When I think of Vietnam, my first thoughts tend toward the Vietnam War (which I’ve taken a liking to calling the “American War” as they do locally), and not that they are one of the few remaining communist states. This fact was immediately brought home as we left the airport and were greeted by banners displaying the hammer and sickle draped from every lamppost. I laughed to myself.
From all outward appearances, it’s “communism in name only” after the market reforms of Doi Moi (similar to perestroika in the Soviet Union) that occurred in the late 1980s. Vietnam today is booming. That said, they still go all out with the communist symbolism, albeit with a warm and flowery kawaii-esque makeover. I’d call it “pastel propaganda”—much of it related to the Tet Festival that was happening while we were in HCMC.
Please tell me I’m not the only one who saw a hot dog and hamburger taped to his head? (Hint: it’s his ear!)
File this under “captions that do not do their photograph justice”:
An opposition supporter with pieces of bread taped onto his head shouts slogans during an anti-government protest in Sanaa February 3, 2011. Tens of thousands of Yemenis squared off in street protests for and against the government on Thursday during an opposition-led “Day of Rage”, a day after President Ali Abdullah Saleh offered to step down in 2013.
At the San Francisco WordCamp today I got to see Richard Stallman give his free software talk and then perform his crowd-pleasing St. IGNUcius bit. I don’t usually do this, but afterwards I stuck around so I could get my picture taken with him.