First day

Emma came to our B+B this morning,
and it was great to see her. We spent most of the day together. We had breakfast at a somewhat western type of place.
, then saw some sights.

This is culturally as different from West Hartford as it can be. Also, the air quality is a challenge and traffic is truly amazing. The motorbikes swarm like bees. I commented to Emma that instead of fighting the war, we should have given them all cars. They would have done themselves in.

Went to the prison where John McCain was held, then to the Vietnam Women’s Museum. I was curious as to how the war would be presented. I should not have wondered as the answer is obvious and predictable. It is presented as it probably should to the people of Vietnam and visitors. The Hanoi Hilton was presented as Hogan’s Heroes light. Games, good times and great medical care. Seems like a missed opportunity to teach a lesson. The brutality of the French Colonial period was presented in stark images. Even the gilotine that was put to all too grim purposes.

Again I am going to stop the downers.

The food is wonderful, the experience is exotic, and the people are great. I have a feeling that we are seeing Vietnam’s transition to a prosperous nation. I sincerely hope that the native culture is not lost. It would be a shame to see it become something less; that is to say, commercialized.

Entrance to the Hanoi Hilton.
Typical scene

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