Uncle Ho’s House – LivingMini®

I’m not sure what it says about me that I saw my dream house while visiting Ho Chi Minh’s mausoleum. I mean, I came to check out the monument and ended up sketching out the design of his house. Hmmmmmm.

But it was perfect. And mini. It was only 2 rooms, one bedroom and one main room. The house was made out of wood, situated on stilts and surrounded on all sides by an exterior porch. So each side of the 2 rooms had windows that looked out on the wrap-around porch.

Underneath was the ideal space for a dining table and a couple of hammocks, situated in the shade of the house. The yard was filled with palm trees and flowering hibiscus. Put this baby on the edge of a white sand beach and it would be hard to beat.

But really? Me and Ho Chi Minh? Since when did we have so much in common?

What was also a little confounding was the crassness of the mausoleum grounds. My friend Ken had just sent me an email asking if Vietnam was “Stalinesque.” No, it’s pure capitalist, despite being called a socialist country.

Just take the monument’s gift shop with the blazing Pepsi logo on the canopy. Or the trinkets that were being sold: fake Burberry scarves, “Good Morning Vietnam” t-shirts, commemorative plastic plates emblazoned with Ho Chi Minh’s head.

I mean, I could understand selling this junk in street stalls throughout the country, but inside the mausoleum’s official gift shop commemorating the life / death of one of the world’s greatest Communist leaders? Does nobody see the rich irony here?

At least the Revolutionary Guards were parading in uniform and in formation around the manicured grounds. They were marching in time to a music video telecast from a giant video screen (donated by Mitsubishi Electric).

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, May 24th, 2011 and is filed under Home.

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