The Park, the Cafe, the Free Enterprise School Lunch and two Friends


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Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City
October 24th 2009
Published: October 24th 2009
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 Video Playlist:

1: Soccer Game 7 secs
2: Girls practicing a dance 3 secs
3: Girls practicing a dance 11 secs
4: Crossing a street 24 secs
5: A little car race 8 secs
6: A game 8 secs
7: A Giant Robot? 3 secs
8: Husband and wife play together 17 secs
Tiép Vièn Hang KhôngTiép Vièn Hang KhôngTiép Vièn Hang Không

This building is where Trang and the other flight attendants gather to be taken by van to the airport for flights. A short distance from her house.
My morning walk is getting less strenuous and always interesting. If you enjoy watching people, Vietnam is a paradise. Most of the walk also alerts the senses to the beautiful surroundings. This blog is a little of what I see as I walk to the Cafe Vuon Xua.
There is a school near my house and a lot of the kids are eating breakfast on the street. No school lunch, no school breakfast, just a bunch of free enterprise street vendors providing a service to the kids going to school. The kids get a lot of variety in their lunches but the main food is Bánh mì thịt (Bread with meat) and phở (noodle soup). They also are offered a wide variety of drinks and other food. Lots of fresh fruit and fruit drinks are offered. They can also buy pop but I notice that they usually stick with the more organic and traditional drinks.
Further along on my walks I go by many beautiful parks, playgrounds and sports fields. Soccer is the Number One Sport in the world and it reigns supreme in Vietnam too. Bat mitten is a favorite of young and old alike.
Finally, I arrive at Cafe Vuon Xua. This is one of the favorite watering holes of my friend Thomas Hutchins. Tom is a very private person so I may be treading on thin ice even talking about him. He is well known in the public domain as an author, columnist, photographer, Vietnam Veteran and loves his life in HCMC. He also has a beautiful family.
I met Tom the last time I was here. I was walking down the street kind of humped over and he stopped and asked me if I was alright. I told him other than a whole lot of back pain I was in good shape. There was a guard house near for a soccer stadium and he asked them in Vietnamese if we could come in and sit down. Then the soccer players came off the field and soon got in a fist fight with the guards, a young man and women. What a scene that was. That was my introduction to Tom Hutchins. If you would like to know more about a good writer, look up his web page at:
{diary=http://www.thomas-hutchings.com/}
Meeting people is not difficult in Vietnam. It helps to belong to some International Organization like Rotary International. The most helpful organization over here for me is CouchSurfers. That is where I met my good friend Loannie from Hanoi. Mostly young people are attracted to this organization. I am one of the oldest members I know. What these young Vietnamese want out of the organization is to meet foreigners, present Vietnam in a good light, practice English and make our stay pleasant. The latest member I have met in CC is Lawrence Law from Taiwan. Lawrence actually sought me out to get my advice on how he could do something useful in the world. I told him the best way would be to join an organization like Rotary International. There, you have the experience of people who work on good will projects. He told me he would look into join Rotary when he gets back to Taiwan.
He already has a great idea on organizing traveling centered on a foldable bike. The bike will in about two steps fold up to fit in a suitcase. You travel to a place on a train, bus or plane. Once there, you unfold your bike and away you go. He has traveled the world doing this.
You can read more on Lawrence Law at:
{diary=http://www.couchsurfing.org/people/mybiketours/}
Going home I pass much the same scenery but I never get tired observing and always see something new, no matter how many times I walk this route. I wish you all could come to Vietnam and enjoy this country as much as I do.








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24th October 2009

what a experience dad. Keep putting all those interesting videos and pics!!!
25th October 2009

OCT. 25
Hi Kent, Your pictures and comments are rewarding. I am taking a return trip to Vietnam through your story. The vids make it so real, but your narrative is illuminating too. It's chilly and rainy here in Larned, but I know it is quite pleasant and beautiful there....Anita

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