its a happening space

Published: September 22, 2006
Updated: September 22, 2006

I used to be amazed at the amount of activity that would take place constantly around our house in Sai Gon, but that pales into insignificance with the hustle and bustle that goes on right outside my window at Khach San Terry Diep.

The house is situated at the back end of a busy Ngo (alley) that runs off Duong Van Cao in Ba Dinh District and apart from the activity generated by the market that operates every morning and afternoon, there are an incredible number of the older houses being torn down and new ones built in their place.

The building noise seldom stops and last night was still in progress when I fell asleep at midnight. the noise doesn’t bother me any more, in fact I am more conscious of any strange noise around me when I am back in Brisbane than I am here.

Because the tiny alleys are so narrow every bit of demolished material must be carted out by hand and likewise, every bit of construction material must be taken in the same way. Concrete is mixed by hand in an open space directly under my bedroom window which is at the front of the small shop that exists there. That shop is directly next to a carpentry business that makes timber doors and I can hear the sound of their buzz saw as I am sitting writing this.

So, chaos reigns supreme but the complexity of it is very comforting in a strange sort of way.

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