Day 250: Wedding Bell Blues

Wedding portraits across from Notre Dame Cathedral, Ho Chi Minh City

Wedding portraits across from Notre Dame Cathedral, Ho Chi Minh City

*First, let me apologize for not posting these past few days (weeks?) due to some computer software issues; Adobe Lightroom 5 has suddenly started crashing every time I launch it and I have been unable to import pictures, or edit them. I’m currently working around that problem with the use of Fotor, but it is not a seamless prospect.

We were having coffee at a sidewalk cafe on the square that features Sacred Heart Cathedral and the old, French Colonial Post Office building when a monsoon-like storm rolled through the area. As soon as the storm passed couples sprang from inside vehicles and buildings and began shooting their wedding portraits.

Day 248: Coffee to Go

A portable coffee vendor in Ho Chi Minh City

A portable coffee vendor in Ho Chi Minh City

The small, gasoline powered scooter is the heartbeat of Ho Chi Minh City, pulsing down the streets by the millions, surging, slowing, swerving and stopping. Everyone it seems has a scooter and they use them for everything: to transport families of five, to nap upon, to lounge on with a newspaper and a smoke, to transport large loads and newborn babies. And to earn a living.

Day 246: Every Day is Laundry Day

A woman uses a pole to hang her clothes on an overhead pole.

A woman uses a pole to hang her clothes on an overhead pole.

Apartments in China can be small and appliances such as clothes dryers rare, so it is quite common to see clothing hanging outside to dry. In fact, I had to argue with our Ayi when we first got here because she wanted to hang our clothes out on the balcony; she refused to use the clothes dryer, saying she trusted God but not the machine. I insisted that the machine had to be used (even though it doesn’t vent to the outside–but, hey, China!) and eventually she acquiesced. But I understand her perspective, As a kid growing up in Queens, NYC every backyard had a clothesline strung across it and laundry day was filled with the sound of clothes flapping in the breeze. Here in Shanghai space is at a premium so by necessity any horizontal pole, bat, or wire can become a suitable “clothesline”.