I'd stay home if I could
... but I can't

  • Copenhagen and then ...

      • kaestel.dk
      • Christianshavn

    Surprisingly I was greeted with a blue sky in Copenhagen. A rare sight this time of the year.

    I am happy to be home and thankful for having had an adventure beyond imagination.

    In Uganda I stayed with the elite and met power when it is most blinded by its own conquests. I went among the poor without any chance of blending in - after all I am a muzungu - and understood why power is addictive when poverty is a real threat.

    In Dubai I wondered what the third entity might be - after Religion and Money.

    In the Philippines I traveled the poor countryside by local means and found myself at peace with the pace - until I had to catch a plane. And when at peace everything is ok.

    In Vietnam I worked with the middle class and saw how a little progress is enough to keep the order of things in place. And Ironically good food is not to be underestimated.

    And now I am back to just being me, the nutcase who wants to save the world, in the happiest country on the planet. Go figure.

  • Dubai transit

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      • Dubai International Airport

    I am back in Dubai  - on my way home.

    I am reminded of the peaceful mix of cultures and religions. Of the hypocrisy that at the same time seems absurd and well considered. I guess it is a process - and while I hastily ridicule I also applaud their progress. One step at the time.

    Home! I wonder what it will feel like arriving to the conformity of knowing the ins and outs. Though I have only been away for six and a half weeks the impressions of this adventure will last a lifetime.

  • Take off from Ho Chi Minh

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      • Tan Son Nhat International Airport

    I have had a short but very enlightening stay in Vietnam and I definitely hope to come back in the near future - but I would demand to see more of the countryside. Surprisingly, despite the communist regime, icons and fancy posters everywhere, the capitalistic mentality rules Vietnam everywhere I went.

    I seriously don't know how to thank Thao for having taken so good care of me - she has granted me another adventure, under circumstances where it would seem impossible.

    I am now on my way back to Copenhagen - the end of this 6 1/2 weeks journey is closing in rapidly. It's a bit scary to be returning to freezing cold Copenhagen - though I only have to survive three weeks there, before heading off again.

    Everything leading to departure went almost too smooth - so smooth in fact, that the plane left ahead of schedule. First time ever in my experience (and I do have a fair amount of flying on my conscience). I don't know if that is just the way it is in Vietnam, but without any hesitation I will say: The Vietnamese are well structured, hard working and very reasonably punctual.

    And they know how to cook!

  • The Big C

      • kaestel.dk
      • The Big C

    After munching on noodles, soup and exotic leaves the only one thing remaining on my to-do list was the required visit to a regular supermarket, because that is a beautifully simple way of inspecting the middle class consumer awareness.

    Visiting the laundry powder aisle easily tells me about awareness of biodegradability and allergens, the content of the cooling section indicates nutritional insight and so on and so forth. Thao was very confused as to the meaning of this last wish, but finally took me to a Big C supermarket, where I wandered bewildered around for a good hour.

    It's very well assorted and cheap, much like an average North American supermarket and no consumer awareness is reflected in the shelve content - only the Big C has a giant scooter parking facility, replacing the all-American parking lot.

  • Image: Đông Ba

    Time for bún bò huê

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      • Best bún bò huê place in the world

    We got back to Ho Chi Minh, just in time for Bún Bò Huê at Đông Ba - making this the day of both the worst and the best meal of my week in Vietnam.

    The price of 60.000 dong (~ €2) for two people, including drinks, makes me feel guilty - wish I could have brought the whole busload here, despite the risk they might not enjoy it the least bit due to the lack of tourist interior appeal. Relativity untamed.