HCMC Dining Guide

Friday, August 17, 2012

The Roof

Probably the coolest feature of the building I live in is that you can access the roof, two floors above my apartment on the 24th. It is connected to the tops of the other two buildings in the complex, so you can wander around all three to get 360-degree views of the city.

Each building has a square concrete shed atop it that holds electronic equipment and piping. You can even climb up the ladders (pictured above) that lead to the top of these, where you get a real sense of being 'on top of the world'. Being able to do stuff like this is one reason living here can be so awesome sometimes: in the U.S. you would never, ever be allowed to have free reign of the roof of a 25-storey building, and you definitely would not be able to climb up that square structure, since it isn't exactly very safe. It would be quite easy to fall off or otherwise maim yourself, and lawsuits galore would ensue. Weirdly, every now and then there is more freedom to do certain things here than in America. (Another example: "So you're telling me you want to rent a motorbike but you've never driven one before, you don't have a license, and you have no idea how traffic patterns work here? That'll be 5 bucks.")

Last night I went up with my camera and tripod, a couple of beers, and M83 playing on the Ipod. Sitting on the ledge looking down upon the urban vista before me, with nothing but the sound of the wind blowing across the roof, was an almost spiritual experience.


weeeee!




I should point out that it is not a 25-floor drop off that ledge. There is a section of roof below it, so it would've been about a 10 foot fall.
While taking these long-exposure pictures I noticed there was lightning off to the north. I tried to get some pictures of it, but it was just too far away. I also noticed that I was standing about 8 feet away from the lightning rod for the entire complex, so I decided it would probably be a good idea to head back inside.

14 comments:

  1. Awesome shots Mike. Your new place looks incredible.

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  2. from the sky it looks like a storm on the way - and I heard that its been raining pretty strongly in HCMC today - great shots tho Mike - cheers from Jeff/Melbourne/au

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    1. The rain has been pretty scattered recently - haven't gotten much in my area.

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  3. what a beautiful view. Nice pictures.

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  4. Awesome views! You take beautiful pictures.

    Michael, if you don't mind may I ask a few questions about this area. I'm from States so obviously the name of the street does not means anything to me. I am just curious:

    You and your two roommates, Anthony and Charles, from the U.S. How about the majority of the tenants in these three buildings, are they mostly foreigners? Do you see local Viets live there as well? Are there local activities around such as: locals selling food on the street, restaurants within walking distances etc....

    When or if you have time, please give us "far-away" a glimpse into the surrounding areas that you are currently living by taking pictures or describing in your blog. Thanks.

    By the way, what do Anthony and Charles do for a living in VN? How long have they been there?

    Thanks in advance for your answer. I enjoy reading your blog. Keep up a great work.

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    1. Thanks for the compliments! There is a fairly large number of foreigners in my complex, but the majority is definitely Vietnamese. This isn't a walled-off, isolated place, as soon as you walk past the entrance you are into a very local (and very potholed) street that is full of people serving cheap Vietnamese food. We're still very much in the thick of things, and there are all kinds of businesses all over the place. I've been meaning to get some pictures of the area from ground level, I promise I'll do that soon.

      My roommates are both English teachers, and they've been here for about a year.

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  5. That’s a nice view from the roof top! It’s okay to drink and have fun, but be sure to stay safe, be extra careful, and keep in mind that you’re at the rooftop. Anyway, you’re so fortunate because you don’t have a fear of heights, allowing you to truly enjoy the beautiful bird’s eye view of the city from up there.

    -Brendan Gertner

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    1. Yea, luckily I'm not afraid of heights, but I'm not the biggest fan of ladders, so it can still be a bit nerve-wracking to go up and down on the roof.

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  6. Whoa, that's an awesome view -day and night! It's so cool that your building has a rooftop that allows you to witness life in the city. The sky is just breathtaking!

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  7. “Probably the coolest feature of the building I live in is that you can access the roof”--- This is what I like about the apartment I was renting before. If I wanna spend some quality time alone, I really go there to take a look at the city. You are also allowed to go there with your friends. It’s just that you have to minimize the noise and the number of people you can take there is only limited.

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  8. I love the shots, particularly the third to the last pic! The city is full of lights! It really indicates how prolific the town was having townsfolk still busy doing their own things even at night.

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  9. Having access to your roof is really a privilege! Good thing we have a rooftop too where I can stay or have a party with my friends. Though I must admit that even if I have a fear of heights, but still I find solace in this spot.

    -Chantay Smithingell

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