Eden Waters Press Blog

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Hi there from Eden Waters Press

Travel! The theme of the year. I have been in Hamoi in May. Who would have thought thirty years ago that Hanoi would ever welcome outsiders. We were even able to visit Ho Chi Minh's complex of houses/ offices/temples. There are no remnants that I saw of the Vietnamese war in Hanoi except for one amputee who was posing for pictures for money, and a tour of the "Hanoi Hiton," where John McCain was kept. This prison is a macabre, sureal reminder of a gruesome past.Otherwise, Hanoi is cheerful, welcoming to Americans, a maze of terrifying traffic crossing the street, because cars and motorcyles come in all directions. You have to find a hole in the fiendish onslaught and work your way through. It's like being in a video game. We stayed in Old Hanoi (within the ancient city walls) for several nights, and then moved to the uppercrust Americanized section for a last day -- ian afternon inn the new and improved Hanoi Hilton, with workout facilities that were just like home. And in the evening we stayed at a posh hotel, just to blow our money. It was like an American Hilton. Fun, good, clean. And then I had to leave. Ileft out our boat trip to the hidden caves where American prisoners scracthed messages on rocks, and Vietnamese fighters, hiding from the emeny, marshalling forces here, also wrote messages on rocks. It's a huge cave. I'm sure there are many more passages than we we allowed into. But it showed the difficulty the USA had in fighting the stupid Vietnamese war. We could never win. They always had somethere to hide. They knew the terrain. And what were we doing there anyway? War is not the answer. I was so moved to be in Hanoi, a former enemy bastion, now commercial center, friendly, in fact, busy outsoucring goods. Vietnam has lived through major battles against the French and the Americans. It emerges as a unified country, determined to be untouched by the atrocities it has sufferedl