Since I blogged about the Sounds of Vietnam, I thought it only fitting that I devote some time to the Sights of Vietnam as well. The slightly odd ones that is…
Helmets on Buses
Lady in the middle — obvious helmet. Lady to the left of her — helmet, wrapped in a jaunty beret.
Some Vietnamese harbour a fondness for boarding the bus sporting protective headgear. It makes me wonder. Was their motorbike nicked? It is being shipped via slow boat? Or is it a requirement of the dim-witted in these parts perhaps? I’d like to believe it’s an extreme form of visualization – “I may not have a motorbike now, but if I wear this helmet long enough, the universe will certainly deliver.” But I’m not sure.
Pantyhose and Flip Flops
Pioneered by the Germans, the socks and sandals combo is tops among pet peeves. This is my first encounter with the pantyhose and flip flips phenomena however. I’m not sure how (or why) this came about, but I lay the blame squarely on Germany. Where open footwear is present, German-inspired hosiery can’t be far behind. The sad thing is, I’ve even seen some band-wagoning tourists embrace the trend. Perhaps they confused flights to Hanover with flights to Hanoi.
The Vietnamese like their power, but not necessarily their safety. They seem to have mastered not only the art of the horn, but hold dominion over the properties of electricity as well. Wires run as randomly as the noodles in your pho, and oftentimes are equally as soggy.
Pyjamas as Daywear
When I see this many women in pyjamas, I’m half expecting a pillow fight to break out. It’s hard to tell who’s dressed for work, and who’s about to lay down for a nap. The first time I saw it, I was certain the poor woman was sleep-walking. Then she spat and lit a smoke, so I figured she was at least partially in control of her senses.
Not the most professional look for your average career woman, but I guess comfort accounts for something. I’d like to see a female lawyer’s office while I’m here. Would they be donning business suits, sitting around a conference table discussing the finer points of torts? Or in their PJ’s, snuggled up to beanbag chairs watching a Legally Blonde marathon? Would the attire lean more towards Ann Taylor or OshKosh B’Gosh. Who’s to say. In any case, it’s still bizarre every time I see it.
What bizarre sights have you seen in Asia?