The heat is on in Nghe An


Going around the countryside of Vietnam on a rickety bike reminds me of the frequent visits I’d pay my grandmother on my father’s side in the province when she was still alive.

Both landscapes take sometime before one fully takes them in.

The countryside of Nghe An is very similar to Iloilo’s except that Nghe An is more expansive and its landscape less interrupted by hills and mountains.

The heat is searing here. No wonder Ho Chi Minh is always portrayed in a loose linen top that is left half-unbuttoned. I really thought he was just very fashionable, way ahead of his time in terms of sartorial decisions.

No. One really needs to wear light here. And Ho Chi Minh’s fashion taste was more for practicality than aesthetics. Though he seems to me be very fashionable.

Young men here go around riding their motorbikes half-naked and without a helmet, in open defiance to a national law requiring all motorbike riders to wear a helmet.

What’s the point anyway of wearing one when the roads are unpaved and in the event of an accident one would definitely fall into the muddy side of a ricefield? Or perhaps it’s just the heat. One can’t go around with a substandard helmet in this heat. It will not protect the head and it just traps heat in the temple.

The heat here is evil. It gets into one’s soul and habituate there until the individual is left with nothing much but a desire to just estivate the whole day until around 6 at night only to wake up with that ugly feeling of breathlessness because of the humidity.

Nghe An despite the heat is beautiful. Ho Chi Minh was willing to die for it.


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