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Dalama Adventures Tale of two corporate types ditching their jobs and traveling the world for 14 months... check out all photos, blogs & interesting tid bits at http://www.dalama.net

Hanging with the Locals

VIETNAM | Wednesday, 18 July 2007 | Views [1012]

The Peace Cafe is the hip spot in Dalat to socialize with the locals.  it's also a main meeting point for the Easy Riders.  We sped hours at the cafe over many beers, learning about how these Southern Vietnamese guys feel about the war, and how they feel about Americans.  We learn about the years they spent in "reeducation camps" and how difficult their life had been.  But with tourism, it has all changed, and they're embraced the opportunity to spend every working day with tourists, excited to share their stories and learn about life outside Vietnam.  The young adults we meet teach us about social life, customs, dating, weddings and married life.  One actually asked me if I take “other men.”  He said that it’s common, once married, to get bored and for men to see other women on the side.  He asked me what I would do if Darrin “took another woman.”  I told him I wouldn’t be so forgiving at he makes the Vietnamese women out to be.  He doesn’t understand why I would have a problem with infidelity.  Just a cultural difference...

A common occurrence for us is being flagged down or even directly approached by young adult Vietnamese.  At first we think they're looking to sell us something, or want us to eat at their restaurant.  What we've discovered are that these people want to walk and talk with us.  Its an opportunity for them to practice their English, and to learn more about our thoughts and impressions of their country, and to share with us their hopes and dreams.  They light up when we talk about travel and places that they'd love to go.  We have found the Vietnamese people to be so kind, curious and warm hearted.

We walk down the streets saying "sin chow" to everyone we see, and it causes a shy glance from an on-looker to break out in an ear-to-ear smiles and big, glistening eyes.  We chuckle to ourselves thinking about how we'd respond if some foreigners were walking down the street of our neighborhood in San Diego, saying hello to everyone in sight.  We'd probably think the person was on drugs.  Here, we're met with nothing but curiosity, enthusiasm, nervous giggles, and the inquisitive conversation.  It's the local people here that are making our experience so incredible, and making us fall in love with Vietnam.

Tags: People

 

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