Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Uncle Ho expresses his opinions

Most of the time, it is easy to forget that I'm living under an oppressive regime, and I'm sure that that is no mistake in the government's part.

When you get out of town though, it becomes more obvious. In Hoi An a couple of weeks ago we met a Belgian woman who had been aging with her family in the north of Vietnam. They spent two weeks in Sapa and more remote areas. She told me that in the small towns in the north the government felt omnipresent. Partially she said it was because of the huge monuments in even the tiniest poorest towns, and partly because of the propaganda posters and rules posted everywhere. But most especially, she felt the presence of the loudhailers.

The government uses loudhailers for public announcements, and news, and propaganda and advertising of all kinds. In the cities they have fallen out of use, for the most part, but in the small towns they are inescapable.

This afternoon at home I had a surprise:


First off - I didn't know we had loudhailers in the building! And I've been here 6 months.

Secondly - I suppose it's possible that this is actually an announcement from the company that owns the building, and they are borrowing tried and true technology.

So, and I'm not just being careful here, since my blog's already blocked in Vietnam so why bother - it's possible that it has nothing to do with the government at all.




anyway, this announcement is reminding me of what life is typically like for people in smaller towns.

It's loud, even when things ought to be quiet.


  1. Traveling! She had been traveling. Not aging?

  2. brilliant! Anything could be happening that needs urgent loudhailing.

    1. I know. I did wonder briefly if it was some kind of evacuation notice, or a 'the lifts are out of action' notice - but nobody was milling around in the hallways or anything...

  3. mising uzz. that was realy loud and random. big bro Joe

    1. Missing you too little brother. loud and random is exactly what it was. And annoying.