Hanoi in July. . . It’s hot! It’s really really hot!! About the only people out on the street are people on motorcycles and they are just going as fast as they can to make it to someplace cooler. People in cars can at least cruise around in air conditioned comfort. Then as for the foreign tourists. . . well they are just out sweating away in the midday sun.
Kids on bikes are also probably felling hot. But then there are the people in love. They never seem to feel the heat. This man in love with himself. Young couples in love with each other. A young woman going off to marry the man she loves, and a girl waiting for her true love to appear.
Then there’s me. I’m also out on the streets of Hanoi, but I’m feeling the heat. It is hot, and that’s why I’m looking for a couple [of] people who I know can end this heat wave – the Trưng sisters. That’s right, the two ladies who led a rebellion some 2,000 years ago. They’re the people I need to find, [be]cause they can make it rain.
My only problem is. . . I have no idea where they are. And I’m on the streets of Hanoi, it’s July, and it is hot!
The Trưng Sisters, or Hai Bà Trưng in Vietnamese, are today seen as “national heroes” for leading a rebellion against the Han Dynasty in the first century AD.
However, early Vietnamese sources, like the 14th-century Việt Điện U Linh Tập record that the Trưng Sisters were worshipped as rain deities.
That text records that in the 12th century there was a drought. Emperor Lý Anh Tông ordered a Zen monk to pray for rain, and it worked.
Emperor Lý Anh Tông then saw the two Trưng Sisters in a dream, and they told him that the Jade Emperor had ordered them to bring the rain.
Emperor Lý Anh Tông then ordered that a shrine for the Trưng Sisters be erected in the capital. This shrine was called the Hall of Abundant Rain (Vũ Di Đường 雨彌堂).
[at the History Museum]
So this is the History Museum. There is a lot of old stuff in here, so we’ve got to be quiet. We don’t want to wake anything up. Shhh! Let’s go inside.
Ok, so I thought we had to be quiet, but they’re vacuuming some of the displays so I guess we don’t have to whisper.
So I finally found the Hai Bà Trưng [i.e., the Trưng sisters], they’ve got them listed here in a chronology and then they’ve got this kind of bronze picture of them, but it really doesn’t say anything about them, it’s just that they had an uprising – there’s the vacuum cleaner, and that a lot of people supported the uprising, but that’s it, so I’m gonna have to go somewhere else to try to find out more about the. . . the Hai Bà Trưng. I’m not sure where yet, but I gotta get away from this vacuum cleaner.
[at the park]
So my first attempt to find the Trưng sisters [and] to get them to make rain has failed, but I’m not worried [be]cause now I know exactly where to go.