Days 41 & 42 – ‘I Sell For You Cheap’

The driving I experienced in India was probably worse than what I’ve been seeing in Vietnam, however nothing beats the roundabouts here that India lacked. Nothing short of crazy; cars and motorbikes attempt to take turns entering and exiting the roundabout, but it’s basically just a free-for-all for both vehicles and walkers. The real brave ones were those who work wherever they want to, carrying their fresh produce or cooking materials on a trailer cross wheelbarrow, which they slowly walked through the middle of the roundabout while leaving it to the others to navigate around them.

Ben Thanh markets introduced us to another level of pushy sellers, if we showed any interest in something we were thrown the starting price and then asked what we’d want to pay for it. If you walked away it was just an invitation for them to shout more numbers at you as you left, they just hoped to make some money from you no matter if it was a profit or just matching their purchase price. It was easy to get frustrated here, it’s an idea that they can’t comprehend to just not hassle anyone who walks past. Walking down the endless aisles we were asked countless times what we would like, to please buy something, to look inside for free, that we would be given good prices. They haven’t quite caught on to the idea that maybe, if they didn’t hassle us so much they might have a better chance at us buying something.

The American War Museum was of a very different atmosphere, a building full of sadness and lost hope, something the Vietnamese made an effort to embed into their history, something that they had overcome and would fight back for. No details were spared as we read about the extensive damage that Agent Orange created for individuals and families, even for generations to come. I was unsure how a government could make such a decision, let alone how they lived with themselves after they saw the impact that they made on over 3 million innocent lives. Unbelievable deformities arose; babies born without eyes, legs, hands, arms, even without a palette making it a struggle to eat food, to put it lightly. Photographs lined the walls showing visitors the way in which these kids have made a life for themselves despite being so heavily deformed. A sense of happiness still existed within the photographs, something so many of us would find hard to believe as we struggle to believe that they can still have a happy and enjoyable life despite their differences. First world problems were proved to me again that they’re nothing but something westerners complain about for no reason at all, a problem that shouldn’t even be classified as one.

 

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