After a long day of travel, we finally made it to Vietnam!! We arrived around midnight on thursday night, but the streets were alive with people and MOPEDS. The moped traffic here is like nothing I’ve ever seen before. They essentially have the right of way and weave in and out of the streets with impressive ease.
One skill that we are learning to master is the art of crossing the street. Crosswalks are generally disregarded, so you have to weave through oncoming traffic to avoid oncoming traffic. We’ve had a couple close calls, but so far so good!
A great thing about Ho Chi Minh City is that its full
of life. No matter the time of day, people are always out and about. Be it zipping around on their mopeds or working the street markets, or playing sports in the park, there is never a dull (or quiet) moment.
We all know the struggle of being a broke college student, but dont worry, Vietnam has made me a millionaire!!! Okay not how we would define millionaire but if you have 50 USD youll have more than 1 million Vietnamese Dong (VND)! One of my first experiences working with VND was at the downtown market. It was a warehouse-like building packed to the gills with everything you could imagine. From the converse sneakers to traditional vietnamese lanterns, you could find anything. The most entertaining part of the shopping experience was the intense bartering. You could not walk past a stand with getting bombarded with greetings and shown at least one piece of merchandise. if you made it obvious you had your eye on something, it was game over. You were likely to be coerced into buying it. Throughout the trip, Alexis and I honed our bargaining skills and ended up getting great deals onf gifts for the fam by the end of the day.
After an action- packed day,we went to a rooftop restaurant to unwind. It had a breathtaking view of the
city ( imagine topo but like 20 stories higher and a 360 view).
Tomorrow we are traveling to our camp sites in a rural town in southern Vietnam province of Hau Giang, so we won’t have a taste of city life for a while. I’m so excited to get to the school and meet all of the kids and Vietnamese college students we’ll be working with. Wifi may be spotty so stay tuned!