Mr. Doung Van Ngo sits like every day at the end of his bench at the Central Post Office in Ho-Chi-Min-City / Vietnam.
Right next to Mr. Ngo a sign that says ‘Public Writer’. A dictionary, a pencil and his little writing pad.
The CPO is a notable building. Spacious, bustling, functional and wonderful to look at in its Art Deco style.
..and (which is not to forget) it donates a little cool, even without air-condition, on this hot day in the end of April.
So I go over to Mr. Ngo and we start to talk in a very warm way.
MARKUS: ” I’m Markus from Germany and I would like to bring an article about you on my photo blog. Mr. Ngo, could you be that kind and tell me in brief a little bit about yourself ?”
MR. NGO: “Of course… ….and with pleasure. I’m 88 years old and since I’m 17 I’m working for that post office here in Ho-Chi-Min-City. Every morning I come here with my bicycle… …which I park always on the outside of the building on a shady spot… …and there was no single day where I missed to go to work… …even during the war. I learned french and english language at school. Against some not truthfully rumors, that say I learned english from some american GIs… …I have to say that is not true, I learned english at school… …but there was an american pilot that teached me the right pronunciation of the ‘th’. By my profession as a translator in french and english language , I offer translation services to people who need my help.”
MARKUS: “And what is this service… …I mean, what do you translate for you clients?”
MR. NGO: “Everything that my clients want me to translate… …documents, forms, letters… …but in times of the internet people are able to translate texts more and more by themselves … …but there are still clients who ask for my service.”
MARKUS: ” You said letters… ..but that sounds very private…”
MR. NGO: ” …that is very privat in deed. There were many letters with very sad and tragic content… …but I translated also many love letters.”
MARKUS: ” Was there a letter which touched you in a way that you still remember?”
MR. NGO: ” I learned to forget contents right away. I take the confidentiality and the trust very seriously. I forget letters immediately.”
MARKUS: ” Mr. Ngo, it was very nice to talk to you. Thank you for that and I wish you further many nice days and success in your profession.”
MR. NGO: ” Thank you.”
‘When that whistle blows
Girl, I’m down the street
I’m home, I’m out of my work clothes
When I’m out in the street
I walk the way I want to walk
When I’m out in the street
I talk the way I want to talk
When I’m out in the street…’
In 1986, Vietnam launched a political and economic renewal campaign (Đổi Mới) that introduced reforms to facilitate the transition from a centralized economy to a “socialist-oriented market economy”. Đổi Mới combined government planning with free-market incentives and encouraged the establishment of private businesses and foreign investment… …by the late 1990s, the success of the business and agricultural reforms ushered in under Đổi Mới was evident. More than 30,000 private businesses had been created, the economy was growing at an annual rate of more than 7%, and poverty was nearly halved. (source: wikipedia)
All this nice moments of 2017. A good year.
Thanks for all!
(photos by Victoria, Andrea, Lena and me)
“I’m 48 years old, not a kid anymore by any definition, but here is a universal truth that every adult at some point will realize: We are all always 17 years old, waiting for our lives to begin.”
“So, the combination of looking at lots of different people and how they react to each other and how they relate to each other and waiting for that inspiration is the thing that allows me to keep writing.”
The Nón lá, the vietnamese rice hat. This style of hat is used primarily as protection from the sun and rain. When made of straw or matting, it can be dipped in water and worn as an impromptu evaporative-cooling device. By its diameter of 40 cm it also covers the average size of a shoulder from snakes falling out of trees. Hmm, good to know.
There may be nine million bicycles in Beijing. There may be in average two cars washed every saturday somewhere by one family in the western world. There are scooters in Vietnam. A lot! Not to express your lifestyle. Not just to cruise around. Just to let the vietnamese world spinning around. A world with wonderful people. Does this millions and millions scooters seem like a flood of anonymous vehicles? This is not about the scooters. This about the million individual stories of the people who ride it!