Honestly... this is both a tough and an easy question.
When people ask me "Why Vietnam?," a bunch of fabricated, yet well thought-out crap usually comes yarning out of my mouth like,
"It's always been on my bucket list."
"I've heard it's soooo beautiful."
"Friends have been and they told me it's incredible."
And... yes, you could say all of that is true.
But the real reason... if you know me at all... I'm addicted to salad rolls, chili oil and peanut sauce. Seriously. I have been for a few years now. Little Saigon in Mission is my absolutely favourite restaurant and I'm not opposed (or embarrassed) to eat there sometimes a few days in a row. Sometimes even a couple times a day.
Ok... maybe I'm slightly embarrassed about going twice in one day, but in my defence, I do always hope that there is a different server on. I love it. Remember in Dirty Dancing, when Johnny said to Billy "Yo, cousin, what's she doing here?" in regards to Baby coming to the staff dance party quarters?
Her reply was "I carried a watermelon." Well, I'm almost exactly like that, except I'm carrying a heavy backpack and I'm going for the food. I'm sure Vietnam is very beautiful... but load me up with Pho, Bahn mi, salad rolls and peanut sauce and I'll be soooo happy... and fat... and on vacation.
I will say one thing though... as the months, weeks, days, hours crept by... and I anxiously awaited my new adventure, I would frequently talk about it with friends, family, customers, acquaintances, colleagues, strangers...
In doing so, I have been met with numerous responses;
Me: I'm going to Vietnam. Customer: WHAT? Are you crazy? Me: I don't think so... why? Customer: Haven't you heard about all the problems over there? Me: No....????
Customer: A LOT of fighting between the North and the South. Me: I think you're talking about Korea. Customer: Nope... I'm talking about Vietnam. Me: I'm actually more than 100% positive that you're confusing Vietnam for Korea.
Me: I'm going to Vietnam. Acquaintance: Seriously??? Is the war even over? Me: Fingers crossed...
And my personal favourite...
Me: I'm going to Vietnam. Customer: What Platoon?