Saigon August 4-7

I don’t know about you but I’m never really considered the U.S. home. Even though I lived there for about 15 years and have only been back to Saigon a total of 4 months, I have always considered the early french colonial city my home.

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We used to live in district 3 but in the past couple years, I’ve migrated over to district 8 to my grandpa’s house.  I can’t remember the last time I vacationed with both my parents. As the child of divorced parents, I’ve never once wished to have them together on the same trip. That’s just lots of unnecessary  stress that I don’t want to deal with, especially not when I’m on vacation.

I’ve always had mixed feelings about this city. I spent a good quarter of my life so far here and I only have good memories of it. However recently, I’ve started to see the city for what it really is. Like most metropolis, it has its darker side. The call girls standing on the corners, walking up and down the street at 3 am. The weirdos that think it’s acceptable to follow and harass girls. Like with all things we love and hold with value, I excused the bad parts of it.

Ignoring the fact that I don’t feel safe walking alone no matter what time of day, or having a plethora amount of pockets because having a purse makes me a target for thieves. It’s stuff like this that I excused so I can have my scooter rides through the city at 1 am, when the streets are practically empty, so that I can eat my bowl of hu tieu in the morning. Clearly the city has a lot to offer, with it’s newly constructed parks and apartment complexes. With each high-rise that goes up, a little more of the French colonial styled buildings that was backdrop to my childhood memories begin to fade. With this trip, I find myself learning how to love this city that I’ve held with such high regards again, and I’m struggling. It doesn’t feel like home anymore and that scares me. Hopefully there will be a second part, we’ll have to see. In the mean time, I’ll be checking out a couple museums and cafes.

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