This morning we woke to a brilliant day with the sun shining on the weird French mountains where we decided to stay. I use “weird” because once there, you’re a bit trapped. The cable car is amazing but stops after 9pm and doesn’t begin again until 9am. And it’s just weird up there. It’s a new resort built by Chinese investors a few years ago and trust us- no expense spared in this invented town-But there are more rules and regulations for this place than the prohibited items lists I have created for certain festivals ? Anyhooooo… we woke to a beautiful day and strolled around waiting to head out/get out… I started calling it Hotel California … you can check out but you can never leave kinda thing… behind the French village are these Chinese temples, meditation mounts and a pagoda… Here are some photos :
Once we were back down the Hotel California mountain, we went for a early lunch in Da Nang city and this little beach cafe was perfectly situated on China Beach. During the Vietnam/American war (here it’s referred to as the American war), China beach in Danang served as an R&R location and was also a US Air Force military base. We passed a museum on the way and the taxi driver says “here is a war museum… boom boom boom”. Exactly.
We toasted China Beach with local Tiger beer on our way to the airport to return to Ho Chi Mihn City today.
We are safely back in HCMCity and ventured out for some Thai food and a final night’s toast on top of the Hotel Magestic that has been operating since 1925 here and is magical-the staff fantastic.
I told Daddy that I hoped his memory of this country had softened for him and maybe given a little more space in his mind. We can sometimes get very rigid with our own pain- leaving no room to breathe and soften a little- like concrete it just stays in place while everything else is changing all around it.
It’s extremely clear that the guilt, sadness, confusion- all of that or a mixture of that- is not applied by the people of Vietnam to a soldier like my Dad. A world of greed is to blame for this war, I believe.
And now a huge thank you to everyone who has ever served.
I will leave it at that and say that Marvin Gaye had it right in “Inner City Blues” in 1972 when he sang :
…”Inflation no chance
To increase finance
Bills pile up sky high
Send that boy off to die
Make me wanna holler
The way they do my life
Hang ups, let downs
Bad breaks, set backs
Natural fact is I can’t pay my taxes…”
We fly back to Los Angeles tomorrow (Monday) to start reflecting on our time here. It’s been an incredibly beautiful journey for me and I’m so honored and grateful to be able to do this with him and all of the sweet support is incredible.