“Smile in the mirror. Do that every morning and you’ll start to see a big difference in your life” Yoko Ono
There is something magical about Vietnam: Land of the dragon people. From the first smiling face in Ho Chi Minh City to the peaceful half smiles from the Buddhist monks in the temples; you can see the joy in the people of a once war torn country.
Nothing compared to my experience in Hoi An’s ancient city. While bike riding around the city our small group found a small farm, we stopped to admire the gardens when two elderly people emerged from their small home. The first thing I noticed about these people were their contagious smiles. With my limited Vietnamese I approached and introduced myself, the man was delighted and instantly grabbed for my hand. His wife soon followed suit and we stood in the field holding hands and smiling with each other with no other way to communicate.
There is something special about people who have a way of speaking to your heart and through their smiles they were speaking to mine.
What did I learn from my 15 minutes with this couple? That life is hard… but we overcome, we live on.
This couple had lived through the Vietnam War, a war that tore apart their country and their city, yet they are able to be happy now. What strength that smile shows, not just the smile of these people but the smile of the country.
Later I had learnt that they were one of the oldest couples in Hoi An and had been featured in many brochures to promote the country; its not hard to see why they were chosen.