--I watched the sun set over Ha Long Bay, a natural wonder. I watched as cruise ships, including mine, plague the waters with fuel emissions, commercialism, tourists, and trash; pollution.
While searching in public parks, restaurants and stores, throughout markets and museums I saw at most four trashcans. Though, stumbling upon a trash cart in the street like an American trash truck, gave me hope that people in Viet Nam were attempting to be more environmentally friendly than they publicly showed.
A peacefully meditating woman sits along a busy intersection on a sidewalk that is also used as a road. After passing this woman multiple times on three different days, it was safe to assume she was homeless. Amongst the disarray, she sat still seeming content and peaceful and that is beautiful and strong.
A man cleans off his exotic beautifully arranged Buddhist shrine. He haphazardly throws the rotten food into the street where he proceeded to light it on fire and walk away.
During a Buddhist celebration in Hoi An, I stood on a bridge looking over a vibrant scene of paper lanterns, people, parties, rowboats, bright lights, and illuminated lotus flowers floating in the water. Opposite the celebration side of the bridge, it was darker and less populated with fewer lanterns and huge construction machinery. Like the Ha Long Bay sunset, the scene represents tourism and commercialism versus reality.
Under Viet Nam's night sky, the reddish yellow glow of light illuminates authenticity through imperfections that I found to be beautiful.--