I feel like this picture shows the contrasts we encounter everywhere. A beautiful young man, with a modern jacket and haircut, selling mangos off his boat. Behind him, crumbling dockside dwellings. Our tour guide told me that waterfront is not desirable here because the homes tend to fall into the water. Most refuse like food wrappers are discarded in the waterways. When they were made of bamboo leaves – that worked fine. Now that they are often styrofoam and plastic – not so good. You know those plastic grocery bags clinging to the fences along our roadways? Well the Delta is following suit.
A part of me wants to send you “pretty pictures” and there is amazing beauty here But the poverty and struggle to resolve old style with modern technology, Eastern tradition with Western convenience shows through. Only women of a certain age are seen in those round straw hats. Younger women have a variety of helmets to wear as they take their kids to soccer and go to work on their motorbikes. Colin remarks on buildings, bridges and whole neighborhoods that have been demolished and replaced in the short time he’s been here. They work with cranes, bulldozers and lots of hand labor. The city, the whole country is morphing before our eyes.