A few weeks ago I walked back to my house in district 3 from district 1. It took about 20 minutes. Along the way I snapped several photos.
Here's the "Notre Dame" Catholic church in central Saigon, District 1. It was right about 5pm and worshippers were streaming in.
Here are some nuns welcoming the crowd. They looked like a happy bunch.
There are always lots of tourists, Vietnamese and foreigners alike, taking pics near the statue of the Virgin Mary in front of the church.
I passed in front of the Reunification Palace, formerly home of the President of the former Republic of Vietnam, aka South Vietnam. It's open for tours. The interior is like a time capsule -- the decor, furniture, everything is preserved in its 1960s-era modern splendor. While touring with recent visitors Rick and Katie, Rick remarked "My parents' basement rec room still looks like that."
There are patriotic posters scattered throughout the city. It's ironic to see the hammer and sickle share street space with massive and gaudy Pepsi and Samsung billboards.
A few blocks away was what looked like an old French building. Jon had a good post about the dwindling ranks of old French architecture in Saigon. Gradually it is being torn down to make way for Saigon's shiny new future.
Near my house there's a pharmacy where you can buy any drug you want, no prescription necessary. There's a scale there too. I periodically stop by to check my kilo progress, making sure no one is sneaking a foot on the scale (they are pranksters). Their uniforms crack me up.
This is co Van, aka the cigarette lady who sets up shop every evening outside my little alley. We always share a friendly wave. Sometimes I stop by to chat and practice my Vietnamese. I must be making progress, because now we can exchange real information. The last time the power went out I asked her when it would be fixed. "About an hour," she said.