Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Vietnamese Contradictions - the contradictory treatment of foreign tourists Part II

I’ve told you the story about the tour guide in HCMC who accused me being a communist from Dresden because I call Ho Chi Minh City by its given name.

Well, in Hoi An I heard a very different story:
I went with a small group to the ruins of My Son, guided by a very sweet young tour guide. Very fit, very smart kid, great command of English.
Since private Ryan and his fellow occupiers thought it a good idea to also destroy part of the ancient temples we were looking at, the topic of the war came up and the smart kid told us about his father who fought in the war. Not only did that man fight with the Viet Nam National Liberation Front (also known as Viet Cong), he also lost his six (six!) brothers in the war.
So from then on he has hated Americans. All Americans.
But since he cannot distinguish Americans from other Caucasians, he simply hates white people. All white people.

I'm sorry for the guide's father who lost six brothers and still couldn't prevent cultural occupation: First American fastfood chains are here to infest Viet Nam. 

„If he knew what I’m doing for a living, that I am working with foreign tourists, he would kill me“, laughed the smart kid. „He knows that I’m a tour guide, but he believes I’m working exclusively with Vietnamese people.“

Once he took some Dutch friends to his fathers house. The father obviously freaked out and swore at them. The smart kid allowed to get a great deal of what the man said lost in translation – and modified the rest to „My father welcomes you to Viet Nam; and now we have to go“.
I told you he’s a smart kid.

Monument in the Hàng Đậu flower garden honoring the Vietnamese freedom fighters.

Yes, these stories are funny. But I ask myself how people who feel that strongly about this topic – and I presume that these two are not Viet Nam’s most extremist but probably represent the average population - manage to live side by side without going for each other's throats. Is it the aftermath of the war trauma? Is it the Buddhism? Do these people live and hate each other side by side as neighbors, or does the old division between the North and the South still exist so that they can hate each other from far?
I’m really curious.

Wanna read a precis on Viet Nam's recent history? I added it to my travel infos.

To get the complete travel info on Viet Nam just click here.

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