Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Saigon Sights

Some sights while walking about HCMC:

I saw this boat anchored in the tributary near the golf driving range I hang out at.  It's odd to see this sort of pleasure craft in Vietnam, I'm guessing because you can use it to sneak things (and people) across the border.  I've come to find out that the person who owns this also owns an airline without any planes.  I guess they traded a Boeing for a 30ft boat.   

A friend told me that there was a Mercedes McLaren in town, but I was a bit incredulous because said friend wasn't a full-fledged car guy.  Turns out he's right, as I spotted this outside of Diamond Plaza on a weekend.  

The "new" Vietnam is filled with fat kids.  Family sizes are much smaller than they used to be, in both the white collar class and the blue collar class in the city.  I believe this kid is a valued son to a shopowner nearby.  It's hard to blame parents for overfeeding their kids when they themselves can so easily remember existing on rations.  The bike is a start though.        

This picture is a small example of how things seem weird here until you look more closely... if you do, then maybe only half of the things are weird here!

I walk down this street a lot.  One day I see a small pile of bricks and debris, and I just though that the street cleaners hadn't come by yet.  But the pile was still there the next day.  Over time, it would grow, and then wane after a rain storm.  

One day I walked past during a heavy downpour and I finally realized what this was.  This debris sits outside a building that has underground parking.  You get to the parking spaces by taking a subterranean ramp that feeds out to the street.  When it rains moderately, the street corner drains are quickly overwhelmed and the parking ramp funnels the collected downpour into the garage.  This mound of discarded construction materials helped to provide a lip blocking that flow.  An interesting, if temporary and ugly, solution.     

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What happened to socialism? Haha.. Things like the yatch and the Mercedes McLaren SLR in Vietnam used to amaze me. But now, I just think that it's a waste of a super sport car because their's no road to take that baby and drive the heck out of it. I've been dreaming of a Ferrari F430 (only if I win the lottery). You can bet that I'll push the car to it's limits and drive it the way it was built to be driven, not sitting in traffic with people staring at you from their meager mopeds.