Terra Galleria Photography

Last evening in Vietnam

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It’s been a month since I arrived in Vietnam. In the evening, I remark again, on the street where I am staying, a construction field of the size of exactly one townhouse width, between two standing houses. The ground is covered with rubble from a recently demolished building. This is a site that I have already photographed a few weeks ago. Back then, the street vendors active in the area had watched me, wondering what I could be taken a picture of. After seeing the photo on the LCD, they commented that although this a ugly sight, the picture is beautiful. I had felt so rewarded by the appreciation of the men and women of the street.

Today, among the rubble, a small group of workers are sitting around a tiny plastic table, apparently eating. Although I have decided for my last day in Saigon not to make any photographs, the scene is so visually striking that I cannot help but stop to have an extended stare. The construction workers notice me, and motion for me to join them. A plastic chair is pulled.

They are in fact having rounds of shots. The liquor is quite strong. As I am quite sensitive to alcohol, after three rounds, I manage to excuse myself. In the while, most passing tourists stop to snap a photo of the scene. Everybody seems to be happy that I can speak Vietnamese with them. I am given warm accolades and even kisses as I announce that I’ll most likely be back in half a year.

Of the Lonely Planet list of “top ten” experiences in Vietnam, I was missing the round of drinks in a bar. I guess this will do. What I liked so much here is being an inside outsider, or maybe an outside insider ?

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