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Monday, 9 July 2012

Violet times in Ho Chi Minh City

I lived in Vietnam for four years before moving to India so it was great to go back to somewhere I was so familiar with and where I still have a lot of friends.

Sometimes, especially when I'm taking pictures somewhere I know well, I'll choose a colour and seek out things to snap that match it. The process is to have a quick scan about and the first photo worthy thing you see, that's the colour. In HCMC it turned out to be purple. Vietnam loves purple in all it's shades and flavours.

When you think of Vietnam or Saigon (aka Ho Chi Minh City) it's likely that rice fields and conical hats come to mind and there are lots and lots of these:

Fruit seller, Hoi An

Right there, keeping her Non La or conical hat on - purple. Now you will find lots of ladies in traditional dress but HCMC is a fast developing city. It's a great mix of new and old, foreign and local influences and like most cities it has a fancy shopping street. The start of this area is marked by the Louis Vuitton store on Le Loi Street. Here we have the Four Legged Lady of Le Loi and a purple dominated LV window:

The four legged lady of Le Loi
Part of the tradition in Vietnam in general is the preponderance of public information propaganda posters, another is that everyone rides motorbikes:

Purple Propaganda Poster

If everyone rides motorbikes then you want yours to stand out from the crowd, if only to find it easier in the parking lots and in HCMC you can do that with style. Anything and everything can be personalised and here are two reconditioned Vespas demonstrating that:

Vintage Vespa and Lambretta scooters in fab shades

Even the airport has purple seats, some people dress to match...

Purple poser

and some to blend in.
Purple Passenger

As I sit here I've just noticed my toes, I got a pedicure in Saigon, trust me the best pedicures in the world are done in Vietnam. It's purple of course, I don't even like purple!


P.N. Subramanian said...

Why what is wrong with purple. It is beautiful. Loved the post. The traffic in Saigon is terrific.
Would you mind dispensing with the word verification for comments. It is irritating and does not serve any purpose.

amasc said...

After my purple safari I'm starting to come 'round to purple. You're right, the Saigon traffic is terrific. It has a liquidity and seemingly unworkerable order that I've never seen elsewhere. I used to ride a motorbike there and yes, would happily ride on the pavement and go the wrong way down a road if required. I would never consider it in Mumbai, there are far too many cars.
Word verification: good point, I find it irritating on other's blogs too so yes, why not?

Chuzai Living said...

They like pink and violet, don't they? Love the motor cycles!

amasc aka Anne said...

The bikes are great aren't they. A Vietnamese friend calls these "manicure motos" because they look like nail polish colours. Alas when I lived in Vietnam my scooter was just plain white but it did have a sparkly seat.

amasc aka Anne said...

P.N. Subramanian suggested I take off word verification. I gave that a go but it's back on now because I was being hit by so many automated spam messages that it was becoming very irritating to delete them. I tried but sorry, the word verification is back.