Sunday, June 23, 2013

The war in Viet Flippin' Nam

The war museums in Ho Chi Minh City aren't as humorously revisionist as Hoa Lo Prison in Hanoi, but there's still plenty of anti-American sentiment and ambiguously loaded word choices to make the Revolutionary Museum and War Remnants Museum worthwhile stops.

The plaques even seemed to get so sarcastically critical at one point, with the Declaration of Independence being juxtaposed against images of crying men with their legs blown off and their deformed Agent Orange offspring. They might as well have hung a banner reading 'Thanks, America' and piped a sincere symphonic rendition of the Star Spangled Banner on repeat. But I think they got their message across regardless, and if I was American I would have felt some ancestral shame and duty to confront these exhibitions of my nation's cruelty, however one-sided.

Yeah, really must get over to India one of these days...

War Remnants Museum

That's right: while the people around me were contemplating the nightmares of war, I was lining up a joke photo of my girlfriend getting shot. These only get more disrespectful

My money's on the guys on the left

Thailand raised the bar for bleak museums: if it don't have dead babies, it ain't worth seeing

They threw in a torture dummy to appease me too, but it's a little half-hearted.
Still, that puts it above Cambodia's S-21 Prison where they expect you to imagine the suffering without patronising visual aids. Lazy!

The Vietnamese may have kicked out of the French (with a little help from the Japanese, who fancied staying for a bit themselves), but they hung on to the best bits

I don't get it: are these sombre relics from a painful past or a proud parade?

Dave loves war

Revolutionary Museum

Dave still loves war

This museum's focus is less on war and more on how objectively brilliant this city is. They don't dwell much on the South Vietnamese Army or rampant prostitution, but everything else

Still being a child, exploring the formerly secret underground bunker was the best part

Shame there wasn't time to mount a full paranormal investigation, but if your camera flash picks up any dust particles when you're down here or your EMF meter coincidentally flashes when passing electric light sources, it's probably the ghost of Ho Chi Minh

As an outspoken fan of independence I'm close to accepting this as my motto, though would favour something along the less severe, more practical lines of 'Independence or Shared Utility Bills.' It's a tough call

We did finally get a passable flag shot when the wind behaved, but I like this failure better

And that's all I have to say about that

1 comment:

  1. salut Dave,
    - oui, les photos, ton récit de ton voyage au Viet-Nam, encore beaucoup de choses à dire, intéressants, ou autres, j'ai vécu ici depuis 2011, c'est vraie, il faut s'adapter à la vie vietnamienne. bon courage pour tes prochains voyages, et ramènes nous les belles photos.