「東南アジア青年の船」紀行⑦ [2011年01月19日(水)]

~Homestay in Vietnam~



The last homestay during this program was in Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City. The first impression of this city was countless motorcycles. It is not the only thing I was surprised about the vehicle. I sometimes saw small kids between parents on the motorcycle. If the child was small, it looked okay, but I got scared when I saw two small kids between parents. I was also worried if the main transportation of my host family would be a motorcycle.
At the city hall, I met my host sister with Philippine homestay mate. The host parents could speak few English, and only the host sister could communicate with us in English. Their house was located in the flower shop district, and they were doing flower business there. Even though the house was small, I enjoyed the lively atmosphere and cheerful people living there. My host family had motorcycles per person, but it seemed like they usually don’t use them. I hesitated to ride on a motorcycle at first, but I gradually had a feeling that I want to try it. On the last day, my host mother gave me a ride, and I still remember how excited I was. It was much faster than cars to go shopping. I also noticed that it was safe to ride a motorcycle in Ho Chi Minh City. I learned the reason why many people like to have motorcycles. To tell the truth, when I rode on a motorcycle, I felt a lot of fun, but at the same time, I felt the air pollution. If there were well-organized transportation, the scenery of Vietnam would be completely different. The economy of this country is growing. I hope the money will be spent for better public transportation system.
This country was a French colony, but the south part doesn’t have traces of France. It was rather similar to Japan. I enjoyed the foods and shopping. The taste of foods was the best among the five countries I went during this program. I also found the fashion of Vietnamese was similar to Japanese ones. I liked the design of clothes and ceramics of Vietnamese product. The price was attractive, too. Now I can understand why many foreigners like to visit Vietnam. I stayed three days only in Ho Chi Minh City this time, so I’d like to come back to Vietnam and visit other places.