.
After eating our Big Macs and meals, we headed up the street to VinaCapital, met once again with a surprise – we would not be hearing from any of their representatives. We didn’t skip a beat, though. We simply moved our schedule around while Bryan worked to plan a new meeting time. Not only is Bryan incredibly effective and optimistic in the face of adversity, but he is also grading this blog post (Hi Bryan!). Instead, we went on our visit to the War Remnants Museum prematurely.
It is incredibly difficult to put into words what we all felt while looking at the war exhibits. Though we have heard the history countless times, and are arguably desensitized to the violent scenes that are all too common in our lifetimes, we were all entirely silent for the visit and the time following. It speaks unimaginable volumes of the Vietnamese people that they are able to forgive and think favorably of Americans.
After the museum visit, Peter, Blaise and I walked all around Ho Chi Minh – reflecting the whole time. We saw the City Hall at night, went to the outlook on the 49th floor of the financial tower, and tried some incredible Vietnamese street-food. As this is my first time leaving the country, tonight offered exactly the cultural exposure that I was hoping to find. And I only have more to look forward to!