One country. Divided?

Global Journey: Scene VI

Bắt bẻ (overly critical). Keo kiệt (stingy). Hay lý sự (argumentative). Ích kỷ (selfish). Không vui (no fun). Some words used by Southern/Central Vietnamese when I asked them what they thought of Northerners. Some told me that Northerners speak sweetly but on the inside it's all lies. Other folks fear them for their violent ways, citing rampant gang activity in Hải Phòng city. Everyone had something to say about the Northerners, nothing the least bit positive. 35 years after the war's end, bitter feelings remain. Perhaps it's just two different cultures, misunderstanding each other. Either way, looking forward to crossing the D.M.Z. and forming my own opinion. Follow me...

Cơm Hến
On the way let's stop for lunch in Huế for one of my favorites, cơm hến. Think Korean Bi Bim Bop injected with Southeast Asian Golden Triangle sourced Heroin. Maybe it's the mixture of chilis with the pungency of fermented shrimp paste. Or the way the crispy fried pork skins pop like rice crispies when you spoon the earthy mussel broth on top to soften the rice. Or the paper-thin wisps of banana flower and buttery peanuts that push this bowl to tropical extremes. One bite. Infinite flavors. So now you know.

Stay Opinionated.


Mel said...

Looks fab. Can't wait til you start photographing some Hanoi pho.

Mai said...

Those are not bitter feelings because of the war, but experience in dealing with them and horror stories the news depict. Of course, there are nice folks everywhere, and you being foreigner would induce hospitality from the locals.

On the other hand, Northerners say the Deep South lacks culture and history. The rivalry is kinda like the Yankee states look down on the Confederate states, you know?

A. Rizzi said...

@Mel: Got u covered.

@Mai: Yeah I agree. North has the history and culture and they'll let you know about it if you're not knowledgeable in those areas! I heard so many opinions over the course of the trip...difficult to sum up. It definitely depends on the person's personal experiences in how they mold their feelings towards other Vietnamese or foreigners- and me being a westerner totally changes things of course. I'll miss the Vietnamese for sure.


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