So, turns out that the duration of the family Vietnam trip extended another ten days, instead of going to Thailand like we had planned.
Upon arrival, I had quite similar feelings like I had back in Shanghai. Their lifestyle is horrendously different than those here back home in Edmonton. The poverty’s absolutely heartbreaking. The streets are overloaded with garbage, and everyone litters. gross. Because of that, the air was so disgusting, I had a headache every time I walked by the local grocery stands.
I had doubts we’d do anything exciting when we arrived. After all, it was for us to embrace our beautiful Grandma one last time. It’s really a shame I didn’t get to see you. It’s been years since I’ve visited, and the only time was through webcam.. I’m sorry, Grandma. I’ll have you know that you’ve forever changed your family and neighbours. I’ve heard remarkable stories about you from Mom, and I’m glad she’s received your selflessness. May you rest in peace with eternity.
Aside from that, I was honestly quite right about not doing anything exciting. For the first couple days, I didn’t really socialize with my mom’s family, because my lack of Dio Jiu skills.. (Might I add I accidentally misheard them once, and made them wait an hour at the park while mom, sis, aunt, and I went back to hotel.. -facepalm-) Because of that, we spent most of our time in a hotel with internet. However.. it wasn’t all that great of a hotel. Of course there were bugs and all, but one early morning, the hotel manager (who’s kind of a really scary old man), came into our room at like 6 am, and cleaned our room. Good thing my sis and I woke up and told mom and dad afterwards.. The people here really have different living etiquettes.
One day, when we were still at that hotel mentioned above, my dad came home from visiting our grandpa’s (from his side) old neighbour. I was so literally jumping in joy and my heartbeat increased tenfold when he mentioned that he has a daughter around my age that went to Australia for school that spoke ENGLISH. Finally, someone I could communicate with! The next day, we went to go meet her. Turns out she was actually around 24.. Dad. That is nowhere near my age okay?! We did find out though, that she’s considered a millionaire in Vietnam. Then again, that’s not really much considering how drastically low their currency is. Regardless, she’s a pretty fun person to be around. She took Vita and I out, far away from our hotel to go rock climbing with her and her friends! They all spoke Vietnamese though, which neither my sister nor I could understand. She freaked out when my dad said he wanted to ‘talk to her’ after she took us back to our hotel too late. Funny thing was, he just wanted her to tag along to the beach with us. Haha.
We left that hotel not too long ago, and went on a mini tour really far from Saigon, by a beautiful beach that was right across our hotel. The view was literally jaw-dropping. Sadly, nothing good ever lasts in the Tran-household of ours. My mom’s cousins decided to tag along, and them, making as low as $40 cad/month, couldn’t afford to stay in a hotel.. Because of that, my dad had to pay for them as well. He was definitely not a very happy camper assuming a total of 8-9~ of us were there.
The rest of the trip consisted back at my Grandma’s old place. This is where the majority of the cousins gathered together, and worked or socialize. The aunties often took my sister and I out shopping. It’s great seeing such cheap (and fake AHAHAH) clothing here and all, but they were still quite expensive for her to buy.. Yet, she still offered to pay. The guilt was tremendous. I really wish that I could speak our languages much more fluent with an extended vocabulary. It’d really be helpful in situations like this. For some reason, the last day of any trip always seemed to be the most heartbreaking. Just seeing everyone for the last time, and all the memories made in such a short amount of time.. For a nostalgic person, it’s quite saddening.