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My trip to Vietnam

Thursday, March 13, 2014

I am taking risperidone to control my schizophrenia but still have a few problems (like to stay in my comfort zone) and am not much of an outgoing type of an individual. I did get up the courage to take a trip to Vietnam last month so my wife could try to find some of her family, but her family had relocated after the war and could not be located. It was an enjoyable trip anyway. I found the people there polite and friendly.

Viet Nam has many beautiful tourist sights some of which could match the beauty of Luray Caverns and Niagura Falls. We also visited some of the local trades such as a silk factory, rubber and coffee plantations, and a flower farm in Da Lat, a mountain plateau city known for its many water falls and a 365 day year growing season with temperatures staying in the 60's and 70's. We also visited a school campus in Hanoi which still has buildings that were built before the discovery of America. Unfortunately, Vietnam has a poor class that lives in tin shacks on the banks of the Saigon River in what is now Ho Chi Minh city. Luckily there is no harsh winter in Viet Nam.

Most Vietnamese travel by motor bike and the drivers of the cars and larger vehicles have to be careful to avoid hitting a motorcycle for they cut in and out of lanes, even drive on sidewalks and in opposite direction to the flow of most traffic. It is remarkable what can be carried on a motorbike; the Vietnamese are very apt at constructing frames of bamboo to fit on a motorcycle to hold all sorts of goods, some goods piled up to 5 feet high. Also, I saw many drivers balancing goods with one hand while driving with the other. I even saw a driver carrying a 12 foot extension ladder on a motor bike.

There are generally no traffic signals or speed limit signs in Vietnam. To cross a road, pedestrians have to watched for a break in traffic where there are a majority of motorcycles in the road as they will swerve right or left to avoid you while you move across the road. The most memorable difference between traffic signs in America and Vietnam are intersections where there are 6 lanes of traffic and the signs indicate that the two left lanes in each direction may either turn left or continue straight. I would never attempt to drive in Vietnam for you have to watch for each other, be patient and have an uncanny feel for what the other drivers, bicycles or pedestrians are attempting to do.

Ready to resume a steady course of diet and exercise to maintain my weight and fitness.
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