Saturday, November 15, 2008

Last Walk-About

Recently I was on a final walkabout of Saigon and caught the following sights:

New hanging planters installed along Dong Khoi street outside of the Sheraton Hotel.  

Sorta typifies Vietnam in this time and place - it's great that folks put up some pretty hanging planters, which gets watered from municipal water trucks from time to time, but if you look closely you'll notice that they stripped the tree of its bark in a quite violent manner just to install the mounting brackets.  And no obvious attempts to close up the wound with some physical barrier to prevent insects from getting at the wood.  

Two steps forward, two steps back.  Don't be surprised to see some sickly trees on this stretch of road in the near future.

Roadway medians here are immaculately cultivated, and this is one of the reasons why.  If you drive around in the mornings, you'll see teams of people hand cutting, weeding, and watering all the government owned greenery.  Once in a while, you'll see a gas operated weedwacker, but otherwise everything else is done manually.     

I've finally found the Apple-certified store - Future World, on NTMK in D3.  Of course it was accidental, as I wasn't going around looking for it.  

 Compared to Hanoi, you don't see much in the way of food vendors on the streets of Saigon, other than the Banh Trang ladies that is.  My theory is that it is because of the office lunch delivery business that goes on in Saigon.  

You see stacks and stacks of these trays delivered every mid-day to all sorts of businesses.  Even the xe-om guys in Saigon eat their lunch via these delivered lunch trays.  A complete meal - which in Vietnam means rice, veg, meat, soup and something pickled - for 10-15k delivered drives away a lot of street vendor competition.  

No comments: