Lets get one thing straight. Everything doesn't close during
Tet. Even on the first day of the new year closures are not
People who tell you otherwise are truly ignorant.
Many shops and businesses are closed, but numerous ones
remain open. You will not starve to death. Vietnam does not
instantly become a ghost town.
Plenty of restaurants are open. The staff still have to work.
The chefs aren't off. Security guards still sit around and
stare into the oblivion. Any taxi driver would be foolish to
take time off during moments of high demands such as the days
of Tet. Xe om drivers still sit on their bikes without any
shame on street corners. Tet might last a few hours for the
common laborers, or Tet doesn't happen at all. Vendors
aimlessly pray that their marigolds, bonsai trees, peach
blossoms, kumquats, or any other assorted plant transplanted
into tiny containers get sold before they have to be trashed.
Giant melon vendors share similar antics, however, less of
them this year will mean that they will face less competition
as opposed to their flora and fauna friends. Lottery
ticket sellers still scour the streets hoping their Tet
morning will be a lucky one. My heart breaks as I mirror
their situation with how someone in America has to work on
Christmas morning. Then again, how can we compare apples and
Tet is just like any other slow day for some. The toll booth
fee collector in his or her metal box still operates with
burnt out hesitation. The road, sun, and dust wears their
souls down. Factory workers, office workers, teachers,
students, and the top two percent get time off. Lion dancers
and similar acrobatic acts troops finally make some money
thanks to everyones superstition. More on the roaming
carnival lifestyle of a lion dancer later. The street food
vendors still set up their bun stalls. The drinks stool shop
still caters to travelers and the coffee shops still are
packed with men on the morning of tet. The toys stalls are
still happily open because children need to spend their ly xy
money somewhere. The indivuals selling those giant red
balloons tug at my heart. Some hold a big stick with balloons
attatched as they stare down to the ground. Are their time
and energy worth making a few dollsrs at best. The answer is
clear to me, but some vendors here still need anything they
can gey to scrape by.
Tet isn't univeral nor is it the best time in Vietnam.
Posts will be rather sporadic for the next few days. I'm typing this from my phone from Yangon right now. Hollaaa