Mekong Delta, VietnamFebruary 27, 2015 in Vietnam ⋅ ⛅ 32 °F
The draft for the Vietnam War ended the year I turned 18 and became eligible; a fortuitous situation for me since my birthdate in the lottery was #3, meaning I would have almost certainly been sent to Vietnam. For some reason, when thinking about the possibility of being sent to war, I always imagined I would be on a gunboat on the Mekong Delta being targeted from the shoreline.
Fortunately, things change over time and here we are, 42 years later, on the Mekong Delta cruising the narrow channels through mangroves in a longboat and visiting floating fruit and vegetable markets. Superstitions prompt many of the boats to sport evil eyes to ward off danger and carry a yellow chrysanthemum for good luck in the new year. These adorn the already colorful paint schemes and funky boat designs. Ours and many others were powered with a put-put motor announcing their presence.
The country is officially communist but private business was allowed starting in the late ‘90s and free enterprise is definitely thriving. The hard working and entrepreneurial Vietnamese have done much, leading one to ponder the changes the next 10 years will bring. It seems that time, rather than war, is the real threat to communism.
The first photo is riding on the long boat through the canals.
The second photo is of the boats painted with the evil eye.
The third photo is of the shanties along the delta.Read more