Today I decided to head to the War Remnants Museum again - didn't see all of it yesterday. Also I wanted to see the Refunification Palace. But instead of a motocyle or trishaw, I thought I'd walk.
So I went for a big breakfast and set off into the wild (for real). Didn't think it was so far away! I walked and walked and walked and so many people gave me encouraging smiles. Motorcyles would ask, I send you? and I'd say, I walk. And they'd beam and say, you walk.
Perhaps when they were young, they also had to walk. There are so many things go see, it's really an off-course path. They seemed to be so amazed by me, like they'd never seen a foreigner before. All the kids ran out and waved and it warmed my heart.
By 5.30, I knew I was near, but I didn't know how near. There were still people around - but it was getting dark, and I was afraid. I though I'd have reached the river by now, which would be full of tourists.
A family came up to me and asked where I was going. I showed them on the map and they said no, I had to go back home. And I knew this already. Exhausted by the day-long journey and upset with not being able to arrive at Saigon River, I burst out in tears. I set off at12pm, it was now 6pm. I'd been walking the whole day.
They hugged me and said we'll get a cab - and then, they gave me all their money. My heart broke into a hundred million thousand pieces. I have money, I said, and I showed them. They asked me where I was from, Singapore, I said, and they were so excited. They even helped me write my hostel address in Vietnamese.
The cab came and I had to run for it without saying goodbye, they don't stop for long. The ran after me, shouting their goodbyes. Kam em, Kam em, is all I could say as I hopped on.
It is the journey, not the destination.
And my heart is in love with the people of Saigon.