The Sounds of Ho Chi Minh City / Vietnam
Yes, still in Ho Chi Minh City, I thought I can try to give you a
little impression of the sounds, which fill the air around me at the
moment. If it were not necessary to read this mail for getting the
picture I would tell you to close your eyes ... Well anyway, there we
We still stay in one of those very narrow alleys. A lot of the houses
have incredibly little space to live inside, so life is outside the
front door. Depending on the time of day you hear a lot of people
chatting along, sometimes it gets a bit louder (and harsher), babies
being played with, sometimes crying .... or long Shhhhhhn!Shhhhhhn!-sounds
usually from someone carrying a small child with naked bottom trying to
animate it to pee or else ... the sound of cutting-knives on wood, when
food is being prepared...Oh, there is the repeating calling melody of
someone carrying a tray on one shoulder or a bamboo-pole with baskets on
either ends or pushing a cycle selling fruits or other things ... there are
birds chilping...TVs burbling along very loud .... sometimes there is
singing to be heard, like our hosts singing to the little one while
cradling her in the hammock; often sounds like the Buddhist-melodies,
which you can hear in pagodas, but Vietnamese songs too....in the
evening for example the karaoke is turned on, I mentioned my respect for
the Vietnamese joy of singing before, no matter if talented or not ... You
can hear them sing!
Squiiiiiick, squiiiik, squiiiiiik, that's someone selling balloons
(for playing in the water) in all shapes and colours (imagine a bicycle
loaded with sticks full of balloons)
Bimmm, bimmm, bimmm, bimmm ..... that's the ice-cream being rolled down
Rrrritshtshtshe, rrritshtshtshtshe, rrritshtshththe... Men on bicycles
with small suitcases and bags and a rattle in their hands; it took us a
while to find out what it's all about: They do massages, kneading feet,
hands and shoulder on the spot ....
A similar mystery for us were those people walking the streets with a
small piece of metal or bamboo and a stick going clog, clag, clog,
clag, clog clog-clog, clag ...: It's the "call for the soup being ready"
If you wish, you can order one, which is brought to you on a tray!
Well not to forget the constant background-noise of loads of motorbikes
rushing past and like the cars beeping their horns at every occasion
possible ... motorbike-and cyclodrivers clapping there hands for
attention, asking: "Where do you go? Do you want a moto/cyclo?
City tour ... " Do you want to buy books?" (someone carrying a tower of
copied books) "Please come in" (someone jumping up in front of you
pointing to a restaurant) ... hammocks, lighter, sunglasses,
chewing-gums ... I will not continue this long list of things being
offered to you on the street, as it seems endless ...
Well, you can return to your own world of sounds now, while I will make
my way out of this clicking and clacking environment of the
internet-cafe, into this sometimes tiring but jet "wonderfully noisy"