They love to stare. Openly and without fear. They'll stare long after you've passed by, the heat of their gaze burning holes in your skin. I'm talking about the locals. They love to stare at young women, foreigners - especially if you're fair skinned, and those of us are considered to be 'Viet Kieu'.
They call those who have made their home elsewhere by that term. Originally thought of as the ones who'd abandoned this country, we were deemed as arrogant, privileged, and cowardly. When the first few returned to Vietnam in the early 90s, they had to be accompanied by the police. Now there are few fights unless you find yourself drunk and alone in a bar. They mostly just stare, though many especially here in the south are very welcoming if you speak with them.
I'm looking forward to coming home, to walk to the streets without wearing my shades. Yet at the same times, I wish this trip could have been longer.
Maybe next time.