Friday, May 30, 2008

Garbage collection

Saigon has an army of garbos who sweep the streets clean every day. If you leave a plastic bag outside your front gate or in the gutter it will be gone by the next morning. Similarly, if you throw rubbish anywhere on the ground it will generally be collected. While this system is relatively effective, it does not promote people to dispose of refuse properly.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Roadside kite sale

Out in District 7 kites become the rage in the late afternoon once the wind picks up. There are a lot of open spaces out there at the moment, however as the city expands it is fast becoming one giant construction site. As you can see, these fluorescent kites have pretty cool designs

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Beauty and the beast

These type of lilies are common through most of Việt Nam, as are the biting ants that are all over this one.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Quintessential Việt Nam

Women in conical hats and pyjamas - standard getup for hawkers selling their wares all over the country

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Grass tiles

Tiles with photos of grass on them? A classic Vietnamese way to green up that dull front yard without all of the maintenance

Monday, May 19, 2008

Bridge nearing completion

The cable stay bridge connecting Mỹ Tho city to Bến Tre province over the first branch of the Mekong river is nearing completion. This will be the second bridge over the first branch of the Mekong, after the Mỹ Thuận bridge constructed nearly 10 years ago

Friday, May 16, 2008

Storm brewing

The wet season is now here in full force. Currently there are unpredictable rains continuously throughout the day, upsetting the majority of commuters who travel by motorbike and bicycle. Planning travel around missing the rain has been a challenge

Thursday, May 15, 2008

The United Nations Day of Vesak 2008

In Theravada countries, the day that celebrates the Buddha’s birthday is more affectionately known as the Vesak day. However, the celebrations extend not only to his birth but also his enlightenment and commemoration of his passing away. Vesak is actually the name of the fourth month in the lunar calendar and the day that celebrates Buddha’s thrice sacred events occurs on the fifteenieth day of the same lunar month. As such, there are Buddhist flags, flyers and posters all around the city, but mainly concentrated outside of temples. More info can be garnered here

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The East European language school

I would love to know how this place came to get its name - "east europe" is not a place that springs to mind when wanting to promote your school as a place to learn English. I also seriously doubt any eastern European languages are taught here

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Thursday, May 08, 2008

A struggling public telephone

With very high mobile phone subscription and usage, public telephones seem a thing of the past. This one has been damaged for sometime now and no one seems in a rush to fix it. I would not be surprised if it is removed altogether rather than repaired.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

The 69 Hotel

Umm, this aptly named hotel does seem to rent rooms by the hour

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Demolition on Hai Bà Trưng st

There is plenty of construction and redevelopment happening all over town. Many are on thin blocks that are relatively deep such as this one, requiring creative design to let in natural light. Not sure what this one will be, but the redevelopment of choice downtown seems to be mini hotels at the moment

Monday, May 05, 2008

Meet me in your drerms

A strange thing about fashion apparel here is that most of the slogans on t-shirts are written in English rather than Vietnamese. The majority focus around the theme of "love" and usually make little sense or, like the one above, are misspelt

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Taxi fare

The taxi has travelled 2.6 kilometres for VND 24,800, which is less than US$2

Friday, May 02, 2008

Percentage cacao at Jeff de Bruges

Continuing this months numbers theme, a chocolate shop in town sells blocks by the cacao percentage. The wife is a big fan of the incredibly dark 64% from Peru. As you can see below, they do not exactly give the chocolates away here. Apparently departing with such funds are well worth it

Exorbitant numbers

Thursday, May 01, 2008

In need of a renovation? Then please call...

This month's theme is numbers. Just about everywhere in Saigon you will see stenciled mobile phone numbers advertising home renovations. I tried calling one once to ask them to come and remove the "advertisement" from our office wall. Unsurprisingly, they never showed up. This picture is from a wall around a site about to be demolished, and I am pretty sure the guy who answers the phone number 0908 386 120 did not get the construction gig.

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