Thursday, April 26, 2012

April 24:

I am skipping my blog for April 23 about my meeting yesterday with Mrs. Mai. It was very good. I have been trying to figure out why I am compelled to go this far, across the world, and weeks from my family, to find her. I am beginning to feel why. Tomorrow, I hope to articulate to you better in my next, and final blog for Anh's Journey to Hop Tien.

Today, for lunch, I was invited to a great snail soup restaurant! It was good!!! I am going back for sure!

r in the evening, I was invited to the opening of Scent of Burnt Grass, a movie that got the 2011 Golden Kite Award, a prestigious award similar to the Academy Award in the US. The opening was quite grand with lots of speeches from important people, award giving, and a military band!!!

Scent of Burnt Grass was chosen to be shown for the 40th anniversary of the libearation of Quang Tri, a blood bath that killed many young men from both sides of the North and the South. The movie was made from a true story (Mai Mai Tuoi Hai Muoi, Forever 20) taken from a diary of a 20 year old college student, Nguyen van Thac, who recorded his journey as a volunteer soldier with his three classmates. Only one made it back. 

The movie was not propaganda-ish, but quite thoughtful, similar to Saving Private Ryan, or Arc de Triomphe by Erich Maria Remarque, even sweet and funny, though it made me weep. War is such a terrible thing. 

My new friend, a famous actor, told me that some of his siblings made it to the South after the Geneva treaty, while some stayed in the North. One brother in the North had to go to war, another in the South was drafted to do the same thing. The one in the South eventually killed himself to avoid killing his own brother in battle. 

I met Director Nguyen Muoi (with flower), photographer Nguyen Huu Bao (round glasses), his beautiful actress wife Nguyen Nhu Quynh (in brown dress), and Chi Binh (black dress, great legs), wife of another famous actor, Dung Nhi. All are much loved by the Vietnamese and are called national treasures! 

What a contrast of my time in Vietnam in the past few weeks between the peaceful and simple life of Meo Vac and the fast, furious and fascinating Hanoi! I am honored to know both!

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