They hate us!
Okay, maybe hate is a little bit hyperbolic. But as I blunder through this country with my bright green fannypack (yes, fannypack) bulging out like a tumor on the side of my torso, I realize that I do stick out. Just a little. The stares are apparent as I walk the streets of this country. I am a bit taller than most and "bigger" as expressed (with endearment) by my aunts and uncles.
Although it is unsettling to have people glance and gawk with displeasure sometimes, I know that there is no hate...just misunderstanding. And it's unfortunate that I am not able to communicate more eloquently how I feel so that I could maybe unearth more solidarity and perhaps have those looks of disdain develop into interest or perhaps trust.
Being here has been a whirlwind of emotions, but I am embracing the raw nature of this place and am looking forward to seeing much more of this country. So far there has been a lot of (purse)shopping and visiting many relatives in the city. We are set to leave in a few hours to see the more rural areas of Vietnam and it is possible there will be more mouths agape. But not out of hatred, of course. I know, I exaggerate. A little.