Vietnam. Part I.

Gene  Dove By Gene Dove, 8th Mar 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Travel>Asia>Vietnam>Hanoi & Around

To the reader a series of essays on Vietnam in an entertaining form tells us about the different aspects of this mysterious country, which no one can impose their way of life - neither Chinese nor the French nor the Americans nor Russian ... "the most impoverished country's richest men" . So in the narrow circle of foreign friends, talk about yourself Vietnamese. This country, thanks to inquisitive pen of our author, reveals we are not tourist destinations, and their secrets!

Travel

The first sensation I experienced, coming from the plane in Hanoi - I felt that the surrounding air smells!
In our everyday European life, we too sometimes feel that the air smells. Early spring, while in the city, we feel the smell coming from the trees and bushes. This is when the swell and buds. I do not know if I can you convey those of my Vietnam experience? For us, the Europeans are in Europe, if there is no smog, in principle, the smell of city air is not felt for us. There, in Vietnam, I - European, Asian constantly smell of fresh air for us thick and heavy. And it’s concerned wherever I was - whether in the city, whether in nature. Then I began to understand the fragrance of Indian and other Asian online. Thick, distinct smell of Asian spirits created to be felt around and a pronounced aroma of perfume could "kill" or add to the smell of Asian air! French Fragrances in Asia do not have the same impact on others as in Europe as in my humble opinion.
What I say below, please do not consider racist statement. Each race - Europoid, Mongoloid and Negroid - has its own smell. Naturally I'm talking about human bodies, personal hygiene. For the first time me with this fact had to face when a passenger ship that has elapsed after the sanitization of passengers Caucasians, was filled with people blacks. I say frankly. This occurs when the Soviet passenger ships cruise ended with European tourists and trial shipments of Cuban students on summer vacation from the Soviet Union in Havana. I immediately sensed a different, more unpleasant for me to smell.
Here's the thing. Each race has its own specific odor, which the representatives of this race, being in the racial uniformity, do not feel. But any race smells of another race. As a rule, the smell of someone else's race and feel unpleasant. Smell as his race is absolutely no sense. That's why the other gamma odors inherent Fragrances Asian and Negroid races. There is in contrast with cosmetics by the European cosmetic and fragrance palette of smells.
Compared with Europeans, the Vietnamese has its own school of life values and priorities. Walking at night through the streets of Vietnam's cities, I saw no shades or curtains on the windows. His life and surroundings of everyday life do not hide the Vietnamese. They carefully concealed from Europeans especially their customs and something internal that we Europeans are not always clear. I remember a vicious hatred for a moment lit up the eyes of one Vietnamese, when I said that I know about their custom double burial of deceased persons. The same eyes were at the shop-chic shoe store in Vienna (Austria), when I greeted her in Vietnamese. The first sense to me of the Vietnamese women, so beautiful and exotic saleswoman was a dislike. How could I - a European, immediately determine that it is not Austrian and Vietnamese! Second thought - how he knows, and says with such a horrible accent, some words in her native Vietnamese language?
Okay, everything is in order.
"The poor country's richest men” - both in my time in this country, they talked between themselves about their Vietnamese homeland. For all the seeming poverty of foreign population among the Vietnamese, even during the construction of socialism under the leadership of the leader of the Communist Party of Vietnam, comrade Ho Chi Minh, the country has flourished the cult of homebuilding. Sign of good taste was considered the construction of private homes. A real man and the owner consider the Vietnamese, who had at least three three-storey houses. Personal savings as Vietnamese or could not be accounted for. All earned assets kept on hand, in the recesses, not only in national but also in foreign currency. Also note that the period of hoarding comes at a time a long and exhausting war - first against the French, then the Americans.
With a store in Vienna's shop to me a little bit of luck. I really do, to some extent, have guessed her nationality. Women of Cambodia, Vietnam and China I distinguish from each other easily. But as regards the nationality of men of military age and mobilization - Cambodians, Vietnamese and Chinese, then I define them almost faultlessly.
In Vietnam, during my trips, there was quietly reined the cult of polygamy. Officially, according to the rules of social life and different religious beliefs, Vietnam (Buddhism, Shintoism, Catholicism, and others), was allowed to have only one wife. But in the house, or rather in the homes of wealthy Vietnamese lived so-called sister wives, sister-in-law, second cousin her husband and other relatives of a female, usually by age younger than his wife's owner. These women are somehow not trying to arrange his personal life by dating men outside his home husband's sister.
I recall such a case. It was in South Vietnam, in Saigon (for me this city will never be the Ho Chi Minh, Saigon is only as a memory of the heart).
In one of the weekend Saturday, finishing just a meeting with the Vietnamese in the former French hotel "Majestic", which is in the area of French-built Catholic cathedral, reminiscent of Notre Dame de Paris, I hurried to the central shopping center in Saigon. I had to buy presents for relatives of overseas trips. As usual, the young saleswomen were wary of foreigners, men, regardless of their ethnicity. By that time I already knew the rules, "the Vietnamese love." When I once again found jeans for my only son and named their price, I was told that the jeans I like, but their price is too high for me. And then I explained why I was too expensive this purchase by saying the magic words: "For me, these jeans are too expensive. I have three wives and from each of the child. I have to take the money to buy all the gifts. «My God, has happened unforgettable! Vietnamese realized that I'm rich, prudent and prolific. And most importantly - I have three wives (never mind how they are registered!) And where the three wives, there could easily be a fourth, Vietnamese. But this fourth, fifth, sixth wife, may be a saleswoman at the supermarket. Girls excitedly started to offer products for my children, but especially for women. They offered them to try to imagine with me, in the women's fitting room! I bravely kept to himself due to Madame L., Major of State Security of Vietnam, retired, who taught me this magic. (On this amazing woman I'll explain later.) Other customers besides me on this floor of the store, I thought, were no. So, feeling at the supermarket, like a Turkish sultan in a harem, I have a regal gesture, pointed to the girl standing nearby. It is not so zealously as the others, offered himself as his wife. Obviously, she knew her worth. "Who is it?" - I asked. Ladies around me sighed deeply, recognizing the superiority of this girl. "Let us not, because she, our friend, you are lucky - think saleswoman. Flops whispered excitedly: "You have good taste. Her father was a Frenchman! "
Let me at this point, I interrupt my story of the further continuation of Saturday's day off in the shopping center of Saigon.
Vietnam is located in tropical and subtropical climate. In the middle part of the country there is an area with moderately hot climates, where it grows year-round strawberries. This berry is known to be necessary and moisture, sun and heat. That's all there in the "Vietnamese Switzerland" - as locals call the area around the city of Danang (in Vietnam writing is Đà Nẵng).
Throughout the country, the climate is such that the yield of vegetables and fruits harvested three times a year. Grown a great variety of fruits and vegetables imagine, is absolutely unknown to us. And these "silly" Europeans eat only, mainly potatoes, tomatoes and cucumbers. What do the enterprising Vietnamese? In the area where a temporary home to some commonality of Europeans, Vietnamese organized natural food markets and begin to grow only specially familiar to us all the same potatoes, tomatoes, cucumbers. Thus, there was a false impression that the Vietnamese like the same vegetables that we do. In fact, the reality is far from it. They are really eating the aforementioned potatoes, tomatoes and cucumbers, but it occasionally. These vegetables are not considered, as well as all the others I have not named the European culture, especially tasty. Me, quite casually, Vietnamese Share your favorite vegetables, but I do not remember ever never seen, and nothing to you, dear readers, to call and I cannot describe.
With regard to fruits, I, as an author of travel notes, will be somewhat more informed. First of all, it should be noted that all tropical fruits contain micronutrients and does not contain vitamins. So if you are not specially prepared to travel to exotic destinations, you need to know me - always bring your pills and multivitamins ... must eat only a simple literal single dose of whiskey "Johnny Walker" before every meal. It is this kind of Scotch whiskey, thanks to the British, is the best option for tropical antiseptic since the colonization of India. In Russian it is the favorite and useful, in these quantities in the tropics of whiskey, got the name "Ivan-pedestrian”. Here I want to particularly note the categorical prohibition of Europeans on the use of the same usual amount of alcohol in the tropics, both in their homeland. I'm not familiar with the signs of Alzheimer's disease, but my friends more than a year working in the tropics, and in different countries, told me the same thing. Under the influence of constant, large quantities of alcohol received, the Europeans have been disappearing memory. But it was not completely, but surprisingly, only the keyword for the situation. For example, I want to tell you what I'm dashing and at the same time a responsible driver. Tell how to begin driving. I want to say in advance that the most important, for example, in my story, the key word is "steering wheel." So I tell the whole course of a young driver, I'll walk up to the word, clench your fingers, as if I took it, well, what's his name, well, this one round ... Of course, such people are losing their professional competence.
It should be noted that in most of the men-many Vietnamese do not drink alcoholic beverages. The only exception is beer, which is of good quality in Vietnam. Vietnamese beer is made with a slight addition of some components of rice, which only enhance the flavor of the drink. The main local rice wine called "La Moy" and home-brew named “Cocljuy”. In sales, particularly in North Vietnam, a lot of vodka with alcoholized snakes inside the statue. Such infusions are being treated for many diseases. Indeed, these tinctures have a therapeutic effect on the human body. I remember I had a cold and sick. In the evening after work I bought a bottle of rice vodka of 0, 5 liter small floating snake. I myself drank the whole bottle - a drug after all! I fished from the bottom of the bottle this stuff. After drinking 500 grams of alcohol drunk, I ate a snake, as anchovies. The next morning I was completely healthy. Only for some reason, I had a little headache. Obviously, these were residual effects of cold.
All we know palette of fruit, grows in Vietnam. There were also grown fruit unique to Southeast Asia, many of which have long been sold in our supermarkets. Naturally, the quality just torn banana or just planed a piece of sugar cane as a dinner’s desert, do not compare with the fruits from the store. Following the adoption of the basic food Vietnamese dessert eat papaya, which helps the body digest the food eaten. My colleagues, long-term residents in Vietnam, said that the constant eating a dessert of papaya ((in Vietnam writing đu đủ) has a double effect. The human body, particularly the stomach, was so accustomed to the papaya that without it already good enough cannot digest food. Therefore, the Europeans, the question of Hamlet on the papaya should put an edge - a papaya or permanently, or very occasionally, or never have, despite the amazing taste just torn out of the fruit. Of all unknown to me until Vietnam fruits give three memorable to me the fruit. It is a fruit with non-transferable with the Vietnamese language name "chum-chum." All of us are now well known and prohibited in public transport fruit "durian” and fruit in the translation from the Vietnamese called "bull's eye." I'll tell you just about fruits "Chum Chum" and "bull's eye." "Chum Chum" resembles a green rind of our chestnut with similar spines, but once more at 5-7. Skin with thorns peeled off with a "tent-tent" and we obtain a fruit of the fruit. Neither the shape nor the color of the fruit, I unfortunately do not remember. "Bull's eye" – looks like a branch of dried poppy capsules. Begin to detach from parchment and really start to see the piercing eyes looking at you a large ungulate. I am the fruit seemed a cow eye. To taste "Chum Chum" and "bull's eye" is very positive. That is the taste we absolutely do not understand. This is what - that eclecticism characteristic fruit of Southeast Asia, a mixture of strawberry, raspberry, lemon and many other flavor components.

Tags

Hanoi Ho Chi Minh Cambodians, Shintoism, Vietnamese

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author avatar Gene Dove
I'm just a poor boy, though my story's seldom told.

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