by Kalie Hanson
Vietnam is HOT!! I think out of everything the heat is the most overwhelming. I was expecting it to be hot and humid but this country exceeds my expectations. Along with the heat the language barrier is a struggle. It is harder than it looks trying to bargain with someone who doesn’t speak any English, but when it comes to water, at this point, I’ll pay anything.
It amazes me on how many people ride motor bikes. I knew from the Top Gear episode that the main way of transportation was motor bikes but it still shocks me. It was super scary the first day learning how to cross the street without getting hit but now it’s not so bad. After riding the bikes today, I have a better perspective and I feel a little more comfortable dealing with people on bikes; just look at them in the eye and you will be ok. The only people you have to watch out for are the people in the cars because they don’t stop for anyone.
I have tried some interesting food so far on this trip and after tonight I don’t think any food will surprise me. Tonight, Jim Bryan took us to a restaurant where we all tried snake, pigeon, dog, and frog. All the food was great but the snake was the best. The flavor was amazing. The dog and pigeon was a little tough but not bad. I am surprised that the menu actually advertised dog and pigeon; honestly I’m just glad Jim Bryan didn’t order the pig ovaries. That is one dish I will not eat. I am proud of myself for being adventurous in my eating but I don’t plan on eating that type of a meal anytime soon.
The landscaping has been the best part of Vietnam; in my opinion. I have really enjoyed just driving around the cities and countryside. The cities are crazy busy with everyone on their motor bikes and venders trying to sell their goods. The people sell anything and everything here and they don’t like to back down when trying to convince you to buy. When we drive out if the city is when I got to see the rice fields. I have also seen many water buffalo, which was a first, and it almost seems like they are just roaming around with no boundaries. That is on think I have notices in Vietnam, there are not many fences. I also love the mountains here. They are so pretty with all the greenery. I really enjoyed the bike ride and looking at all the mountains and listening to all the cicada bugs that inhabited them; they were so loud.
So far I have really enjoyed Vietnam, but it has only been two days. I’m sure the rest of the trip will be great but the overnight stay in the home will be interesting. I just hope I will not have to use a Vietnam “bathroom” on this trip. Fingers crossed.