My first race and concert experience in Vietnam

Sorry readers. I disappeared for awhile there. I was doing so well with posting regularly and then I got busy. And then when I wasn’t busy I was too lazy to write… I know you have all been sitting on the edge of your seat for my next blog post so without further ado. Here ya go:

A couple weeks ago I went to Saigon to participate in a 5K race. You know. One of those so-called “races” where you pay money to get a shirt and race bib but the bib doesn’t actually have a chip attached to it so you’re not actually getting timed so it’s kind of pointless to be wearing it in the first place. ANYWAYS, this particular 5K was a color run. An excuse for large amounts of people to get together to throw dyed cornstarch on each other, under the guise of a fun run. Color runs are reminiscent of the Indian holiday, Holi, but way more commercial. And much less Hindu.

I’ve celebrated Holi when I was in India 3 years ago and did a color run when I lived in DC. So when my friends asked if I wanted to join them for a color run, Color Me Run, in Ho Chi Minh City I was more than willing. The decision was made even sweeter with the promise of a T-Pain concert after the race.

I’ve participated in a bunch of races in the U.S. before. Both timed and un-timed races. I was expecting that since this was going to be a fun run not many people would actually run. And it being Vietnam, where running culture is pretty much nonexistent, I expected even less people running. Well, it being Vietnam and all. Basically no one ran the race. Everyone walked the race. And very slowly. Not a lot of people walk in Vietnam in general so I think this race was the most walking that a lot of people would have to do in one spurt. Also, since this is Vietnam there were food carts all along the course and lots of people stopping to eat and take breaks. Definitely a very Vietnamese experience. All in all, the race was a nice stroll, with lots of colors, and good company.

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After the race, the Color Me Run organizers hosted a concert with Vietnamese singer, Toc Tien, and American artists, GRL, and T-Pain. There were a ton of people at the concert but it was a surprisingly pleasant experience. I love going to concerts but I usually avoid really large concerts since I really can’t stand all the pushing and shoving that normally goes on at concerts. This concert was probably the friendliest concert I’ve ever been to. Everyone gave each other space for one thing. If someone needed to move through the crowd they were really polite about and didn’t just charge through. The most unusual thing for me though was people sitting in between sets and during the concert. Especially people that were not THAT far from the stage. I could see people sitting if they were far away from the stage but there were just huge groups of people sitting near the stage as well. People were having a lot of fun but it definitely felt a bit more subdued than a concert would in the U.S. Another difference that I noted was how a lot of people had a hard time clapping on beat to the music. It was a pretty funny sight actually to see all these hands up in the air but a lot of people clapping at different times.

There you go. An account of my first race and concert experience in Vietnam. I had a great experience. It was especially great to witness and experience some of the different cultural nuances of Vietnam that I had never encountered before. If all concert experiences were like the one I went to in Vietnam, I would be a much more pleasant person at live shows.

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