Sunday, October 28, 2012

HBTM, HBTM...

Huh. While there was singing of 'Happy Birthday' last night and multiple toasts of apricot and passionfruit liquors, today on my actual birthday nobody here has remembered. And to add insult to injured princess feelings, I'm spending the day travelling back to Auckland from Hanoi economy class. It's a horrible way to spend a birthday - even if I was starting to think I might dispense with the concept altogether.

But it began well enough, with chancing across St Joseph's in the old quarter as I strode along in the spitty rain fending off umbrella-vendors. Mass was well under way when I slipped in to enjoy the singing from an almost-capacity congregation, not one of them with a hymn book. They made a lovely sound in the equally lovely church.
And then I went to the other extreme by seeking out the Hanoi Hilton: the prison used by the French to inflict untold unpleasantnesses on the local people; and then by the Vietnamese to hold US prisoners of war. You can't blame them for presenting the two quite differently - there were beds and guitars and neatly-pressed clothes in the US section, and in the dark and gloomy wing where the Vietnamese had suffered, there was this - which kind of puts into perspective a soft seat, meal service with wine and unlimited movies, I have to admit.

2 comments:

the queen said...

Happy birthday! You aren't shackled to a bench!

Pam said...

Thank you. And that's true... though it did feel like it today, inside that metal tube.

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...