We started our day with a trip to a market in Mai Chau that’s only open on Sundays. As we pulled up to the market entrance, the first thing I saw was two people putting chickens in a funnel head first and chopping off their heads. It was…a lot. One thing that this trip brought to my attention is how uncomfortable I am facing where my food comes from. In the United States, we are so disconnected from the animal in which our chicken breasts or hamburger patties come from. It’s easy to forget or at least ignore that an animal was killed in order to get said chicken breasts or hamburger patties. Rolling up to a market and seeing chickens decapitated is jarring to say the least! Admittedly, this made the market trip a bit bleak. Walking around and seeing people carrying ducks in a plastic bag or chickens in a crate just made me sad. I completely understand that it’s a way of life for these people and honestly, in many ways, it’s nice to know where your food comes from. These people have that. All of the food we ate the whole time in Vietnam was fresh, clean (unprocessed) food. It was so delicious. I completely recognize the hypocrisy in this – I was sad to see crated chickens and ducks in bags, but I also enjoyed every meal I ate. There was not one bad meal the whole time we were in Vietnam.
We cruised through the market quickly and then happened upon a Vietnamese barbershop which I enjoyed taking pictures of! From a cultural standpoint, the market was a good and important trip. I enjoy challenging my own beliefs and ways of thinking and experiences like this are perfect for that!
Before lunch, we visited an absolutely precious elderly couple who invited us into their home. They had a one room elevated home with electricity. Mats were stacked in the corner, which served as their bed at night. They had a hot plate where they could make meals and water for tea. They had been married for many years and were so sweet and welcoming to us. It was really neat to see inside a typical home in the countryside – we saw so many from the outside but never inside.
For dinner, we were treated to a group of local men and women performing traditional dancing show for us. They did several different dances and each one was so entertaining and beautiful to watch! For the last dance, they invited us to participate, which was so fun! They also brought an urn full of rice wine and punched straws through the top to share with us. It was a perfect way to end our time in Mai Chau.