March 26th 2009, 7pm
I am literally dripping with sweat and my heart feels like it might beat right out of my chest. I nearly had a panic attach in the middle of the cross walk. Chris grabbed my arm to pull me across the last few big intersections between the Black Cat Cafe 13 and our hotel. The darkness makes it so much harder to gauge the speed of the oncoming traffic and to add to the chaos and fear, a good percentage of the motorbikes barrowling towards us didn’t have their head lights on making it impossible to see them. Freezing in the middle of the street is not an option!
All and all we were successful today, seeing the Norte Dame Cathedral, the Reunification Palace and the War Remnants Museum followed by dinner at the Black Cat Cafe 13.
Norte Dame Cathedral seemed oddly out of place in this big Asian city. All the same it reminded me of Grandpa Witkowski and Wednesday night Mass in Swim Suits and cover ups.
The War Remnants Museum left a hard naught in my stomach. The images, like images of any war, made me sick and left me wondering how ordinarily good people can do such horrible things.
There was one part of the museum that hand me welling up with tears, not of sorrow or shame but of pride. They had a section on the option to the war, on the thousand of people world wide who protested and those Americans who refused to fight. I feel proud to be the daughter of two of these people….
We keep from heat exhaustion by drinking lots of water, finding cold coffee drinks and walking under my black umbrella – I felt so goth 🙂 . The museums attempted to be air-conditioned but failed. Epic Fail.
Dinner at the Black Cat Cafe 13 ROCKED, a spooky themed burger joint in Saigon, who knew?
Chris and I talked about the museums we saw over cocktails, processing the overwhelming amount of information and visual stimulus presented. Although the War Remnants Museum is moving and vital to understanding the phsychi of the Vietnamese people, it is strongly slanted with a heavy does of “Only the Victors write the history books.” What some of the American military did during the ward was atrocious and the reasoning behind us being there was questionable, however the museum made the average American soldier out to be a horrible war criminal which made me made and there was no mention of the atrocities committed by the Viet Cong.
Also Its representation of the Anti-Vietnam movement was vastly misleading. According to their signage protest in the US, the protest my mom participated in, and around the world were ” in support of North Vietnam”. They got that just a little wrong. I am sure that although the other communist countries naturally supported the communist north, the rallies in the USA were against US troops being involved in the Vietnam War. It angers me that they were so misleading… Woo Hoo for censorship!