Sunday, December 28, 2008

Vietnam Vo Dich!!!

New Year's was fun. It's a bigger deal than Christmas around here. There aren't as many decorations, but there are a lot more closed businesses.

But what's even bigger is when Vietnam wins Thailand for the AFF Cup. It's hard to desribe what a big deal this is. I watched the game in a restaurant with a friend of mine who tried to explain it to me several times. I didn't really get it until the last goal when the waiters, customers, and staff all started yelling, jumping, and running around for joy.

As soon as we had seen the team receive the cup on TV, we went outside to watch the mayhem. All of the streets were filling up with traffic heading toward the lake at the center of town. The intersection in front of the opera house was just starting to fill up.

People were honking even more than usual. The preferred technique for motorbikes seemed to be one person driving and one person waving the biggest flag they could find. Of course, flag vendors magically appeared in the intersections as well.

Apparently, this was the biggest football win in 39 years, so some of the young ones needed some training in proper Vietnamese style celebration. Here is a family of 4 on a motorbike. Come on, baby. Wave that flag!
Some lucky revelers had trucks.
Vietnam Vo Dich! Means Vietnam is the Champion! And when they heard a foreigner saying it they went even crazier. It was like having magic words that made people go insane with joy whenever I wanted them to. I tried to use my power responsibly, but I did use it to get a good shot of these guys.
We didn't stay out long because my friend was worried that all of the streets would be jammed. We had to turn around a couple of times, but ended up getting home ok. I drifted off to sleep, rocked gently by a lullaby of honking and screaming.

1 comment:

Jonathan said...

Just wanted to say hello, as i just found your blog... And I've been enjoying it.
I will be in Hanoi very soon.