I haven’t continue my story in Vietnam since few days ago, due too another trip, sick and bed rest at home, then busy with work, now finally, I can spend a bit time on my lunch break to continue writing about it.
Maybe you ask me, why should I need to write about it? Maybe nobody read it.
Well, I don’t care whether ones read it or not. For me, writing such bring me an happiness. It can ease my mind, and also I could record my own history by my writing. Who knows that maybe years ago from now, the life of a person named Dea Sihotang can be searched by so many people who want to know her, hahaha.
As you remember from my previous article. I already arrived in Tay Ninh, at Panda’s house. In her house, I met with her mom and grand ma. A sweet mother that can’t speak English at all but cook for us a very delicious food for dinner. This is my first time eating a cat fish that really huge! Almost as big as my fist. What I love on a traveling is not only about seeing things or places, but also when I can make friends along my way. I can meet with many new kind of people, many kind of behavior and character, I can learn from them as long as perhaps they learn a bit from me. So tonight, I learn another story from my strong friend, Panda. She is a kind of person who able to lift up your mood and motivate you to keep believe in God no matter what situation you have, in this case, my situations 🙂
We were waking up not so early, since we both so tired last night and Panda assure me to sleep in and take my time to have a good sleep. Another different that I face is because (I guess) people in Vietnam love to sleep without bed. It was confusing me before. They just put a blanket above the surface of floor and sleep. So I follow them, and I can sleep really well, maybe because my body also dragged me to take a rest and relax.
Around 9 am, we went to the local market to find our breakfast. Panda wants me to try her father pancakes actually, her parents are selling pancakes in the local market. But too bad because the pancakes already finished since it’s very sale able. So I chose a bun to be ate for us. The bun is so cheap actually and contain so many pork. It was so delicious even it looked not mixed together so well, just raw vegetables and noddle put together in one bowl, but once you mix it, it tastes so yummy! Also very normal for Vietnamese to eat raw chilly, without blend it as sambal, so usually in their table, they put a small plate with raw red small chilly inside. While I chose the fried Bun, my friend chose the soup Bun, I taste it also and it was so yummy too 🙂 My heaven was so completed after closing the meals with a sweet treat for my self, a Vietnamese Coffee and a glass of ice with sweet beans and peanuts.
Place in the market which sell the Bun
Back to Panda’s house, we were waited by Lucky, her puppy. Lucky is so active puppy. He always want to bite anything, whether our stuff or our parts of body, such as legs, arms, feet, fingers, anything he finds interesting. It is very common if you need a time to find your sandals because Lucky just hide it somewhere.
Panda’s house is so nice. It has a straight view to the rice field and still surrounding by nature. Even in the evening, it could be so dark. Tay Ninh is a town that probably around 90 km from Saigon. As I can see, there are some churches in this town. The church is different interior with Roman Catholic, it’s more influenced by the interior of Cao Dai, I mean, the colorful and style. After said goodbye to Panda’s family and able to make a picture for memory with her mom, we were going to Sewing Course place. Panda learned how to sew for fulfill her dreams. She wants to make a beautiful long dress and Vietnam long dress is so famous. But for now, the teacher wants to make a beautiful long white dress for her baptism day, so we came to that place to measure Panda’s size. Surprisingly she also wants me to measure my size cause she wanted to sew one long dress for me and send it to Jakarta. How sweet!
Tay Ninh Town around…
In Tay Ninh, there’s also a famous mountain called Black Virgin Lady Mountain or in Vietnamese it called Nui Ba Den. I don’t know why it called like that.
I try to find out the story, and here is what I found :
Legend has it that prior to 1700, when Nui Ba Den was still in Cambodian territory, a Cambodian chieftain lived on the mountain with his son and a 13 year-old daughter, Nang Denh. A Chinese Buddhist monk, wandering through the region, came to the chieftain and asked for a place to live and spread the teachings of Buddha. Nang Denh’s father built the monk a temple called Chua Ong Tau (Chinese Monk’s Temple) whose ruins can still be seen on the foot of the mountains Eastern slope.
The pretty, young daughter in time became a devout disciple of Buddhism and when her father proposed her marriage to the son of a neighboring chieftain, the girl went into hiding on the mountain. Soldiers dispatched to find the girl eventually found a section of her leg in a stone cavern on the mountain’s slope. Having vowed herself to the Buddhist non-acceptance of married life, the girl had apparently killed herself rather than break the vow.
Years later, a priest who practiced Buddhism on the mountain for 31 years claimed to have seen her walking on the mountainside. He built her an altar, the Shrine of the Black Virgin, which still stands on the mountain’s slope today…
So probably the Black Virgin Lady supposed to addressed to the girl who kill herself in that mountain.
This mountain also play importance roles while the war as a battle ground.
In the present, people can hike the mountain or take the Gondola Lift because sometimes the trail can be dangerous while wet or in rainy season, because I also see there’s so many huge stones on the mountain. There is also a beautiful temple you can see her after pay the entrance ticket. I didn’t do that since our time is limited and we need to go back to Saigon to catch our bus to Mui Ne at 3 pm.
We leave the Black Virgin Lady mountain behind, with it’s secret and mystery.