Ho Chi Minh City: Saigon Is Beyond

Words to describe Saigon (my best friend who’s Vietnamese says no to calling it Ho Chi Minh) will always be less than what Saigon is.  It’s a city filled with promises of financial opportunities and a populace that’s always working.  Everywhere and at all hours, this city and its residents are going somewhere . . . chasing a dream, following hope, reaching for the future.  The roar of the ubiquitous scooters zipping by.  The plumes of exhaust as a bus continues its route.  Clanging and banging of another new building going up. It’s not an easy city to live in, especially if you’re not willing to seize an opportunity.  Rich and poor seem to share the common trait of resilience and appreciation of work.  Whether you believe that all this search for wealth leads to happiness, it’s difficult to argue that the people of Saigon lack drive.  But when they’re not working, the pace slows and one sees the appreciation of the simple moments. The streets fill with families and young, hip couples strolling and lolling all around.  Smiles abound as friends meet for meals.  For all the emphasis on getting ahead, there’s a full embrace  of these hours where they get to be with the important people in their lives.  

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