Tomorrow, The Mekong

Capital…, originally uploaded by schro440.

I hate to admit it, but I am rather rather relieved to be leaving saigon tomorrow. Not to say this is a terrible city, quite the contrary – it’s dynamic, lively, filled with architecture gems, but… If one does not have specific business here, 6 days is waaaay too long.

Early tomorrow morning, I’m going to be picked up and slowly transported up the Mekong river into Cambodia. I’m hitting the point where I want someone else to make a few decisions for me. So, I have booked a place with a random tour, by boat, of the Mekong delta region.

I’m not really sure what to expect. I’ve geared up for traveling solo, but being surrounded by other, equally clueless tourists sounds…. refreshing.

Until we meet again (I may not have Internet access until Phnom Penh, 3 days from now)….

November 15, 2010

, originally uploaded by schro440.

I was walking away from a Turkish kebab joint in central Saigon when I looked across the street to see this. I know, I know, another photograph of accumulated layers of architecture. However I couldn’t resist.

Also, it’s been a good day for me and for Saigon. The rain has blown in some cooler temperatures, and I’m finally feeling like I’ve got the hang of a tiny part of this city.

As I look out the window of my hotel room on the ninth floor, I’m greeted with a far stretching view of the city. Although not as prominent as in say, shanghai, the landscape is being rapidly infiltrated by construction cranes. The old giving way for… the boring. What is it about the spread of capitalism that requires such generic architecture?

Night. Rain. Illness. Rain.

Alright I have been posting like crazy today. This is for two reasons: I am trying to keep up with the frantic pace of the city and my digestion of it; and also, because I’m not exactly feeling so hot. This evening, I decided to get out and get something to eat at one of the restaurants near my hotel . Ok. Following the rule that you should always go where it is busy I stepped into a Japanese joint and straight into bizarro world.

I was completely alone in the restaurant. And sat down at the bar for something light and safe. Big mistake. Random “samples” of dishes arrived in front of me. Not wanting to be that picky bitch American, I obliged and sampled. Second big mistake. Finally as I’m doing this, the server is standing directly behind me, scrutinizing everything I’m doing.

So, here I am… Post food sickness, listening to the nightly torrential downpour and watching star trek.

I’m wondering if I should learn to suppress the part of me that goes on little adventures like these.

Next year I’m going to Canada. Or Iowa.

Informal/Slow Growth Architecture

, originally uploaded by schro440.

Yes! I’m sorry about the repost, but I finally figured out how to get a decent sized image onto my blog via the iPad… Turns out its best to do this thru flickr.

Anyway, this is what I’m talking about when I refer to informal architecture. The base of this building was probably constructed during the French colonial period. Over the ensuing decades, this hybrid tower structure emerged – crowned with the anathema of the socialist revolution, commercial advertising space.