a little bit of silliness....click on the picture to create a fly for it to eat....

Monday, December 6, 2010

Odds and sods....

This is Rocky, he belongs to Jimmy - the public face of Koto and it's founder.  Rocky is a mess, his jaw is offset, his ankles are all wonky and he's not housetrained...but I love him to bits.  He has the nicest nature.  When Jimmy moved him from Saigon to Hanoi he came by train and his expensive collar was somehow lost. So Rocky has been wearing a tagged together one that had to be fastened with wire!  It annoys me because three times in the past two weeks the  wire has cut me when I've been playing with Rocky....so today I went and bought him a new one.  Doesn't he look smart?

You can't see it but his tail was wagging furiously.

The chew toy was to clean his teeth.

He just loved it...probably the first one he's been given for a while.

I love that Rocky has such a good temperament, the life of dogs in this country is very different from that at home.  I just wish that I had more time and money to spend on him but this visit is about the kids.  He did have a ball with the toy though...even if it took him a while to be able to pick it up.

On my way to the training center the other day I passed a bank that was newly opened...no posters and limp handshakes to promote the branch here...no...they had Lion Dancers!  The dancers were from another social enterprise and costumed extras passed around a basket to collect donations.  What a great idea.  Dynamic and fun!
I had obviously missed the speeches but the dancing was pretty cool.

The balloon archway is a commonly seen thing too, remember the Extreme loads in a previous post...one of the photos  was a driver delivering a pink one!
When I think about it Vietnam is a conundrum to me (as a spoilt westerner).  I see the huge patience and respect that people have for each other - on the whole - and yet there is an almost total lack of empathy for the creatures that share the planet.  Not total...there are organizations here that are trying to educate but I wonder how successful they will be.  None of us are blameless...I'm sure cruelty is occurring the world over, it's just hard to see it happening in front of you and the worst thing is that it's not deliberate.  It's just that animals for the most part are not even considered.  On our walk around the lake yesterday we came upon a cock fight, but it wasn't as alarming to view as you might think.  Because the cocks weren't actually fighting much...the poor bloody things were so underfed and lethargic that what they were doing was mostly leaning on each others shoulders...cock wrestling maybe.  But is was possible to see the damage they had done in the past.  Neither bird had much in the way of feathers, wattle or even comb left on their heads...they looked more like tiny dinosaurs rather than anything feathered.  Sadly we couldn't do anything so we went on with our walk.  This was about an hour before I saw the flopping fish and returned it to the lake...(and it may well have been why I felt the urge to interfere with some poor fisherman's catch).  On the same walk we saw guinea fowl held by the legs for passersby to inspect.  As one bird was sold another would be taken out of a tiny cage and suspended for it's period of display.  I saw a dog in a metal cage with no food or water...it was quietly grooming itself.  I saw songbirds trapped in cages, who knows whether they were wild caught or captive bred, I think probably the former.  We did stop a man from throwing a shoe to hit a tiny finch in the lower branches of a tree - just by walking in front of him and giving the bird a chance to fly off. 
I see all this and yet I just accept that this is Vietnam. 

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