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Friday, 9 July 2010

Child Safety Vietnam

I used to get very worried about children on motorbikes without helmets but, as with most things, it's become perfectly normal now. People tell me that it's difficult to get helmets for very young children and that, even if they could, they are too heavy for their necks. So this is how young children are protected on the move:

Child protection

They have a little chair to sit on, this one is made of chrome but you see rattan ones too. On their heads are hats to protect them from the sun and netting to keep off dust and insects. In front of them is usually a booster cushion shaped like a teddybear or some other cute animal. It is attached by elastic to the bike and provides both a soft landing incase of sharp braking or bumps and a handy place to put your head for a quiet snooze. As someone who's been known to nod off on the back of the bike I'm considering attaching one to the Man for added comfort.

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Packaged Packaging

Carry out and delivery food is very common, most cafes, restaurants and stalls do it so they need something to put their takeaways into.

Well packaged

This is a wandering purveyor of expanded polystyrene and plastic requirements to local food shops. The toilet roll? It also works as napkins.

Land Development

Saigon has a new and nearly completed landmark, the Bitexco Financial Tower. It can be seen from all over the city and surrounds and even has a helipad on one side. Alas my picture doesn't do it justice but I'll get some better ones soon.
Bitexco financial tower saigon
Large swathes of the city centre are also earmarked for ripping down and "improving". Not everyone is in favour of course and I've been told that the flags flying from the residential buildings at the top end of Le Loi are in protest to the planned redevelopment of that area.

Eden Mall Residents' Protest Redevelopment

Such a shame to see buildings of character go under the jack hammer but I doubt the mild misgivings of one expat blogger are going to make the slightest difference.

Backpacker Bingo

Backpacker Bingo is a surprisingly popular sport. The rules are simple, prepare a ist of typical backpacker attributes and tick them off as they're spotted. The more advanced gameplay requires that you get a picture as evidence.

Backpacker Bingo

To get you started here are some of the things you might want to look out for:
too many wrist/arm/ankle bands, careful bed head, new dreds, novelty shorts , motorcycle leg rash, overly large bottles of water, overtly "dressing like a local", star t-shirts in wrong colours, inappropriate facial hair, new tattoos, beachwear as streetwear, unworn hiking boots dangling from well worn backpacks, unravelling extension, "on tour" t-shirts, front and back packs worn together augmented by carrier bags, an accessory or item of clothing from every country visited, robes of any description, walking with a staff.

It's a fine way to pass the hottest hours of the day while you sip on a cool one.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Architectural Signage Puzzle

CEE 1971

Perhaps someone out there can help me with this. I've seen signage like this since I arrived and have never been able to work out what it means or meant. Any ideas?

Blog Break Broken

It's been a busy time at work and the blog's suffered for it. However, the balloons have finally gone up so it's business as usual.

Going, Going