Week 1 Michael Kohnert

I watched the Top Gear Vietnam special at the recommendation of my sister who lives and works in SE Asia. I’ve seen enough of the show to have a good idea of what was going to happen, same antics different place. And that’s the first incorrect assumption I made, it was quite different from the normal episode. The presenters weren’t in cars, they took many opportunities to explore Vietnam itself, and learn about the people. I thought it was fairly thought provoking. I think I got a great unbiased view of how different life in a communist country is. It’s not “bad’ as one might be led to believe, but it is very different from western society. I was already somewhat aware of this, but what really left an impression on me was the beauty of the landscape. I never really imagined Vietnam as having mountains and beaches, and the roads they drive on would be a blast to do someday. This has actually made me consider going to Vietnam sometime to visit my sister, and if I do I’ll be getting a moto just like the Top Gear gang. Another thing I took away from it is that the Vietnamese don’t seem to sensitive about the war with America. The presenters joke about it, by supplying a backup moto covered in American flags and blaring Bruce Springsteen, but since they weren’t chased out of the country by a mob I think the people of Vietnam took it in good humor. They also talked with a few people who fought in the war, and I always find it interesting to hear things from another side. Again, I think the fact that people are willing to talk with members of the western media about their experiences in the war means that there isn’t any grudge like I thought there would be.