I carried her around the narrow lanes of Hoi an, my strings strutting on the pebbled streets, peeking at the beautiful lights that shone high above me. I saw several of my kind in little boutiques, in several colors and textures, which got me envious and insecure, for I hoped my master wouldn’t replace me with yet another shining shoe, packing me in the interiors of her bag and taking away from me the opportunity to experience a city so vibrant and colorful ! To my pleasant surprise, and to the relief of her companion, she did not and therefore, hereon I spell the encounters of my shoestring…
The girls rushed in with a sense of urgency, while the boys followed suit almost unwillingly, as they entered into the world of the white and blue, of the potters, of magnificence in hidden wisdom, of rows of cups, plates, pots, lanterns and the likes!
Hoi an is a special place- it is a jewel that shines on the bank of a river casting its shadow through its sparkling lanterns; populated with beings that are hardworking, honest and simple; with food and architecture being a fusion of Vietnamese, Japanese, Chinese and European influence, making its’ spectators witness a timeless air for however long one chooses to stay here. The longer, the better!
So before I embarked on my journey to Mekong Delta, despite my months of research, I had clearly underestimated the diversity of the region and its size. From what I thought will be the centre of the Delta, our visit to Can Tho, with the much talked about Floating Market, although nice, was undoubtedly the conical hat kinda- touristy!
Our Southern sojourn started with landing at the vibrant Ho Chi Minh City, the very commercial heart of Vietnam. The city bustled with energy, colors and the Christmas spirit. The city, beyond a doubt, undresses its lanes of French colonial rule in its yellow and white colored houses, crusty baguettes and delectable desserts. The American Rule, however, unfortunately, only leaves its traces in the war museums!