June 14, 2006
Vietnam is a beautiful country. Hanoi is still unsoiled by the weeds of capitalism. Although the trend is heading towards that end. A couple of years ago one would not have seen people dressed in spaghetti straps, and today girls skip across the streets parading their newfound modern gear, mostly due to imitations from foreign products. In the name of economic development, surely the country will lose its quaint romanticity that still lurks around Hanoi.
One observation is that the people look very much to Russia and Korea. Their newspapers quote Russia's paper headlines, and is much skewed in their direction. There are little symbols that speak of their disregard for the American government, no surprises there. Their products are Korean – buses are Hyundai, and televisions are LG.
The people still wear little fishermen triangular brown hats all around, balancing their baskets of vegetables and meat on their shoulders to sell in the city. What is intriguing is the way they set up stalls on the sidewalk, any and everywhere they find a little spot to plonk themselves down upon.
Most amusing to me was the way in which their cars honk. Horns in Vietnam don't mean anything more than "I'm passing through. Watch out". So much so that hardly three seconds can pass without me NOT hearing a horn in the distance.
The Viets are hardworking people. This will be their road to success. While foreign direct investment slowly gets sucked away from Malaysia, no answers as to where it will be flowing towards next. In the next twenty years, where Malaysia loses out, Vietnam will gain. They have honest hearts, a national pride and identity, a hardworking people, beautiful country. With the combination of work and sincerity at advancing, the sky's the limit for them.
It's so easy to fall in love. With the country, that is.