The Questions of my Life.

Essay by superskullJunior High, 9th gradeA+, September 2005

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As we walked along the streets, they were silently glancing around, exchanging meaningful looks. Then they started complaining about how much litter was on the pavements. They pointed at houses, murmuring: "They exclaimed at how many motorbikes there were, and asked how we ever managed without cars. I was still too confused to speak as we turned a corner I wish we had never turned. We suddenly found ourselves surrounded by nearly a dozen beggars, in rags, stretching out their hands, asking for money in a pathetic tone. Alas! I will never forget the sight, the way they disgustedly threw money on the pavement, staring with astonishment and scorn at those miserable beggars vying with one another for the handout. In retrospect, I can still feel my shock at those people's attitude toward my hometown.

It was on a Saturday morning back in 2001, when some students from my class, including myself, were appointed to be the tour guides for a group of students from Aubury High School, Australia.

We were expected to show them around Hanoi and tell them about Vietnamese culture and people. How much I looked forward to their coming, as I assumed this would be a great chance to travel, relax, and make friends. These thoughts, to a girl whose sole interests were chatting on the phone and going to parties, were so stimulating. I could never expect that things would turn out to be so unpleasant. I don't remember what happened next, since my mind had been wandering from that moment until the end of the tour. That night, for the first time I found myself pondering about something really serious, my head was full of questions. Why didn't those foreigners recognize the historical value of pagodas and mausoleums, but could see only litter and...