Vietnam upfront – you never would have Nguyễn it
1. The street seller is the rawest form of business to be admired
2. The difference between poor and rich is stark17.2% of Vietnam still lives under the poverty line of $48 AU (VND 871,308)/capita/month (World Bank and Vietnam General Statistics Office 2012). At the same time, Vietnam has the highest per capita ownership rate of Rolls Royce and Bentleys. With a tax of more than 90% on cars, this brings their average price to $2million US. The government’s focus on growing the economy through rapid industrialisation had led to growing inequality, soaring inflation and social discontent. The disparity between poor and rich is obvious when beggars and 5-star hotels line the same street.
3. The crucial role of the scavengers
4. You are what you eat, and what you eat eats (or gets sprayed with)Chemical fertilisers, pesticides and antibiotics plague the agriculture industry and threaten your food safety. Whilst they are financially convenient for crop and livestock growth in the short term, they are deadly to human health, soil longevity, water quality and air quality. Unsafe food accounts for 35% of cancer cases in Vietnam. In the first half of 2011 there were 3,000 cases of pesticide poisoning with over 100 deaths (Department of Ministry of Health). Whilst food safety is highly un-regulated in Vietnam and carries higher risks, all countries are susceptible to the effects of agrochemicals and contaminated food. Do you know where your food comes from and how it has been grown?
5. Ask why
6. Understand how your food reached your plate
7. Scrap the road rules
agriculture is destroying Vietnam’s economy
Here is a Google Earth shot of the Vietnamese city Dalat. The sea of greenhouses is evidence of the severe deforestation and commodification of goods due to industrialised agriculture. Dependent on pesticides and fertilisers, you can literally smell the toxic chemicals when you walk by.
9. No one
wins a war
10. The West holds an incredible ‘soft’ power
The opening of the first 7-eleven in HCMC Vietnam, June 2017 (Vietnam Investment Review).
is a buzz word
12. Language is an invaluable skill
13. I have never felt lonely because it’s literally impossible to be alone
15. Familial pressures can destroy families
16. Vietnamese women are fierce and their empowerment is slowly being realised
Propaganda from the war reflecting the crucial role women played in Vietnam's liberation struggle.
17. The power of the young generation
“So many people want to make a difference, but they don’t want to be different. So many people want to be better, but they don’t want to change. Don’t make a difference in this world, you make the world different.” Francis Kong.
18. Developing and developed worlds are not unalike
Here's me on a mountain in Laos before rolling down and eating the hands-down best Indian I've ever tasted (don't get too heated, I haven't been to India yet).
See you on Insta: @tallgirl.smallworld.