No one seemed to be celebrating St. Patrick's Day in Hue today, though we did amble by the so-massive-it-took-two-shots Green Hotel.
I kid you not; this is the Green Hotel. I have no idea why it was displaying this sign, since I'm not sure the Queen Elizabeth still sails let alone to Vietnam. We passed the Green Hotel on our way to Bao Quoc Pagoda from the Ho Chi Minh Museum. Ho grew up near here and went to high school in Hue. Most of the displays are photographs or drawings, including this one of an execution (Myo Sim kendo students, note the footwork). The husband took this photo of a caption. It is interesting to note that one of the countries Ho approached for assistance in ridding Vietnam of the French was the United States. Finally, I may well have posted a shot like this three years ago, but I continue to be intrigued by how this caption describes the person it shows. "American-killing valiant man." Can you imagine the reaction if a similar reference were included in a display at an American museum?
Bao Quoc Pagoda is one of my favorite places in Hue and headed my list of places to which I wanted to return. I expect I will return there several more times in the coming month. Just sitting on the steps calms me. Today's visit was interesting in that on multiple visits three years ago, the only signs of human inhabitants were sandals sitting and robes hanging outside rooms off the courtyard. Today, as the husband and I sat on the steps resting from the walk, chimes began ringing, followed by drums, and the sound of chanting. Combined with the cicadas in the neighboring trees, it was quite the symphony. As the music died out, we ventured around to the courtyard. As we were entering, we saw a monk come out of one of the rooms. We quietly began to back out, not wanting to intrude. He gestured that we should remain and, as we walked down the sidewalk shown above, indicated that it was okay for us to enter what appeared to be a chapel. We were followed out of the chapel by a monk in an incredibly flowing, gold-yellow robe. I am still kicking myself for not gesturing to see if I could take a photo. The robe was so stunning. It won't be the last "oh well, I had my chance" moment in my life or even on this trip, I am sure. Leaving Bao Quoc, we walked along a canal in which men were diving for shellfish while a woman washed platters.
We also passed these, which might merit explanation. These are what passes for garbage trucks here. Trash is just thrown or swept off the curbs into the gutters. Morning and evening, people come by with these carts and collect it, using brooms and shovels to collect even the smallest scraps. While the streets may look dirty at noon, it's simply because the garbage is awaiting collection come evening.
Finally, as I went through today's photos choosing the ones for this post, it occurred to me that I had several showing what can be carried on a bicycle or scooter. Here, for your viewing pleasure, are some of those.