50 Rubel

Time flies by and so it comes that another year is about to end. Good moment to share a story that worked on me for several months and that I won’t keep back from you.

We met Hoang during our photography workshop in central Vietnam and our first meeting was a bit ill-starred. He was sneaking around us and was asking for money. Or, at least we were thinking that and we felt a bit harassed by that. But in the end we decided to go into his garden and have a coffee there. He seemed a bit lost and irirtated by our appearance but after a while the ice was broken. And when he heard that our teacher was originally from France he started greet him with a bright “Bonjour”. And so we learnt more about his life, like that he was fighting in the french foreign Legion against his fellow people which was the reason why he could speak that language and that he is 88 years old.  We learnt a bit more about his family and all in all he was one of the friendliest guys I ever met.

Every now and then he looked at me and every time he gave me his biggest smile which I almost couldn’t stand, since I felt really bad in that moment. In the end we realized that he wasn’t begging for money, like we thought initially. He had some money that maybe some other tourist gave to him and that was russian money which he obviously couldn’t use. It was a 50 Rubel-bill and so I gave him some Dong for that and since then I keep that 50 Rubel bill at my home – together with a picture of Huong.

 

You don't need to speak the same language. His name is Hoang and a look in his face is all you need to get an idea of all the stories he has witnessed. And after all the stories he went through in the past 88 years - like fighting for the french foreign legion against his fellow people - the plainest emotion you will realize is graciousness. (Lang Co Lagoon, Vietnam)

You don’t need to speak the same language. His name is Hoang and a look in his face is all you need to get an idea of all the stories he has witnessed. And after all the stories he went through in the past 88 years – like fighting for the french foreign legion against his fellow people – the plainest emotion you will realize is graciousness.

Taken: Lang Co Lagoon, Vietnam

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