In the spirit of reminiscing about past travels during this pandemic, I bring you another travel-related post!
This time, let me take you to the streets of Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam. It was the first leg of our tri-country, four-cities Indochina trip back in August 2019. I was with my constant travel buddy @thejoeprocess and my workmate friends, Zaby and Yanna.
It was the most ambitious of all the travels I have planned so far and considering the itinerary, we were pressed for time. Since the bulk of our stay would be in Bangkok, Thailand, our time in Vietnam was limited. We had to pack all Ho Chi Minh tourist spots in one day!
Ever since being able to attend Sunday mass in our Hong Kong and South Korea trips, Joey and I wanted to make it a point to attend a mass in a foreign country that we visit if we can. It was a good thing then that the Notre Dame Cathedral in Ho Chi Minh City has an English Catholic Mass so we were able to attend with Zaby and Yanna. Notice the surrounding metal--the church was actually under renovation when we went there and you were only allowed to visit when you were attending mass.
It was a pretty memorable one whole day, all things considered, and I’ll tell you about our other adventures in another post.
But the focus of today’s blog is that funny moment we encountered in the streets.
We were crossing the street after visiting the War Remnants Museum when out of nowhere, a man in a parked cyclo (three-wheel bicycle taxi) called and shouted to us, “Jollibee! Jollibee!” At first we were all confused (loading moment) then we realized that he was gesturing for us to try and ride the cyclo.
Joey really did a good job at taking candid photos of us while we were walking the streets of Ho Chi Minh and this is one of my faves ❤
We politely declined but we were already giggling amongst ourselves.
Jollibee! The Pinoy homegrown fast food that we all know and love.
The cyclo driver was laughing to himself as we were walking away, seemingly satisfied with our reaction and pleased that he made us laugh.
Okay, so it may not be the funniest story, but you had to be there to appreciate the punchline. What made the moment remarkable is that he certainly recognized us immediately as Filipinos. But instead of just exclaiming “Hey, Pinoys! Pinoys!”, he took it another level by bringing up the beloved fast food chain.
REFLECTING. If you ever find yourself visiting Vietnam, please do not skip on the War Remnants Museum. It is a must-visit and a very educational experience. Most of the exhibits will be hard to watch/read/absorb because it tells the hard truths of the struggles and stories of the Vietnam War, but it will be worth your while. This is a learning experience you don't want to miss.
REFLECTION. This photo may be a bit dark and blurry but I chose it for this because I felt that this accurately represented my feelings when touring the War Remnants Museum. The other exhibits were already pretty hard to read about but I totally lost it and cried so hard when we reached the Agent Orange exhibits. Just a warning--if you're planning to research on that, it is a sensitive topic overall so proceed with care.
This made me think: How many kababayans and how often did he encounter them in the course of running his cyclo business to recognize our innate love for Jollibee? He must have been a real people person to engage with his clients and get to know them that well.
Anyway, we would have loved to explore Jollibee Vietnam while we were there but given the time crunch, we opted to explore Vietnamese dining places instead.
Since I'm still planning to elaborate on our Vietnam and Indochina experiences, here's a snippet of one of the places we visited. This is a photo inside the Saigon Central Post Office--another must-visit location!
Also, here's a snippet of my resting curious face every time we travel. Haha a bit serious? (That's my friend Zaby in the back)
Do you have a similar experience?
This post is on the shorter side but there’s so much more to our Indochina trip that I’d love to share. Here’s to hoping you check those out when I blog about them soon.
If you’ve read this far, thank you very much. I appreciate it. My posts are few and far between these days because of work and grad school but I'm trying my best to write about the stories I really wanna share.
Hoping to see you again in my next blog!