Let me do a sketch of everyday scenes in Ho Chi Minh City. Although the official name commemorates a political figure, the melodic name of Saigon is far from forgotten. When speaking to locals, looking at signs and the endless flood of restaurant and hostel, each name utilizing the word Saigon is a reminder of the city’s identity.
Saigon is the city of scooters, the city of spiderwebs above ground, stretching long ligaments of cables from street to street into the next neighborhood. Saigon is the city of popcorn vendors, casually awaiting customers at the side of the street. Saigon is the city of straw hats, of chickens, of business. Saigon is the city where Mercedes advertizes being the Vietnamese star, where people gather in the parks in the late afternoon to play games and enjoy the fading warmth. It’s where sellers promote sunglasses, flip flops and questionable services.
Saigon might be the place for the beginning of a love story. Or maybe it’s just two lonely people coming together in a little restaurant. The retired Australian is eager to share his life story with the petite Vietnamese souvenir vendor over a shared plate of nem and some cocktails…
April 12th – 17th, 2017