Hanoi and the Temple of Learning


On our second day in Hanoi we went to the Temple of Learning.  It was an ancient temple devoted to learning.  Students visit there as part of their education.  There were lots of students trying to practice their English, and I was a prime target.  After about 10 young girls ask me the same 10 questions, I realized I was part of a class English test.

However, I was not the only obvious English speaking person there.  There were a few “other” English looking foreigners and there were 4 other obvious Americans in our group.  I was, however, the one they wanted to talk to.  Not only talk, but many young girls wanted a picture with me.  I am sure it was because I was old looking, had a pleasant Buddha Belly,  and an overall harmless appearance.  I would have simply wrote it off as I was an object of young students practicing their English, but during the entire trip in various places, I would have young girls come up to me and ask to take a picture with me.  Occasionally I would take a picture with them, but the pictures I took were a small fraction of those taken with me. How do I explain this;  I have no clue…….

We also visited the Vietnam National History Museum.  Vietnam history is basically a record of the thousands and thousands of years they fought the Chinese to gain their independence.  Their greatest heroes are those who had the most success and killed the most Chinese.  America went to war in Vietnam to prevent the Chinese Communist Party from controlling the Vietnamese Communist Party.  If our government leaders had went through this museum and developed a better understanding of the historical relationship between China and Vietnam; they may have made a different decision…

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© Jerry Pilson 2013