what is it good for

We took the bus downtown exporing again. 1st stop was food. We ate at a “everything bun” restaurant. Dry bun noodle, soup bun noodles, etc. Then we walked past a Palace and stopped in the park across the street and got a map lesson from a taxi driver. We then walked up to the “War Museum”. Almost every big building we walked past had helicopters or tanks in the front lawn so we were’nt sure how different the museum would be. We saw a couple taking wedding photos on the way which was cool.
People are selling you everything in front-books, tours, rides on motorbike, taxi, candy, etc and are very persistent. 1st you see tanks to the right and air force planes/jets to the left. Inside we followed wall upon wall of enlarged horrifying pictures with small written descriptions if you cared to look down away and read, which most people didn’t. It was full of visual shock value. Multitude of pictures of dead, deformed, or dying Vietnamese people. American guns. Americans torturing. American bombs, weapons, masks, uniforms, mines, medals, even a soldiers chap-stick. It was very anti imperial monster america. Almost intimidating. Behind guns was a painting of dead Vietnamese bodies. I can only imagine what visitors who can’t read English or Vietnamese think after their very educational viewing of the museum. I was hoping to see a different perspective and more information but it was a lot of scare tactic and visual stimuli with no information or explanation unfortunately.
After travel and walking a salon was calling out my name. Spa Siam, where a mani/peti was a lay down hour and a half affair including shoulder and neck massage and a warm eye mask, nail care, toes painted. A very relaxing and luckily my feet no longer look like I have traveled roughly 🙂 I will definitely be revisiting for a massage and another amazing experience. I won’t tell you how “expensive” it was because you’d all be so jealous 🙂

That was a very nice end to the day but the entertainment came on the bus. It’s always public transportation that has the most awkward, funny, bizarre, rude, confusing situations for me and a busy night ride home from downtown is no different. I sat on the seat near the door and the ticket taker began by handing me my change bill by bill confusing the hell out of me. Then more and more people crowded on staring at me. He was essentially sitting on my arm, all up in my space. I don’t know if you know what I mean when I say I know they are talking about me even if I don’t know what they are saying, but I could tell. I also felt eyes on me from all angles. I didn’t have something in my teeth or toilet paper on my shoe-I’m just a spectacle as I am.

The oddest part of the ride wasn’t when a little boy asked if I knew where I was and I answered China to confuse him-he laughed. He also told me I could go home with the ticket taker if I was lost. What a relief right? NOT. I wasn’t lost I assured him. For me it was when a deformed man who literally looked like he came out of one of the pictures at the museum was helped onto the bus. As I moved my foot for him to walk, drool gushed from his mouth and splattered where my foot would have been. Hunched and skinny like bamboo for legs he sat right next to me. RIGHT next to me as in his back hump was resting on my and his hand was against my leg. I sat a good foot and a half taller than him and he sat there wiping drool and sweat. All I could think about was the museum and how easily he would have fit in a picture. He is not the only person fallen to deformity I have seen. Some are exploited for begging like all other big cities. Some people are selling anything and everything. Some are just going about their days. It was a moment of reflection and gratefulness for what I have and my ability. A sobering end to an entertaining ride and a long day.

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