Monday, December 29, 2008

The last day of HCMC....

Wow, what a day! We woke in time for breakfast and then came back to the room for a nap. We napped for about an hour before getting moving for the day. We had lunch at Pho Binh which is a noodle soup shop that was a front during the war for the Viet Cong. This is where the Viet Cong planned its attack on the US Embassy and other places during the Tet Offensive in 1968. It was not that jazzy or anything, but the pho was decent. I took a few pics and then called it a sight visited. There are a few signs in Vietnamese that might say something about the pho shop's history, but I have no idea what they said.

After lunch we got a taxi to the War Remnants Museum. It was interesting and quite depressing really. Paul noticed that things were left out of the story here and there. So the history of truths exhibit did not really tell the whole truth. The next exhibition was probably the highlight for me which was a tribute to all the journalists from many countries that died during the war. The exhibition showed many images and stories from these journalists and photographers. It was interesting to think about their lives and how many of them were freelancers here for the AP or UPI. They were putting their lives in danger for the sake of the story or the images. It was really interesting. Again, I must say that this is the highlight for me. Something I have always thought would be a cool job to work as a photographer for some big news circuit. Not sure I would want to jump in the line of fire or anything, but it would be an interesting job to be able to share life with others. I took a picture of a quote that sums it up for me. I have always wondered if it is hard to take pics of extreme tragedy or hard things in history. His words said it all for me. He felt his job was an opportunity to contribute to sharing what others are going through, not to necessarily capitalize on grief, pain or tragedy.

I was pretty sad after the museum. At the end of the exhibits there are many images on the people and kids who were affected by the chemical warfare here in Vietnam--agent orange. I know this affected both the Americans and the Vietnamese. It just makes me think there has to be a better way that putting innocent people in harm's way. They did not ask for it or volunteer to be in the center of a conflict yet they were there and suffered. Paul and I had some good conversation about war and politics on our walk to the park for coffee. After this trip, I am really not sure where I stand on many things that have to do with this subject. I don't know what I know or how I feel. I just know that right now, today, I have many questions and want to learn more about this time period and what really happened. I want to read and find out. I want to be able to come up with some explanation, if possible. I am not sure that I can or will come to that place, but I do know that the history of this war, regardless of what story you hear, makes me sad and reflective.

We had coffee in the park before it began to thunder and get really gray. We decided to needed to head to the hotel and get an umbrella. Halfway there, the sky opened up and the rain came down. Thankfully we were near some covering where we waited for a bit. Then we somehow managed to wave down a taxi and get back to the hotel. So fun! We had two more stops to make before being finished with errands. The first stop is this cool shop with art work and all sorts of goodies. I got a fresh, new t-shirt to wear home tomorrow. All of the ones I have are not so fresh anymore. :) Then we got some dinner at the gourmet grocery good. The sandwiches are AMAZING!!! I could get used to having them more often for sure. After dinner, I went to the Dong Du Salon about the Qing bar for a manicure, pedicure and 70 minutes foot massage. It literally was the best part of HCMC for me. I left the place feeling so relaxed. Wonderful!!! Paul had gone to Gloria Jean's Coffee around the corner to play DS and sip the good stuff. My total bill for my treatments were $22. It was great!!!

We had evening beverages at a little place across the street called Mojo before making our way back to the hotel for the evening. We have to pack and sort ourselves out for the return trip to Seoul tomorrow afternoon. So fun!!! We heart Saigon!!!

Here is a website that honors some of the work of the photojournalists that were killed in Indochina.....

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This blog was very good. It really does make you think about the things that happened over there.
Have a safe trip home
Love Diana (mom)