When I visited Ho Chi Minh City last May this year, I had the opportunity to witness how the local people of Cai Be Village live their life. It was such a humbling experience. Because of this exposure, I got to appreciatethe value of being grateful for the life that one lives.
Along with other tourists, I cruised along the Mekong Delta River. The river was arrayed with big boats and the area is famous for its floating market.
We reached the place at around 11am and the tour guide told us that the best time to come and observe the trades is early morning. The merchants here sell for a minimum quantity of 100 kilos. The boats contain crops such as fruits, spices, and vegetables. Some merchants even live in these boats and make it as their home. I spotted many floating boat houses and some families who live in it.
We stopped at the Cai Be Village and I saw how hard working the villagers are. They have ways of livelihood that support their needs. They showed us how the rice pop is made.
The durian candies…
The rice paper…
The rice wine…
and the famous cobra liquor!
We went to the next part of the village by boat. It was terribly hot at that time and I salute the lady who rowed our boat. It was not an easy task!
We stopped at a small diner and we were greeted by a music performance from a lovely couple. I could not understand the message of the song, but, what I understood was their eagerness to welcome us and make us feel comfortable.
On the way back to the city, I could not help but reflect about my life and my ways. All the people that I encountered in Ho Chi Minh City during my 3 days stay were hard working and determined. I did not see them lazying around. Even the elders work. This trip made me re-think about living a frugal and simple life. If there are people in this world who can smile despite their odd work, then, I should smile more. If there are elders who are still working despite their age, then, I should work hard more.
Indeed, it was a humbling experience to witness how other people can be level-headed about their life and can simply live with what they can afford. It is so easy to complain and blurt out a negative view about day-to-day matters. It is so hard to be content and be happy.
Ho Chi Minh, thank you for making me more aware of my surroundings. Thank you for teaching me to be more grateful, more appreciative and happier. Thank you!