Thursday, July 26, 2007

Saigon Cooling

For an aside, here is the Nikon 2006-2007 Photo Contest International's Grand Prize winner, "Crossing Waves" by Tung Khanh Le. I'm sure Preya is disappointed she didn't grab the grand prize.

We were down in HCMC last week and noticed yet again how much more comfortable it can be there for an expat. One of the biggest adjustment to the region has to be the unbearable heat. It's basically the middle of the summer already, so (hopefully) this is as hot as it gets in Vietnam, and Hanoi in particular.

HCMC is, surprisingly, noticeably cooler than Hanoi. It cools off much more appreciably in the evenings, due in large part the the ocean's ameliorative effects, and during the day, even though the sun is more oppressive, the humidity is slack in comparison to the capital city.

To be sure, it still is hot like heck, so sitting in air conditioned cafes is still the preferred method of spending one's time, the atmosphere is such that when you are required to sit in an outdoor cafe to conduct a business meeting with some locally acclimated individuals, you don't mind *too* much. You still think they're crazy for suggesting an outdoor location, but you don't think them wholly insane.

The other thing we noticed while down in HCMC was how fat some locals are; well, at least relative to Hanoi folks. The fat locals look like my relatives in the States, corpulence through comfort. As in a lot of developing Asia, everywhere in Vietnam you see overfed children; but in HCMC, you can find a number of adult locals with extra capital around their waists. It was odd really, but it made us fit in more easily :)

The English language Vietnamese paper (that would be Viet Nam News) yesterday had an article about using acupuncture to lose weight. The vignette featured a woman who was 165cm and 65kg - that's about 5'4" and 143lbs for the non-imperial set. That's would be a little under normal in the States. Her 18 year old daughter was 80kgs though. By any measure, that's quite a few stones.

1 comment:

Preya said...

I could only dream of capturing something so magnificent!