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Published: April 27th 2020
Hoàn Kiếm Lake. "At the height of my loneliness, I've found myself doing extreme things to soothe that ache. To provide comfort. To "fit" in. To be liked. I'm slowly starting to see life as it is...Acceptance is beyond the horizon. We all try to do things, achieve accomplishments that would make us feel worthy and important. Important to ourselves. To people in our lives and to people we know nothing about. I've realized that life is not all about me. Life is not about chasing where everyone is going. On this journey, on your journey, only you know what is right for you. What may be right for others, may not be right for you. Only thru trial and error can we find out what works for us. Now my journey really begins."
Journal Entry: 02.09.2014
Hanoi is the art and cultural center of Vietnam. It is also the capital. This city exudes a laid-back vibe with cool weather and pleasant locals. If Da Lat and Saigon had a love child, it would be Hanoi. Modern architecture with a touch of colonial past. Historically, Hanoi
has been around for 1000 years. Home of numerous heroes who defend it from foreign invaders. From Ly Thai To to Hai Ba Trung. Many consider Hanoi to be a stopping city for visiting Sapa and Ha Long Bay, but it has a lot more to offer. Like any other place around the world, in order to truly explore Hanoi one must stay for more than a mere couple of days. I love Hanoi and will always remember the Water Puppet show that I saw there.
The more modern area of Hanoi.
Prior to my arrival in Hanoi I had been warned by some Southerners to take caution with Northerners (War sentiments still lingers). That didn't really alleviate the anxiety I was already feeling. My family is from central Vietnam. My grandpa fought for the South during the Vietnam War or better known as the American Aggression War in this part of the world. I can't even recount all the negative things I've heard from family members about northern Vietnam. But that could not be far from the truth. Northern Vietnamese are the kindest and one of the most polite
group of people I have ever met. I realized after talking to some locals that they were also affected by the war. A lot of northern Vietnamese had to move into mountainous regions because their cities were so heavily bombed. We were merely puppets in this war game by the superpowers. My visit to Hanoi erased a lot of fear and anger from my life. It also gave me a better understanding of my fellow countrymen. We are not that much different from one another. Hopefully, we can learn from our mistakes in deciding that war isn't an option. There are always better solutions....
Old Quarter Hanoi
I put on for my country. "Aunt Diep made me realized how blessed I am. She is the definition of a great women, so kind and humble. I'm blessed to be able to live my dreams, while others would loved to be able to have seen what I have seen. I will not take this opportunity or any other for granted. It is true that you lose appreciation for the little things after repetitively experiencing it. Hoan
Kiem Lake was awesome, but it was my aunt's dream to see it. I'm lost in this feeling of sadness...all the things I take for granted, others would die for. The life I complain about, others would be blessed to have. I will no longer compare my life to others. Nor wanting what they have, while forgetting what I'm blessed with...."
Journal Entry: 02.08.2014
Inside The Temple of Literature.
Vietnamese do not play. "If you lived to be 100, would that be a blessing or a curse? The gift of life is truly a blessing, but what happens when you are alive and unable to live? Living thru two World Wars and a civil war that tore your homeland apart is an amazing feat. To witness the shift from an oppressive colonial regime to a repressive Communist regime."
Journal Entry: 02.07.2014
Middle: Hanoi Opera House
Ly Thai To Statue Food:
Chen (Fried Porridge)
Hanoi is full of good eats. On a lightly sprinkling night I decided to give a little corner food stand a try. Locals are often found lining up the street corner on little stools with a bowl of warm Chao Chen in their hands. Chao chen is a rice porridge dish where the rice are grounded to give it a smooth pureed texture. The porridge is served with shredded dry pork and deep fried bread roll. The shredded pork gives the porridge the needed saltiness, while the fried roll gives it a crunchy texture. Amazing dish to soothe your body and mind on a cold rainy night.
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