Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Faces of Vietnam

Realizing that I have never posted pictures from my trip to Vietnam, coupled with the fact that there is nothing of interest happening in my life lately, I decided now would be the perfect time to catch up on the old pictures.  For today, I give you faces of Vietnam.

Napping in a cart

Sweet old lady with no real teeth
The next three pictures were taken in a very unique shop.  (Unique to me as an American; however, it was one of at least three in the area I was visiting.)  Looking at this shop from the street, I thought they sold photographs of Vietnam.  Once inside I discovered that these ladies are laboring over embroidered works of art which, when finished, are so intricate and amazing that they do look like photography.  They each in fact have a photograph in front of them as well as a computer grid telling them what color to stitch into each space.  I badly, BADLY wanted to purchase some of this.  The price tag was extremely high.  It was absolutely justified, but buying one of these pieces would have meant that was the only thing I would bring home.  In hind sight I often wish I would have gone this route.  As a person who does needlework I have an appreciation for the labor that goes into these pieces and the final products were stunning.  However, I gave in to the desire for MORE and passed on this opportunity.  Perhaps I'll have to go back some day... 

This woman was one of many who were making lanterns.  They stretch silk fabric over wooden frames of many different shapes.  I bought many of these and hung them around the patio of our home when I got back to Boise.  They didn't weather very well.  When we moved I couldn't bear to throw them away, but they are sitting in my garage now.  I suppose some day I will have to face reality and get ride of them.  Once again, perhaps another trip will be necessary...

There is a lot of story behind these next two ladies.  I wondered off on my own one day, armed with my camera.  I came across these two lovely ladies who were selling bananas.  I didn't especially want to eat a banana; however, I assumed the bit of money it would cost me to buy their bananas would be more necessary and helpful to them than to me, so I bought some bananas.  After giving money to one woman, the other came up to me with her hand held out.  I think I looked at her sort of confused: I had already paid for the bananas.  She motioned with her hand to her mouth and said "I hungry too."  Obligingly, I gave her some money.  They allowed me to take their pictures (which was worth far more to me than any bananas) and then we parted ways.  I hadn't gone more than a few yards away when a policeman on a motorcycle swooped down on the women.  I decided to just keep walking.  I know nothing about how things work in a communist country and I didn't really care to find out.  I presume they were in trouble for something about their interaction with me.  I hoped that their advanced age would keep them from too much trouble.

Pretty Vietnamese Woman on a Pretty Scooter
On our first morning in Hanoi my friend grabbed me and said "Come on, you've got to see something" and she dragged me out to the street in front of our hotel.  The days catch had just arrived and there was a group of people sorting and cleaning the fish, right there on the street.  Fish heads and guts were flying and I was hoping to catch nothing more than a few good photographs.  As fast as you can imagine, this man would shove a stick in a fishes mouth, scrape the scales off, toss it aside and continue to the next one.  He paused to show me his handy work.

A random yet totally typical person on the street.

A woman whose flower shop was her bicycle:

I will try to remember to come back and post other pictures from Vietnam.  This trip was high on the list of "best trip ever".  I would have said it was number 1, but then I remembered Bali.


Elizabethd said...

Your photos show just how different customs are in another country. I do hope the banana ladies didnt get into trouble.

Barbara said...

Interesting pictures and especially the stories behind them.Saw a large (what looked like an oil painting) in a palace in Brighton last week to find that is was actually done in minute mosaics.

bristowmom said...

Barbara, I've seen mosaic paintings too. Aren't they amazing?!