The typhoon is gone, the business is back, the smile was alway there

Hoi An Travel Blog

 › entry 17 of 45 › view all entries
Three days after the toughest part of the tyhoon, most of the streets of Hoi An seem like nothing has happened to the untrained eye. The markets are back in full force, the tailors are measuring again, the shoeshops try to fit a shoe on everyone that passes by and the restaurants all ask if you want to see their menu again.
Only in some parts of town you can still see the damage, as they are either still suffering under a lot of water, or the water just left the area last night and they are still cleaning the houses and the streets. Every street also has a little to a lot more garbage in it, which gives a sign that something might have happened, because normally the streets here in Vietnam are clean. That's what I mean with the untrained eye. One might expect dirt in the streets here if he didn't know better.
Othere signs of the damage that has been done are shoes in the shops, showing signs of waterdamage. Still the owners try to sell these shoes, either for a cheap price, or with the message that the water doesn't effect the shoe. Therefor, you don't need to have a trained eye; the water does effect the quality of a leather shoe.
Can you blame the people still trying to make as much money as possible after what happened here, and lots of them having lost a fortune? I don't, it's just a matter of surviving now I think.
Still I'm surprised every day to see the people's smile, cleaning up the damage, talking about how much they lost, showing how high the water was in the houses, the shops... Nobody looses his or her smile in all of this. That makes them more wonderful to me, because I think I would be full of complains. It's good for me to see this, it really makes me see there is a way of surviving hard and difficult situations with a smile.
Besides all the smiles there are also the first amounts of casualties. 24 counted so far, and still hundreds of people missing. If you know the water here was over 1,5 meters in the street...this street is not even next to the river. Some of the houses near the river were almost completely under the waterlevel, I was told.
Hearing different stories here and there, I also realise more and more how lucky we've been staying in this hotel, in a higher part of town. People had snakes coming into the hotel together with the water. Knowing my fear for snakes, I think it could have been the most horrible days of my life. But they were not. They turned out to be inspiring and interesting days. Seeying strong people, smiling faces, hard working people trying to make the best out of every situation, supporting eachother.
After five days, we're ready to leave Hoi An behind us, for now, and head further south to Nha Trang. But the end of this story is propably not written yet, only my being in it ends here. I widh the lovely people in Hoi An all the best, and ask anyone visiting this place, to see the smile on the people's faces as being there everyday, in good as well as bad days! To be honest, I think there are only good days, after I've experienced this kind of positivism and happyness!!
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Hoi An