There’s something that has eluded me for the last 7 months - art. Going from NYC, the artistic capital of the US to Saigon has been a shock to my artistic side; it’s gone into hibernation. I miss Broadway, I miss modern art, I miss galleries. Sure, they have some museums here in Ho Chi Minh City, but most of them are about the war, which is a bit sobering for me to take. So when my friend texted me and asked if I wanted to go to a cultural performance at the Opera House this weekend, I leaped at the chance to wake up my right side of my brain.
Not only was this a chance to see art, but it also accomplished two other important things for me. I had a reason to dress up and go out in a sophisticated manner AND I was finally going to see the inside of the famed Ho Chi Minh City Opera House. The Opera House sits smack in the center of the city the jewel of the city demanding attention with it’s bright floodlights highlighting it outside grandeur, but it’s always left me wondering what’s inside. I’ve been by it a million times, but I’ve never seen the doors open, it just sits there unused from what I can tell.
I went with some teaching friends who impressively came to the cultural event in a very Vietnamese cultural fashion…driving their motorbikes with skirts and stiletto heels. The old building was very nicely refurbished, the chandeliers in the lobby gave it a warm, inviting glow. We found our seats and as one would expect the show started late (as does everything in Asia). They did kindly give us an English program; little did we know that it was the only English we’d be seeing or hearing for the rest of the night. Granted, it was a Vietnamese cultural show, so I guess I shouldn’t expect it to be in English, but a girl can hope. There were a handful of westerns in the audience anyway, so I don’t think it bothered anyone else.
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