One of the things that struck me as a Westerner, is what people do when they're hanging around. Where I come from, people stand around, or lean, or sit. Sometimes they whistle to amuse themselves.
In Vietnam, they perch. I don't know if anyone there has a name for it, but "perching" is as good a term as any. You kneel down so that your bottom touches your heels, and to my eye, this looks kind of birdlike. People must find this very comfortable and natural, since everyone seems to do it for hours on end.
I've tried to do it, but I only get half of the way down, and there are some terrible crunching noises. I thought that perhaps Asian people have a different center of gravity, but my Russian teacher told me that people in the Caucasus also perch. So perhaps if I start practising now, maybe I'll be able to do it by the time I'm 75.
I had seen this behavior in China, but didn't consider it noteworthy until I saw everyone doing it in Vietnam. I had a few hours to walk around during my last day in Saigon, so I used my time wisely, you'll agree for a photo essay on perching.
In the park.
Just in case you thought this was a solitary activity. The sign in back, by the way, says not to park your vehicles. But it doesn't say not to park.
|At the market
|Fixing a cyclo
|Breakfast on the street
|And, my favorite...
The penguin position. Very comfortable.