After two weeks of walking back and forth to work each day past the same local “minder”, lying down, bare feet on the handles of his motorbike, I was finally spoken to. “Moto?”, he asked, pointing to his bike. I figured he wondered where my moped was, given the heat (95 degrees in the shade) and the fact that no one walks in Hue, Vietnam. It’s like walking in LA -it just isn’t done. The sidewalks, while plenty wide, are occupied by boiling pots of Pho, inconceivably tiny (for my bottom, anyhow) stools around miniature tables, and carts selling crusty Ban mi sandwiches, stewed snails, and boiled quail eggs. And the mopeds. Sidewalks are for parking. Or driving if the roads get too crowded. So as a walker, and a gringo, usually with a white coat under my arm, I think I’ve been noticed by the minder on the corner. Almost every corner in Vietnam has one – responsible for watching the comings and goings of his neighborhood. You really stop noticing them after a while, they are usually half asleep in the noonday heat, but always with one eye open as I pass. Maybe after his report, the Party will get me a moto.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *