Images of Viet Nam

‘The old days linger on’

With a lot of gesture a railway worker, very manly this time, tried to convince me that taken pictures is forbidden and chased me away. A new phenomenon because one day earlier in the streaming rains nobody hindered me trying to capturing a scene. The weather circumstances forced me to come back and this guy does the same while also tomorrow nobody will say anything unless he’s on duty again. A fanatic employee with more than a good feeling for the enterprise or are these the reminiscences of an old system, the military discipline and every strategic object an absolutely no-no in photographing. Rail and bridges without any doubt were part of it. For the sake of a childish consensus, the stranger could be a spy despite one knew that satellites already unearthed everything.
For the splendour of the railway only, too bad some staff has no compassion at all. The guy still lingering in the after days of uncle Ho and maybe regrets that the change unmistakable has taken here course.
The Quay Bridge near Haiphong and far from the impressiveness the one in Hanoi with a narrow surface whereon train and traffic endure each other. The latter for sure pleased with a lesser train passing. Not the cyclists because the grooved rail in the middle of the road caused many if unattended a twisted front wheel.
When a train approaches the other traffic is ordered to wait behind a lowered barrier but only the cars obey. Pedestrians, cyclists and small motorbike riders are less patient and try to use the ample space still available in crossing, the pushing begins. The helter-skelter of Vietnamese traffic conditions and not only the attitude: out of my way I am coming though I am not aware. The utterly chaos as described before but supplemented with a constant blow on the horn, ringing a bell, or whatever device belonging to their mode of transportation that makes a lot of noise. A complete useless habit because no one will respond. On the road it’s me for me and Buddha for all blessed by a lot of honking.
The unmistakable and till now not described charm of the spot and by all means no touristic attraction. Close by where Viet Nam what it really is spend here days. The poor, or shall we say the ones not able to keep pace with the changes in the market. The supreme performance of unpredictable movements, look and compare and let the question rise, for the ones who live around the bridge almost every demand slowly faded away.

Editorial note: as stated before all my pictures (slides) are resting somewhere in the Netherlands and can’t be used for the moment. Yes, I took some from the spot though very hard to capture. However, to give an impression I found a picture on the Internet, hopefully the anonymous maker won’t be disappointed if he (or she) finds out about the other setting the work is used for. Without ‘the Net’ how poor we should be?

Traffic in Hanoi, imagine the sound of honking and hurry without any sense


About Robert von Hirschhorn

Author / Performer or in Dutch: schrijver / dichter
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