Not all propaganda is bad; this is a huge misnomer. Not all propaganda is pro-state either, and this is a good example. Kudos to the government for finally acknowledging the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
“At that time Nguyen Mink Hoa’s grandfather was asked to look after a house on Hang Gai (now better known as Silk Street) by a friend of his who fled to the south. He took two rooms on the first floor for himself and his two young sons and invited the original owner’s relatives and friends to occupy the other five. The ground-floor room next to the street want wanted so it was ‘donated’to the city authorities. The maternal side of Hoa’s family owned a large house on Ma May street. They decided to to divide it up themselves. They kept the first floor, invited a brother’s family to take the downstairs rooms at the back and gave the rooms looking on to the street to a more distant relative. Both streets lie within the Old Quarter of Hanoi, the triangular maze known as the ‘36 streets’ where roads were named after the items they specialised in selling”
- from “Vietnam, Rising Dragon”, speaking about the period before the Doi Moi of the 1980’s
In the picture is a rather large house on Ma May street, very possible that it’s the house he was writing about.
All you need to know about ordering Vietnamese Coffee, courtesy of my friends at Le Pub, 25 Hang Be in the Old Quarter
This is great. I wasn’t able to get a picture like this because that would feel strange….
These open ground floor houses are the norm- you walk the narrow alleys, especially in areas such as Ba Dinh, where lanes snake their way around houses and tiny canals, where you can get hopelessly lost, where there are no signs to direct you which way to go…and people stand there and watch you, because the street seeps into their house, and vice-versa. Perhaps this helps explain the unity of the Vietnamese people. They live in such close proximity that everyone lives on top of each other in a way. Your neighbours are literally feet away from you.
This lady obviously runs a little food shop here at night, and I’m fairly certain that this is just off Hoang Hoa Tham street. I love the old French-style pillars, which suggests that this is one of the older houses in the city, because it wouldn’t have been hit by an American bomb during the American War.
Saigon, the city that never sleeps!
I know its Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City for the new generation), but this scene is repeated over and over in Hanoi. I really miss those wooden chopsticks because they are so much easier to use than the porcelyn ones. The stainless tables that bump my knees, and which cause me to spill Pho, accented by colourful burst of red chilli sauce, and vibrant garlic sauce…..they flood my memories.
Great Poem, based off another poem entitled “You Bring Out the Mexican in Me”.
Opinions ... Editorials . . . and Recommendations: Scam alert: Cambodia (Phnom Penh) National Museum
There is a guard at the National Museum in Phnom Penh who targets Western tourists (women in particular) for this scam. He tells the tourist that there is a US$1 levy for taking photographs in the museum’s courtyard and he collects the fees directly.
There’s no fee. If there is, then the…
Can’t reply to this tumblr directly, but gotta correct this somewhere. US Dollars and Cambodian Riel are BOTH the local currency in Cambodia, particularly in Phnom Penh. If you use an ATM, for example, USD come out. Further, photography is prohibited in the National Museum. There are signs stating that everywhere. I suppose this enterprising guard could just be getting a couple bucks off tourists, but I’d hardly call what is presented here evidence of a “scam.”
So I’ve been reading The New Hanoian, and some transient/tourist complained that he rented a bike, went to dinner at a 24 hour establishment (the only one in the city that I know of), and that when he left around midnight, his bike had been towed by the police.
He wanted to complain to Lonely Planet (for some reason), and to the establishment, and to anyone that would listen; why was his bike towed, and what right did police have to tow it?
People explained to him that parking is technically illegal in the vast majority of Hanoi, but he wouldn’t listen:
“why target me? why tow me? they just want bribes, don’t they?!?”
Alas, there are many adjectives for this individual, but one of the most suitable, and friendly ones I can think of is entitled. Instead of being happy that, for once, the police are actually doing their job, he is angry that they are. His white-boy hegemony mind says that he should be allowed to bribe the police, and just be allowed to go on his way…
Just be thankful that maybe, just maybe, the police in Hanoi are starting to get their act together.
Yes, a Vietnamese childhood is unbelievably dangerous.
But if you manage to survive, it’s also a lot of fun.
Did you know that children in Vietnam don’t suffer head trauma?
You put this kind of basket over your cock to keep it from getting out and fighting other cocks.
There is a park in Hanoi, right across the street from the Temple of Literature, that is essentially the cock fighting park. This isn’t exactly hidden, as there are big statues of roosters fighting. All around this little lake there are these baskets, and in them are some very…rough…looking cocks.
I’ve been doing a lot of travel recently- in one day I was in New York, Toronto, Vancouver, and finally Calgary. This means lots of airports, and consequently, lots of airplanes.
Sometimes you can meet really annoying people on an airplane, like a couple weeks ago I was “lucky” enough to travel with a football teams cheerleaders. Because the cheerleaders all wear cowboy hats on the field, they were all part of carry-on, in their special hard case, which didn’t ever fit into the spots where they tried to put them. There was a great deal of wedging of bags and shoving of purses- I figured that maybe, just maybe, I was going to be spared the pleasure of sitting next to a cheerleader; alas, this young girl stood next to my seat and asked:
“Can you hold this?” while handing my a bottle of water.
I took the bottle, as a nice person would, as she wedged her oversized cowboy hat box ontop of my bag in the overhead bin. Cringe.
She sad down beside me, while I still held the bottle, and it was a good 15 min before I asked her if she would like it back… Througout the flight she would pass me her garbage to hand to passing flight attendants, all without looking up. Full blown diva.
But this is more about a different situation, when you meet interesting people and have interesting conversations on airplanes, like this past week flying from Vancouver to Calgary. The flight is very short- about an hour and 10 minuntes- so no one really settles in. During preboarding I noticed this Asian lady and a very young girl with her, who could have been no more than 2 years old. I thought to myself:
“Please, oh please don’t let me sit by the kid”
Low and behold, when I found my seat on the tiny plane, I was seated right next to the mom and daugher- both in one seat…
I sit down and pull out a book and start leafing through it, but the little girl is very interested in my book, and is grabbing at the pages, to the horror of the mother. Now, after spending as much time as I have in a preschool and a kindergarten, I was very understanding, and not annoyed in the least- this was an opportunity to “make friends” as Betsy would say. So, we do the waving thing that is obligatory with young children, and she smiles and laughs then says:
“There! There!” in Vietnamese…clear as day Vietnamese.
So, without missing a beat I say hello, and using the proper relational markers, introduce myself to the child. She claps and laughs and babbles on in Vietnamese, and the mother stops. Turns her head. Looks at me with wide eyes, and a dropped jaw.
“Did you just speak Vietnamese?”
“You speak Vietnamese?”
… And then she looked at me very strangely, as if she had entered some sort of twilight zone. Some mid-twenties white guy in Canada was speaking Vietnamese, and only Vietnamese, to her daughter on the airplane.
I’ve said it before, and I will hold fast, that the best teachers of a language are small children. I learned more Vietnamese from my 3 and 4 year old children than I did from an adult. Reasons for this is because a toddler speaker with simple vocabulary, and generally, they speak clearly…and quite loudly.
So, we had a basic conversation, and she told me her daughters name was Natalie, and that she was 16 months old, and that she was sick, so they were going home to see the doctor. She nearly passed her daughter off to me, in true Viet fashion, but I think she was concerned how that may look to the other passengers. The looks from the Chinese passangers though were equally as hilarious. The had no idea what was going on.
Moral of the story? Don’t be the unfriendly person on the airplane. No one likes you.