The early morning locals market is a riot of smells, from yummy to yuck in one breath.
Slimy fish entrails, slide down from concrete benches, as the women clean and gut the days produce, almost everything is still alive. Prawns squirm in shallow bowls of water, frogs with a confused looks in their beady eyes as attempt to hop, away from the pack, their legs are tied to the frog next to them, long thin eels, circling amongst each other creating live slippery knots.
Then there is the raw meat section which is almost all pork, pork and more pork and the women sellers sit cross legged, on the benches, amongst it all, slicing and pruning, in preparation for the customer. The smell, unmistakably, well? Pork!
Back out on the street and I see a young woman get reefed from the back of the motorbike, on which she was a passenger. Another motorbike swerved too close and literally wrenched the shoulder strap of her backpack, dragging her swiftly off the bike and onto the road. She literally bounced.
I was crossing the road as the drama unfolded. I could have had a long blink and missed it, it all happened so fast. The surrounding traffic and people never missed a beat!
The consistant, continual stream of motorbikes, pushbikes, walkers, massive tourist buses, mini buses, trucks and street food vendors walking along never paused for a second.
Even the bike rider on the bike she was on, did not stop….maybe he never even realised she was dragged off, in all the chaos and noise of a ‘normal’ Saigon street.
I crossed over the road quickly (and carefully), to go and look for the girl, to offer some assistance as I realised she would have been in a shocked state. Suddenly she was beside me telling my partner Allen to be careful whilst he crossed the road, in a thick French accent.
Allen had crossed before me and maybe was in some way involved. I did not see that part. Or maybe she was there to deliver a message to him. I hope he was listening.
I touched her shoulder gently and as she looked at me through glazed pale green eyes, I saw the hue in her skin was alabaster. “Go and rest’, I told her, “Drink water…you are in shock!”
She nodded, seeing but not really seeing, hearing but not really comprehending my words.
She was ONE lucky girl.The way she hit the road, she’s going to be a very bruised and sore lady, tonight, tomorrow, maybe for days and the memory will stay with her forever.
A reminder that your life can change in a split second…literally….in the blink of an eye.
Life can deal you a blow and change your life in a split second.
Be aware,be awake, be mindful….of yourself and others.
More links for women travellers…
- Tours for Women around the World
- Tour Companies run by Women around the World
- Accommodation for Women around the World
- Women who are Local Tour Guides
- Retreat Places for Women Around the World
- Tours which include Retreat Themes
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