My first impressions of Vietnam – simple, warm and beautiful

By: Tanmay Telang

It’s been almost a year that I’ve been a part of the Fargreen team . However, 8th of June 2014 turned out to be the first day of my life in Vietnam. Initially I was feeling a bit nervous about being in Vietnam. But then I decided to go there with a clean slate – an empty mind with no prejudices at all. And it did turn out to be the right decision, for, as I cleared the immigration and visa interview in Hanoi in fifteen minutes, I realized that the attitude of people here is easy going and I am going to have a good time.

Trang came to receive me at the airport, and we went back to her home town of Phu Ly in a hired Taxi. The air here is hot and humid and I got drenched in sweat within no time. The smooth ride in an air conditioned taxi on a well maintained high way helped a lot though. My initial accommodation is in her parents’ house in Phu Ly, about an hour’s drive south of Hanoi. They run a restaurant on the ground floor, and the two floors above it, is their residence. They have been running it since the last twenty years. They work very hard, and as a result their restaurant has become very well known in the town. In spite of this recognition, they are one of the most humble, kind and warm people that I’ve ever come across in my life. Their generous hospitality has won over my heart. Meeting them has reaffirmed my belief that generosity is a virtue which stems from the heart and is irrelevant to the wealth possessed by the individuals.
The beautiful pieces of Vietnam – the simple people, their collectivist culture, their hospitality and the scenic rural views are marred by the sporadic unregulated activities of stone quarries, cement factories and the smoke coming from the open rice straw burning. This is why I believe that Fargreen’s solution of utilizing the waste rice straw as a useful resource makes a difference. A difference which would make the simple, beautiful life of the rural Vietnamese even more beautiful!
Bye for now! Tam biet! And till the next blog, pray that my struggle with eating Vietnamese food using the chop sticks gets better :0