We were walking from our hotel in Hoi An to the Ancient Town when I saw a man pushing his way down the street in what looked like a roadster. Clearly disabled, he had his thin frail legs tucked beneath him while riding in a contraption that looked closer to a race car than a wheelchair. “He must have polio” I thought. With little use of his legs, his special wheelchair wasn’t equipped with pedals. Instead, he could rock the steering wheel back and forth to propel himself forward.
I had never seen anything like it so I pointed it out to Ren and said: “Look, check out his wheelchair. Isn’t it cool? It makes it so much easier for him to get around.” I thought it was a unique design made just for him.
It wasn’t until a visit to this museum in Saigon a few days later did I realize what that “wheelchair” really was, and what it meant.
The Vietnam War played a big role in American pop culture, which is probably a big reason why the War Remnants Museum…