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Sunday, 22 March 2009

Tea for two

Last night I was having a cup of tea when I was joined by a visitor. This frog hangs around a lot is completely unfazed by humans, at least I think it's the same frog, there might be a whole family of them who like people.

Tea for two

Note the very classy HCMC mug which is a much treasured gift.

Saturday, 21 March 2009

The Corner of Yersin

The Corner of Yersin

I've always liked this building on the corner of Yersin, it's on a triangular corner between the electrical goods emporium, Nguyen Kim and a recently opened branch of the upmarket bakery; Tous Les Jours. I expect this corner is ripe for redevelopment and hope (with little optimism) that the building stays.

Yersin is one of a handful of streets named after foreigners, the illustrious company includes other scientists in the same field, Calmette and Pasteur. Yersin is the discoverer of Da Lat as a healthy retreat amongst other things. The other foreigner often honoured in street form is Alexander de Rhodes who invented the Roman form of written Vietnamese, it's thanks to him that I can read, if not pronounce, some Vietnamese. Top linguist!

Badly dressed tourists Part 2

Badly dressed, the figurative fabrics set

Faces on one dress and images of Ancient Egypt on the other, it almost makes you feel sorry for the girl in the plain black dress.

Oh Non, non la!

There they are again, the tourists in the non la, I'm not going to rant, just growl quietly, my reaction is tempered because the hat clearly isn't keeping him the slightest bit cool

Friday, 20 March 2009

Badly Dressed Tourists Part 1

The first part in a collection of pictures of tourists wearing ill chosen clothing. These were taking in Mui Ne where coincidentally there are a high proportion of Russians. I'll leave it up to you to decide whether these holiday makers are Russian but it's worth while knowing that they have access to fabrics and designs not seen in the rest of the world since the 1950s.

Badly dressed tourists in Mui Ne, Vietnam 2

Mesh baseball cap - Check
Oversized medalion - Check
Ill concieved shorts - Check
String anklet - Check
Moobs - Check
Overhang -Check
A perfect street outfit for the young bleached man babe about town.

And for the gentleman of experience:

Badly dressed, floppy overhang

Ladies also put in a lot of effort to look suave and sophisticated on holiday:
Badly dressed tourists in Mui Ne, Vietnam
A Fringed Fantasy, the front featured prancing horses and a nautical theme. It's one of those pictures I will always regret not capturing but my "stooge" refused to stand still so I could take a full frontal over his shoulder. Sometimes I think he doesn't support my art.

More later.

Sunday, 8 March 2009

Cyclo Challenge 2009 and the Stealth Samba Band

This year the weather was terrible for the Cyclo Challenge, see earlier post for how lovely it was last year and this post for how awful it was in 209.

I was otherwise engaged so didn't take the pictures showing here but it was my camera so I guess I have ownership:

Cyclo challenge 2009 2

Muddy and churned up but people waited patiently to go strut their stuff.

Cyclo challenge 2009 4

This bunch of chancers turned up without a gold sponsor and still managed to blag their way into the opening parade.

Cyclo challenge 2009 3

Stealth Samba, like Banksy with drums.

Atlas didn't have any supporters so were weirdly happy to have the random samba band.

Saigon Cyclo Challenge, Stealth Samba Band with Atlas Cyclo Team

It was bloody muddy and ruined a perfectly good pair of shoes but it was a hell of a lot of fun.

Nha Trang again

I accompanied a class of students to Nha Trang for the annual school trip so there wasn't much time to enjoy myself and wander off for photo opportunities that weren't full of students making their special camera poses.

I unexpectedly liked the Oceanographic Institute with the exception of the too small enclosure they have for the seal. The specimen room was stunning, I expect places like this exist in every research establishment but doubt they are open to the public. Row upon row of pickled sealife of all types.

Specimen Room, Nha Trang Oceanographic Institute

You can never have too much plankton in my book.

Plankton as far as the eye can see

Vinpear Land, apart from the animal show mentioned in an earlier post, was fun. The major hit was the Pirate Ship alternatively dubbed "The Seasickness Machine", you can see why.

Pirate Ship, Vinpearl Land

Also on Vinpearl I saw a particularly Vietnamese take on Snow White:

Snow White Vietnam, Nha Trang

She was accompanied not only by the dwarfs but by a tribe of small bouncy animals:

Three bouncy animals,  Nha Trang

There were a few moments of peace at Po Nagar towers

Cham Goddess, Po Nagar Towers, Nha Trang

Temple attendant, Cham Towers, Nha Trang

But mostly it was wiping off bird pooh, prying students out of cafes and headcounting, headcounting, headcounting. I think we all had a good time of different sorts.

Saturday, 7 March 2009

Vinpearl "attractions"

I was in Nha Trang this week and was offered chances to see elephant and bear shows, ride ostriches or watch dog and monkey shows. Vietnam still likes performing animal shows. I've had conversations with people about their cruelty or being inappropriate ways to treat animals but no-one so far has responded wth anything other than some comment about the animals being cute or clever.

Caged dogs Vinpearl island

I suspect Vietnam hasn't had the luxury of being able to get all worked up about animal dignity having some bigger concerns to get sorted out.

monkey show vinpearl land

The pictures here feature animals used in a very popular show at Vinpearl Land, Nha Trang. I find them heartbreaking and avoid them. I also support Wildlife at Risk who are doing a good job in education and practical rescue and protection programmes.