Sunday, August 21, 2011

Last Week!

This is my last week in Hue, Vietnam for my fellowship! The past few weeks have gone past so quickly. I find myself stumbling upon the same feeling as I had when I first arrived in Hue all those weeks ago - feeling that its all so surreal that its actually the end of my fellowship.

Over the last few days, I've been cramming in as much delicious Hue food as possible - where else would I get $0.40 USD coffee, and $0.30 che, and $1.00 USD meals? I try to hold onto the memories of all the places I visit - all the smells, sounds, sights that were once foreign to me, now almost second nature. I'm overcome by nostalgia and sentimentality every time visit a place. I wonder "when I will visit it again?", that this might be the last time I'll ever sit at this same cafe, have this bowl of noodle, see this street vendor...

Ah, I will miss the street vendors, which are so ubiquitous and so unique to Vietnam. If you're ever hungry, you can just have a steaming bowl of noodle soup literally in front of your door step, and its made in seconds. There aren't that many places in the world that gives you that kind of efficient customer service and that delivers such quality fresh food.

I love chatting to the little old ladies that serve me at these street vendors. In the beginning, I used to find these conversations really confronting as I don't usually chat to people/waiters/business owners at restaurants in Australia/USA, and don't like to respond to questions asked by strangers concerning my personal life. But, now, I enjoy nothing more than sitting down on the little plastic stools on the side walk to chit chat about my life in Australia, my level of Vietnamese (improving every day!), which then inevitably turns to my unmarried state which, by the way, they advise, needs to be rectified "pronto", and my advancing age - I am unmarried after all and no one wants an old maid ...

I had wanted to come here to create personal impact within the community through my work. And now that I am leaving, I find that the greatest impact witnessed is the change within myself - a very significant form of "personal impact" indeed!


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