Outsiders: The view from the minivan
In Lang Co for every luxury resort, there are at least four or five derelict houses and shacks made from sheet metal. On the few journeys where we left the hotel to go to Hoi An or Hue, we would have a clean, private, air-conditioned bus. Between the resort and the cities themselves we would pass locals scattered along the roadside for the entire hour long drives.
One morning, as we were being driven to Hue “the old capital”, we noticed that money littered the streets as if it were invaluable. We asked our tour guide why, when people were so poor, did they leave the money there. She told us that people threw money to bring them good luck and if you pick it up off the ground it is believed to give you bad luck.
All the while I’m sitting in the car thinking…”but it’s money???”
From the outside looking in, I knew these people were a lot poorer than me, living in the make-do houses along the main road. It was fascinating, like I was staring through a keyhole into another universe. I would have loved to have spent a day with some of them, in their ordinary lives, knowing what it is that makes them tick and seeing how they go about everyday life.
Until next time,