Friday, February 12, 2010

Far East Word

I was trying to remember if the Bradenton Herald had blogs four years ago. If so, there were only one or two.

Now we have blogs for every purpose, and we blog from the office, blog from home, from sporting events, and even Vietnam.

Four years ago, I returned to Vietnam for the the first time with my wife since we left the country together in 1971. I wouldn't have thought about blogging back then, because it seemed only those with a knowlege of alchemy knew how.

Now, I have joined the ranks of the bloggers, and Kim and I are back in Vietnam, just in time for Tet, the Vietnamese version of the lunar new year celebration.

It's not one of those vacations you take to tour the world or relive old wars, although it could be. It's to allow Kim a chance to catch up with the family after not having seen them for four years.

But it is an adventure for me, too, because it is so different than normal daily life. I learn new things, get to know her family a little better, and those old war memories do rise occasionally to the surface.

Yesterday, we visited a Buddhist temple in Tra Kha village, near the city of Bac Lieu, in the extreme south of Vietnam. An ancestor helped start that temple in 1871. I photographed a really cool plaster tiger on the wall that I'll attempt to attach here. Not until later did I learn it's the year of the tiger.

I think that's about enough words, so I would like to wish you Chuc mung nam moi, or happy new year.


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