Monday, April 2, 2012

Loose Ends and Other Oddities

I put this photo here as illustrative of the title of this post. One sees a lot of loose wires just hanging around here or lying in the street or on the sidewalk. I try never to assume that they are devoid of current because, as with many things, it's far better to error on the side of being to cautious.

Remember the wedding we went to? It turns out that what we went to was a "wedding party." The ceremony part had taken place beforehand and involved the families of the bride and groom. What we attended was analogous to a Western wedding reception. I must admit that that makes a lot more sense.

Remember the marching practice photo near the end of this post? It turns out that they start practicing that marching style early here. As with the photo of the soldiers marching, I snapped this one in a hurry not wanting anyone to object to my shooting.

Speaking of schools, this one is not far from our hotel. As the husband's Norwegian cousin says, if someone learns to speak Norwegian, he or she can talk to about 5 million people. If someone learns to speak English, he or she can talk to anywhere from 328 million to 1.5 billion people depending on whether you look at native speakers or speakers of more than one language. It is also worth noting that Vietnamese-American college graduates in the U.S. might well consider looking here for employment. I've seen a number of ads in the two English-language newspapers (both of which are put out by the Vietnamese government) from corporations looking for people fluent in both Vietnamese and English.

I don't know that I've ever seen one of these in the States. A junior college of medicine? When I mentioned it to the husband, he offered that it might be a prep school for this. That does make some degree of sense to me. It may also be that the junior college is for training for people like radiology technicians or what we might call "allied health professions" in the States, the health care professionals with less than a post-graduate degree.

I put this photo or one like it up on Facebook for my friend and Avon lady the other Jean. I also took a close-up of the sign. The company for women. While the female students outnumber the male ones 17 to one in the husband's physics class, the gender roles here do seem to be, shall we say, much more traditional than they are in the States. As the husband commented at dinner with some Vietnamese students one night, the unit for measuring most social changes is not the year or even the decade, but the generation.

It never ceases to amaze me how much can be carried on a bicycle. This could be this woman's entire sidewalk business. It certainly does not make sense that she is taking this all home for her own use.

I crack up every time I pass this tree. It's like Mother Nature has slapped the modern world with her own special "take that!"

There are several of these sidewalk vendors on the other side of the Perfume River. Besides odd dishes and cutlery, most sell tarnished medals, pins, cigarette lighters, and dog tags. One of the guide books noted that while it is reasonable to think that many of these items are fake, someone once purchased several dog tags and, upon returning to the States, used the Internet to search for the men whose tags he had. He was able to locate several who reported that they had in fact lost dog tags here during the war. In other words, you never know.

I like the dichotomy of this shot, chopsticks and Western cutlery set out to dry or await use. Most eating establishments offer both chopsticks and knives and forks. We ate at one last night that did not offer chopsticks, a fact we commented on to each other simultaneously. We likely will not return there in part because of this. It seemed almost sacrilegious not to offer chopsticks.

There's just something about this sign, which is displayed in several locations around the Citadel. I understand the damage that esplosives (sic) and fire could do to an historic structure, but poison? I'm not really sure about that one, I have to admit.

I have to admit that some of the colors used on some of the buildings here do make me smile, like this one. That is just the most amazing shade of blue and on such a uniquely shaped building.

Here's something you don't see everyday here, an American vehicle. Mostly you see Toyotas, Nissans, or Hondas, with the occasional Mercedes thrown in. I did see this today, the first chance I've had here to "punch buggy" someone, and I was by myself, darn it.

While tradition has it that this is a phoenix, I must admit that upon first seeing this creature three years ago, we all yelled, "Chicken!" I guess I expect a phoenix to be a bit more, shall we say, regal.

This young man takes after the husband, able to sleep anywhere. The anywhere he's napping is under the temporary bleachers put up outside the Ngo Mon gate to the Citadel for the opening ceremonies of Hue Festival 2012. We'll be there on Saturday, so look for a report after that.

Finally, this is just a shot that I like because it captures much of the simplicity that exists quietly beside the hustle and bustle and horns and bells here. I probably could have composed the shot a bit better, and hopefully will the next time I have something similar present itself.

1 comment:

Terri said...

Jean, I love the shot of the guy sleeping on the bleachers!