10.05.2012 38 °C
As we leave the north of Vietnam and head to the more central town of Hoi An tomorrow a few things have become more clear in my mind.
I have always been a huge believer in the power of sport but this trip has reaffirmed this fact. We were walking around Hoan Kiem lake at 5:30am and all groups of people were playing badminton around the lake and also this game that I had never seen before. It was a mix between hacky sack and badminton. Old and young alike were playing this game. The Vietnamese people were absolutely amazing at it! I was very intrigued in this game so I asked the lady at our hotel what it was called. She said it was called "Da Cau" and it was their national sport. She then offered to pick me up one of the foot shuttlecocks after her shift was over. I was blown away by her kindness. The next morning she gave me the gift and showed me how to play (I was horrible at it!) and in return I gave her a small Canadian ball as a token of my appreciation. Later on I was walking around with it on the streets and many locals pointed at the foot shuttlecock and seemed pretty excited that I was carrying it. Lots of interaction with the locals over a simple sport.
The second interesting thing we have reaffirmed on this trip is the power of language. We met a man named Hue on our overnight train to Sapa. He was born in Vietnam but now resides in Toronto. He spoke Vietnamese, English, Spanish, French, and Chinese. It was amazing to see him interact and make friendships with people all around the world simply because he could communicate with them. He also was given lots of respect from the locals as he could communicate with them in their native language. He was a great guy to meet as he helped translate Vietnamese for us throughout our train ride and Sapa treks! Makes me wish I was fluent in many languages like him!
From the insanely busy streets and amazing food of Hanoi, to squid fishing in Halong Bay, and the amazing views, people and agriculture of Sapa, it has been an amazing first 10 days of the trip. We now head south to Hoi An followed by Nha Trang. Not sure how great internet access is down that way but I will attempt to keep this blog going! Didnt bring the right cords to get pictures on the blog of the trip but there have been 100's taken so far!
Hugs to everyone!