Monday, January 19, 2009

In Case You Forgot Who Is Running the Country...

While walking around Saigon there's no getting around the fact everyone is out to make money -- especially off the foreign tourists & businessmen coming to town.

But in case you forget who is running the country, you get little reminders here and there. We came across this shot at a Buddhist temple in Cholon. Uncle Ho is watching you -- even in the temple.

The reminders that this is still a Communist country forged together through a God awful series of wars with the French and the Americans can get a tad silly at times. Over in the Dong Khoi district of the city we came across a big photo exhibition of military propaganda across from all the upscale foreign chain stores.

Louis Vuitton and RPG's. Truly an odd mix.

I can sort of understand, though, why the government does silly things like put military displays in the middle of an upscale international shopping district. Even though the Vietnamese are in charge of their own country there is still a colonial relationship going on between rich foreigners coming to Saigon and the Vietnamese who cater to them. Vietnamese want, and need, the money, so we foreigners are often treated like nobility -- especially in an upscale international shopping district.

Displays like this are probably the government's way of reminding their population who they are, where they came from, and not to let themselves become the slaves of these rich foreigners coming to their country.


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