Vietnam This Summer I had an occasion to visit Vietnam with a concert tour. This is a wonderful country with its own culture and different from Europe life style. Everything here is slightly different. The first feeling when leaving the airplane is like you entered the baths - so hot and wet is the air. From Saigon airport we travelled to Vung Tau. It was almost off-road race. Instead of a homelike stream of cars there is a stream of scooters on the road. One scooter can be used by entire families, - I saw eight people riding one bike, it's a pity I could not make a picture! On the crossroads there is a total chaos, from the first look, all start moving simultaneously, and it looks like they all are going to crash and make a mess of people and cars. But they somehow feel, foresee the trajectory of each other, and very kindly, accurately drive, making way and not losing their temper when somebody cuts up or gets in the way. And you understand that there is a some kind of regularity here, but to understand it you should live here for a long time. Beside the scooters one can see rickshaws on the roads. Our compatriots respect this mean of transportation and like to arrange the races, transferring the rickshaw drivers to the passenger seat.

"Regular chaos" is also seen on power transmission line supports. Instead of straight lines of wires stretching from pole to pole, there is an electrician's nightmare, - a bunch of wires is hanging on a support, tens of wires extend from the pole in different directions, but all this does work somehow.


Woman's fashion is very characterful here. In the country of a hot sun women endeavor to keep the white skin color. Being tanned is considered bad manners, so women are hiding from the sun with all the means - gloves, masks, wrapping, and finally they look like Fantomas.

This place has been rewarded by hot sun and beautiful nature. One can see fantastic sunrises and sunsets over the see. But it's very dirty everywhere around. And it's not clear whether Vietnamese do not have enough resources to keep their country clean, or they became accustomed to this. Seaboards are littered with trash, bottles, fish-tackles, rats are literally living together with people, and nobody concerns. But maybe there is a latent meaning in all these which is hidden from the strangers.

We lived in a small seaside town Vung Tau which is situated on the shore of South China Sea. The main point of interest here is 30-meters statue of Jesus Christ with outspread hands, analogous to that in Rio de Janeiro, but in Vung Tau it is bigger. The statue is standing on the top of a mountain, and it has stair inside by which one can get to the Christ's shoulders. IN hot weather it's hard to go up 800 steps, but I had mastered this ascent and took several pictures from the viewing point. A

nd of course I cannot keep silence about the concert itself. Despite of the fact that people in the auditorium mostly did not understand Russian, they received me very kindly. Vietnamese know Russian culture, many of them are aware of our military songs and romances as well. In 1987 I came to Vietnam with "Blue Guitars" band tour. Then I learned a song in Vietnamese, and I still remember it. So I decided to make a surprise and to sing that song on the concert. It was not expected at all! I'm pleased that the people liked and appreciated the surprise. I did not have much free time in this tour, but I've managed to make a small picture story about the trip. Listen to the song as well and try learn the words - may you'll need it if you happen to visit Vietnam. So, watch and listen!


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