A different kind of travelogue. As an avid young traveller I often wondered what would it would be like when I got older, gathered commitments, created children and accrued debt. This is what it's like.
Food. One of the most amazing things about Vietnam has been the food. People rave about it. There are TV shows about it. My beloved absolutely adores it.
But its predominantly seafood.
My Instagram Pictures were all seafood for a few days as we stayed in a little fishing village. Oddly I now have a bunch of Sport Fishermen from the USA following me.
I find this all a little conflicting as I am Vegetarian. My daughter has become vegetarian too. Entirely her own choice.I make my choices. She makes hers. I feel I should respect other peoples choices too. I may not agree with them but I respect them.
Vietnams population is largely coastal. They catch fish. They eat fish. It breaks my heart a little but I think that it is wrong of me to try to impose my sensibilities and beliefs on others. The recent history of this country is a case in point.
The great news for people like Aoife and I is that there is a strong culture of vegetarian food in Vietnam. Stronger than I expected. Mostly this is driven by religious beliefs. On certain days of the lunar calendar many people will avoid meat. The exact details of what is eaten/not eaten when/why/what all seems to vary on whomever I ask but when I do ask they do understand. The number of times I have said the words “Com Chay” (Vegetarian) is second only to the number of times I have said “Gam ern” (Thank you).
So my position is that if I expect other people to respect my choices then I should also respect theirs. I do find it odd that a lot of meat eaters feel that they need to question my vegetarianism; try to pick wholes in it and try to talk me out of it. I’m not attacking their choices but some flesh eaters seem intent on attacking mine.
When someone sets out to try to debase my position and my passive choices that’s usually the only time that I start getting into a debate on the matter. Theres a few good stories on that one which I shall share later.
Today I am celebrating the sea. I understand that sea provides food for people. I will eat sea plants. I like to look at sea animals. Fishing is just one of those things I have to accept. Over aggressive profit oriented rape of the sea and the direct and indirect destruction of the sea is something that no one should accept.
If we keep killing reefs and coastal environments and mangroves and rivers, if we keep fishing the oceans inhabitants to the brink of extinction, or to actual extinction, no one is going to be happy. If we keep polluting the marine environment then a lot of animals, including Homo sapiens, are going to get sick. Then a lot of people are going to get hungry. And ultimately the oceans will die. If the oceans die we all die.