Bricks

img_7633-1Bricks: The building blocks of Southeast Asia.

Behind every layer of cement lies a layer of red-orange (aka brick-red).  It doesn’t matter if the building is purple or fluorescent green or both (Thailand), it’s still brick on the inside.DSC04423

Each new Air b-n-b includes a near by construction site allowing you to play such games as “Guess what time the crew will start tomorrow.”, “What tool makes that much noise?”, “I don’t think THAT is OSHA approved.”, and “Do you see any safety harnesses?”.

Down every street and in most driveways is a stack of bricks.  I watched a woman move an entire pallet sized pile from one side of the alley to the other.  It was a 1.5 meter move and I wondered if it actually needed to be done.  Maybe she was rearranging?DSC03536

Vietnam was where I really started to notice.  Da Nang was the clear winner in the brick pile competition.  I think it’s because of their drive to become the Singapore of Vietnam.  Every patch of land along what used to be called China Beach is being built up into high-rise condos or a hotel.

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Go Broncos!

Hue and Hanoi were doing well also.

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I guess not much attention to detail here.  some of the letters are up some down.  It really set me off.

We even passed the brick factory on our way to Halong Bay.  Passing by a small town on the left side I marveled at the field full of neatly stacked piles and pillars that looked like a miniature city scape.  A brick Hobbiton.

Some may say that SE Asia is built on bamboo and palm fronds and they certainly use a lot of each for almost everything.  I also know I get fixated on a subject and soon I’m seeing bricks everywhere.

I rest my case with My Son.

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The like new looking bricks are the originals.  The black and deteriorating are the modern rebuild.

Built of brick and tree sap between 400 AD and 1400 AD the building are still standing.  Located in the jungle of central Vietnam.  Worn by moisture, weather and war,  My Son is truly a marvel in construction to this day.  Bricks layered without cement.  Stacked and set to dry, the ancient construction is not holding the moisture.  This baking of the bricks is what makes them better than the ones used for reconstruction.

 

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Go Broncos!

BBBBbbbOOOiiiiiSSSseeeee!!!!……….. STATE!!  Growing up in Boise, Idaho never goes away.  It follows you.  Even around the world.
It’s the call of the Broncos as they rally to victory or the next hoop or TD. Some guy with a booming voice starts from one side of the stadium “BBBBBbbbOOOiiiiiSSSSeeeeee!!!”.   And the other side answers…

(in my head I’m hearing “And Rohan will answer!” from The Lord Of the Rings.  Yeah, I’m that messed up.  Stay focused Kelvin). 

“STATE!!!” as a crowd.  ONE guy starts a chain reaction that brings the crowd to their feet until the next point is scored.

Some time in the late 80’s, I remember going to basketball games, as a youngling, with my father.

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Oakley getting ripped in Da Nang

Running laps around the Pavilion and having a great time.  Dad was sometimes taking photos with a floor pass while I was let free to roam.   I eventually paid attention to the game and watched as the broncos came together to win quite a few games.
I knew the names and positions of all the players.  Doug Usitalo., and uh.. hold on… it will come back….Got it! Arnell Jones, and Chris Childs to name a few.  I can also still hear the anouncer calling out their names at the start of the gamea and every time they scored.
Boise State is my alma mater.  I graduated from the culinary school that sat in shadow of an huge football stadium.  Seriously, I think we lost the sun with one of the expansions.
I considered myself a Bronco and still do although I have lost some interest. I live in Portland, Oregon now and married a Vandal, actually a whole Vandal family.
I’ve traveled back over the years and witnessed an uprising in what is called Bronco Nation.  Fred Meyer, the local grocery store, was a sea of blue and orange on one visit. Every place of business is showing support.
I couldn’t believe the size of the fan base.  I guess it has always been there. Someone just found a great catchphrase for it.  Other colleges and universities have it and call it their own, but they don’t know what they are up against.
The thing I bet you didn’t know about is… in my mind there is a huge following in Vietnam.  I’m not talking about t-shirts, hats, and little flags stuck to your car.  I’m talking about the biggest overall use of blue and orange tarps.
I found myself pointing them out to my boys and saying “Go Broncos!” without even thinking about where it came from.  It was a phrase I had heard by countless fans in passing around Boise.  A greeting used by a city of my past taken by storm during a successful season.  Used as both a hello and a goodbye, it popped into my head.
Strange as it may seem, my family caught on and even the Vandal was saying it while pointing to another Vietnamese BSU fan.  A fan, unbeknownst to him or her, showing pride and support for a completely different nation (literally) and it’s much smaller town in Idaho.
From Ho Chi Minh City to Da Nang and up to Hanoi the only tarps being sold are those with orange on one side and blue on the other making for an accidental and unexpected showing of Bronco pride by a nation of over 95 million people and 47 million scooters.  Sounds pretty unstoppable to me.
Go Broncos.

HCMCity (Saigon)

View from our AirBnB on the 9th floor.

Saigon wakes up purple and goes to sleep orange.

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It has its beauty but, unfortunately, I think it’s the smog that makes it happen.  Loads of people wearing masks as they ride on scooters, walk around or work on the road side from a small cart.  The irony and the addiction (I’ve been there) is that some will pull the mask down to smoke a cigarette.

So it’s hazzy like a winter inversion in Boise but warmer, much warmer.

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I guess sometimes it goes to bed orange and purple.

 

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Oakley taking in a sunset away from all the on-lookers.

Goodnight Siagon.