Friday, July 30, 2010

homeward bound

Gate outside a cafe that serves delicious fruit shakes, Hanoi

Pho, Hanoi

My Pho is gone

sometimes travel bring things into focus, sometimes it complicates things. this trip has done a bit of both for me, in a variety of ways.

we're coming home soon and things will be different. in some ways i'm really looking forward to returning, but in other ways i'm really sad because many things will not be the same as before we both set out on this adventure together.

packing up, putting memories away, and picking things up -- just not where they left off.

i look forward to seeing many of you soon, and i know that some things will have stayed the same. for that i am grateful.

i think this will be my last post and i thank you for reading. i hope you've enjoyed the stories and photos.

much love,

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Ho Chi Minh Museum

okaaaaaaay! i visited the ho chi minh museum today... and i'm kind of lost about what to say about it. i have no photographs because for one i forgot my camera battery charging in the wall at our old guesthouse (but luckily they still had it and they're just a step away from where we are staying now). but even if i had my camera it didn't seem like any photographs of the exhibits were allowed (i can't even find any online). which is unfortunate because the museum is exceptionally modern and extraordinarily artsy.

the first floor is a pretty straightforward exhibit, showing how 'uncle ho' has shaped current vietnam, and also includes some old artifacts and books, along with modern day photos showing how the country has progressed.

the second floor is where things get funky. it's basically a piece of art that you walk through... sort of maze-like and difficult to explain or understand. there are lot's of historical facts embedded in what i can only describe as a historical art installment. most of it is really quite beautiful although i don't think i totally got the point of all of it. much of it was war-related (like recreations of cave bunkers and conference rooms, etc.) but what stood out to me the most were the recreations of Picasso-like illustrations expressing anti-fascist messages. and probably my favourite part was a larger than life display of fruit on a table with off-kilter chairs surrounding it, framed by photos of the natural world. the basic message there was that uncle ho wanted his children to enjoy the beauty and peace of nature rather than cultivate war. a good vision for the future. anyhow, it was a confusing museum but also extremely quirky and fun, despite its serious nature.

xo Hil