Observations about the universe, life, Lausanne and me

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Vietnam: cliché

Vietnam was one of the most excellent countries I've ever been in. The energy in the streets of Hanoi (or any other city for that matter) is astounding - and while I am not too sure that I could stand the constant noise for longer periods of time, I would be willing to try. Anybody know of any post-doc positions for plasma physicists in Vietnam?

But Vietnamese street-life will be the topic of it's own post, for this opener I thought I would start with some stereotypical pictures:

Not what it looks like - she is working.
The dichotomy between rich and poor is nothing short of astounding, and sobering. While many in the cities are poor, you still get the impression of modernisation: Everybody (and I mean everybody and their dog) has a scooter, and you can sense the economic upswing that Vietnam has been having since the introduction of a capitalistic economy in '86. Leave the city, especially in the north, and you find this:

Dirt-poor farmers, grubbing in the muck. I know that my impressions may be a bit off, since even in the north a farmer generally has two harvests a year, and they probably won't turn out their Sunday best to work in the fields, but still. Seeing any kind of technology being used in the rice-paddies of the north is rare:

The South, as always in Vietnam, is better off, with mechanised or at least partially mechanised farming the rule, not the exception. Stay tuned for some thoughts about Hà Nội, tomorrow.

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