Hoi An: the People.
So, back to Hoi An. As I mentioned in my last post, it took me a few days before I started to warm up to Hoi An, what with it being overrun by obnoxious, unwashed backpackers all wearing the same Vietnamese flag shirt (bright red with yellow star on the chest) and talking about how great, cheap, non-touristy "Lao" was, which just pissed me off. It's LAOS people, not LAO. I don't care if the people in LAOS not Lao call it "Lao." What difference does that make ? (Unless, of course, you are an obnoxious backpacker who speaks Lao. In that case, feel free to call it Lao or whatever the hell you want--I won't understand you anyway.)Seriously--do you call Germany Deutschland? Italy Italia? China Zhong Guo? No, no, and no. So why Lao? Saying Lao doesn't make you any cooler--it makes you a jackass.
But I digress. (Also, I'm sorry the non-annoying-Lao-backpackers among you--all of you, hopefully--had to read that.) Back to Hoi An. I also started to like it more after I had been there a few days and started to slow down. Unlike a lot of the cities we had been in before that, life in Hoi An seemed to move at a very slow pace. Maybe because it's insanely hot, maybe because there's not really much to do there, maybe everyone just has exceptionally poor reflexes and motor skills--who knows? Anyway, life there is slow, and once I got into the rhythm of the place, I started to enjoy myself a bit more.
And, since getting into rhythm--in this case, at least--meant a lot of sitting in roadside cafes drinking beer, coffee, water, or all three--I had a lot of time to take pictures of the people of Hoi An living their slow, slow life. Like this lady, for example:
Or this guy:
Or this guy:
Or all these guys:
Of course, not everyone slept all day. Some unfortunate souls had to work so that there was food to eat, things like that. And, as seemed to be the case in Hanoi, these unfortunate souls were almost uniformly woman. Which begs the question "What do people in Vietnam know that we don't?" Obviously, they know something we don't. Or at least, I don't. If I figure it out, I'll let you konw. Well, either that or you'll just start to notice that the blog posts are from my wife instead of me. Because, you know, blogging is such backbreaking work ...
Later in the day, I would eat one of these fish (most likely), and it was going to have been good. Or something. I'm not really sure about the future past tense. Or whatever I was talking in. I think the rules for it are laid down in a Douglass Adams book, but I can't remember which one. Or I'm not going to have been able to remember which one? Whatever.
Work work, work:
That look on the woman's face is probably because those big-ass green things by her feet are Durian Fruit. They smell really bad. Like a sewer. I've heard they don't taste much better, but I've never been able to put one--or even a part of one--close enough to my face/nose to find out ...
Of course, not all women worked all day. These woman sat around doing nothing for most of the afternoon, apparently--just like the men. They may have been trying to sell water though, I wasn't even sure. Either that or they just had a few extra bottles and tried to pawn them off on any foreigner who walked by:
This picture ... well, I just like it. No car seats in Vietnam! Or anywhere in Southeast Asia for that matter. Actually, the only thing strange about this picture is that there's only three people on the bike. Normally, you'd expect to see the mom as well. She would be riding behind the dad, so the arrangement would go mom in back, bigger kid, dad driving, smaller kid/baby on handlebars. If you think that's crazy, in Cambodia we saw bikes like this with five or six people on them ...
This picture cracks me up too, mostly because the little girl caught me and my zoom lense trying secretly to take her picture as we sat in the covered, expensive "tourist cafes" on the river and she sat across the dirt pathway (AKA the road) across the way at one of the local places:
Coming soon, even more from Hoi An!
Previously, on my vacation:
- Hoi An: the Streets.
- Hue: Zoom, Zoom.
- Hue: the River.
- Hue: the Imperial Tombs.
- Hue: the Imperial Palace.
- Hue: the Streets.
- Halong Bay: the Videos.
- Halong Bay.
- Hanoi: the Random.
- Hanoi: Water Puppets.
- Hanoi: the "Hilton."
- Hanoi: the People.
- Hanoi: Zoom, Zoom.
- Hanoi: the Streets.