Saigon, Vietnam: 062110

June 27, 2010
2:11 pm

Hello folks,

Ten hours ago, I just arrived in the Philippines from Vietnam, my first ever out of the country trip! I may skip details so I would be writing now while the memories are still fresh! With my entire passport and DOST dilemma, I should be excited, right? Plus, all my arrangements process at work!

blurry me jumping at the airport. excited by the fact that i would be in a place with a different timezone.

On our first day, we went walking around the city under the heat of the sun– Notre Dame Cathedral (catholic church), Municipal Post Office (old style post office), Independence Palace (palace of the king before the war), and War Remnants Museum.

Notre Dame Cathedral (Catholic Church)

Notre Dame Cathedral is a Catholic church located at the downtown of HCMC. It looks like a French-twin bell. 🙂

Municipal Post Office

I am so tired when we arrived at The Municipal Post Office of HCMC because I’ve been walking since that morning. Municipal office has lots of telephone booth, has a large map, souvenir stalls, and etc.

Office of the President, Independence Palace

The Independece Palace is like a Malacanang Palace of Vietnam. We don’t have a tour guide so we just randomly visit rooms and we read its description to know its purpose. I particularly like the room of the office of the president because it gives me that distinct feeling that I am in the place of the highest official of the country.

War Remnants Museum

This place gives you heartbreak and hatred. Torture. Prison cells. Bombs. War. This is all about wars and its damage to Vietnamese people. Did you hear about the agent orange? Agent orange is the codename used by the US Military as part of their herbicidal warfare program. During the war, they spread this to places affecting large number of people (including the innocent people). The infected people had deformed faces and body parts. Sad to say, its effect is up to the 3rd or 4th generation.

At the end of the day, I guess the things I learned about the history and culture of Vietnam is worth the pain in my feet from a long-day tiring walk.

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Sophie’s reply to Claire

Dear Claire,

‘what’ and ‘if’ are two words as non-threatening as words can be. But put them together, side by side, and they have the power to haunt you for the rest of your life.

What if?
What if?
What if?

I don’t know how your story ended, but what if what you felt then was true love then it’s never too late.It it was true then, why wouldn’t it be true now? You need only the courage to follow your heart.

I don’t know what a love like Juliet’s feels like, a love to leave loved ones for, a love to cross oceans for, but I’d like to believe, if I ever were to feel it, that I’d have the courage to seize it. And Claire if you didn’t. I hope one day that you will.

All my love,
Juliet