Mid-week snippets


Night after night the banana-hat stole the show and ultimately the hearts and minds of the people…

  • Rubbish collectors: As of last week, apparently, so I have read, if you spy somebody dumping rubbish in the capital city you can dob on them and claim VND500,000 to VND1 million as a reward. You will bag VND500,000 if you tell the police the time, location, number plates and model of vehicle used to illegal dump rubbish onto sidewalks, streets or in public places. But… you will earn yourself the cool million if you not only catch them in the act but capture them and haul them off to the nearest police station (personally I’d cajole them there by offering sweets or beer, possibly both). It’s for reasons such as these that I always carry my trusty rope in my bag so as to lasoo perpetrators, ne’er-do-wells scallywags at large.
  • Say no to Western wedding gowns! In recent years the Western style wedding dress has been just as an integral part of the big day for Vietnamese as the traditional ao dai, if only for the photo shoots, but such dresses in a commune in the northern Bac Ninh province have been banned by local authorities who are determined to promote ‘thriftiness’ in what we must presume is an impoverished area. But while brides have to make do with the traditional ao dai grooms are encouraged to wear tuxedos. Eh? Tailor made with fabric imported from Milan perhaps? To ensure the bride does what she’s told the couple has to sign a contract and fork out a deposit of VND500,000 to be returned after the ceremony concludes, if the bride played ball. Some local women in the report linked above are said to be not exactly ecstatic over being told what to wear, but one local who runs a wedding dress rental shop says he’s still doing good business in both ao dai and western gowns as apparently as soon as the wedding procession leaves the commune (away from the authorities jurisdiction) the brides change into their western wedding gown and pop the Russian Champagne with joy. The shop owner says even the kids of local officials have come to the bridal shop to rent western dresses for a quick photo shoot. Whether or not the shots go on their mantelpiece back home we may never know.

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