Vibrant Vietnam - 2007

There are some artistic flourishes in each room, but mostly it is a boring place. Until you climb up on the roof at the 5 th floor level. There, like a stunned dragonfly, sits a green American helicopter, part of the war materiels we abandoned during our hasty retreat. Across the street is the broad avenue down which the triumphant North Vietnamese troops marched as they captured the building. Some of the tanks they used in their advance face the Palace with their gun turrets aimed at the front of the building. We did have a surreal experience there as we ourselves were retreating from the building and waiting for our van to pick us up. Several smiling oriental youngsters crowded around us and asked in good English if they could take our pictures. At first we were a little abashed and discomfited until we realized these were not Vietnamese kids wanting to get American pictures, but South Korean teens who were having a contest to see who could photograph the most foreign tourists in Vietnam during their own visit here. Then we were glad to laugh along with the kids and have our pictures made with them.


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