Sipping juice and savoring fresh pastries at our hotel lobby, we slowly watched the quiet street open up…scooters and motorcycles are banned in the morning (and 2 other times during the day in this old historic part of town). As an elder man slowly placed bird cages on outdoor hooks, and begins sweeping the front steps, a canine orgy is taking place in the narrow street. One poor wretched critter is locked in coitus with no exit plan. Other dogs join the conga line and the elder man tries kicking the two headed beast…to no avail. Only after washing down the steps does he twist the hose and spray the two dogs, and “Houston, we have separation”.
It dawned on us as we strolled the village streets that we were in a Vietnamese Disney World with stage settings that created a retreat from history and war, from poverty and disease, greed and envy, from autocracy. This was becoming, not a workers paradise, but a tourist fantasyland where only the workers were in on the illusion. Oh hell, it was relaxing. Give in to the plan, Man. The dogs had to be real. Let’s hope they don’t end up on the menu. And the birds were singing a sweet song from captivity.
Go to The Grand SE Asia DeTour page for the rest of the story….