Chau Doc, Vietnam
In the morning we load into rickshaws for a ride around Chau Doc.
Our guide, Tony, was explaining the Vietnamese subsidized economy that existed until 1985. He had to go to the store at 4AM with a pork or rice coupon. He took a brick with him and when he had to go to the bathroom, he would say to an older person, "Uncle would you watch my brick". He likes the market economy much better. He says the old economy made everyone lazy.
The river here in Chau Doc is covered with little houses that appear to be floating. Actually they go down 15 feet to the river bottom and enclose 200,000 fish (taplia). The fish eat a ton a fish food every day and take a year to reach full size (about 2 kilos). The food costs $350 a day, but at the end the family should make a 40% profit. The fish are transported live to factories and then frozen and sent to Wal-Mart in the U.S.
These are fish transport boats. they have holes in the side and are partially filled with water for the journey to the factory.
A woman gathers hyacinth stalks to dry and sell.
We visited an ethnic Cham village on the river later. They are Muslims. The Cambodians invaded here back when Pol Pot was in charge and killed about 3,000 of them. That caused the reunified Vietnamese to invade Cambodia and restore sanity.
The book I'm reading is called "The Peoples History of the Vietnam War". I'm up to the chapter where the Cambodians go insane and start killing people for saying things like, "the food is not tasty".
Cham children say "hello'.
Later, Mrs. Phred goes shopping in Chau Doc and takes a picture of this furniture. We end the evening in Phnom Pehn after a long run upriver.