Here is Leanna and a dancing, prancing young lady in front of the Museum and below are a few visitors at the front gate sign. The man on the far right joined me in a thumbs up as I modeled my new souvenir hat. As you tour the museum and read the history of the Vietnamese anti-colonial struggle against the French and in WW2 the war of resistance against the Japanese followed again by war against the French fascists/colonialists you begin to understand the inevitable outcome of the unification of the country with the defeat of the US in 1973 and the end of the war in 1975 when the Vietnamese completed the decolonization of their land. As Americans who had to defeat the British in the War of Independence we should have never entered Vietnam --- it was their moment to end the colonial domination of their land and we should have honored their wishes.
Blog for 3/8/2103: Well Leanna and I just had a wonderful lunch at a medium sized neighborhood restaurant with "Hugh" a friend from the University whom we invited out to lunch. Hugh picked the place after we explained that we enjoy Vietnamese food but we also let him know that if he wanted something different that was fine with us too. We had thought that we might need to hail a cab but as it turned out the cafe was only about two and a half blocks from the front gate of the campus and like so many businesses here was an open front establishment where the atmosphere is the same as sitting outside except that you are shaded by the roof. Of course to get across the major boulevard in front of the campus we had to walk through the traffic of motor bikes, cars, buses and trucks and it was exciting. Though truth be told we are getting used to the thrill which diminishes it a bit. Basically, you just start walking across the lanes of traffic with your hand up facing the on coming traffic as though you know they will stop, which they probably won't. Soon you begin to hear some beep, beeps coming at you from the traffic heading toward you but you just keep walking and the traffic schools around you like fish in a tank skirting a rock or a seaweed plant. You have to keep the faith (in humanity) till you reach the other side and not do something unpredictable like stopping because then you force the riders and drivers to attempt to figure out what you are going to do next and this is not good.
Well, we reached the restaurant, got seated, and ordered lemonade for Leanna, a Pepsi for our guest and I tried a Saigon Blue Beer and then we checked the menu which was Greek to me. After a couple of minutes they brought us their English menu and soon we settled on a shrimp hotpot and a pork plate. Well friends, I must tell you that the food at this little neighborhood establishment was delicious. First the shrimp hotpot --- they brought out a large platter of prawns that were so fresh they were moving around on the platter. Then they brought out this burner that they put on the table in front of us and quickly put a kettle of spicy stock on to boil. When it was boiling good and strong the server put the prawns in to cook and after a few minutes she added lemon grass, scallion greens and dried ginger and let the pot continue cooking with the lid on. While it cooked the server brought out a plate of vermicelli rice noodles. When the hotpot was ready we put noodles in our bowls using our sticks to grab nice bunches of the vermicelli and move them. Then we ladled the soup over our noodles, picked out prawns with our sticks and added them to our bowls and then commenced to feast on our lunch. The prawns are eaten by tearing off the outer shell (if you're Leanna and me) and then savoring the meat --- dipping it in hot sauce if you like but it is scrumptious without and it is plenty spicy from being in the hotpot. Now the soup is mouthwatering, too, and truth be told the three of us could have been well satisfied with just the hotpot and the vermicelli, though we did get a second plate of noodles from our server. But, after a while we moved on to the pork plate and had more fine treats in store including slices of roast pork, then deep fried pork feet and savory vegetables to go with the meat. We were able to walk back to the campus with big grins lighting up our faces.
Here are Leanna and Vinh hard at work and below is, well it is what it is.
Anyway, ours is a nice sized office, large actually for just three workers and their equipment. We hear there may be another guest lecturer arriving from England to work in another department, so there's plenty of room!