Right now we are having one amazing lightning and thunder storm in Hanoi. It was thretening when I walked this evening but I made it back before. The weather is this primal force here. I can always tell when the rain will fly. First the wind picks up and coats swirl, umbrellas falter, and motorbikes stop. Raincoats get put on. If I watch the Vietnamese people and use them as weather warnings, I can tell when its going to rain by them stopping their motorbikes and putting on the rain gear. Down the street we all duck under a police umbrella and the police officer gives us all room. Often there are more people than space under the umbrella and everyone moves around. Soon talking starts. The older man turns to me and says Hello and smiles. The young high school girls talk in good english.
where am I from? what do I do? Do I love their country?
They find out I am from America and it becomes their dream. Many young Vietnamese want to travel to America, find school or work, but always come back to Vietnam. Soon the police officer is almost standing out of the umbrella’s protective area so he goes to a small shelter they have and leave the umbrella to us. The bus stops. Some people get on and some get off. Suddenly its like they are all long lost friends.
When I leave after the rain stops in 30 minutes or so, they all say goodbye and wave. The police officer reclaims his umbrella. The wind has stopped. The sky opens to blue.
Andn that’s when it rains in Vietnam.