Circus Tent, HCMC

Ho Chi Minh City, 2018

Ho Chi Minh City, 2018

Despite loving Ni Chi Minh City, I’d grown weary of dodging the scooters each day, and the constant attempts by the street vendors to sell me something. So I decided to leave. My month photographing HCMC yielded plenty of memorable images, so it was time to see more of Viet Nam.

On my final morning, I sat over tea, and considered going back to my hotel room rather than prowling the streets, looking for images. I’d probably gotten all the good pictures the city had to offer already, so why waste my time looking for more? I’d had this discussion with myself before, and oddly, those seemed to be the days that I found the best, and most unexpected, photographs. So I picked up my camera, kicked myself in the butt, and started walking.

As always, I walked with no predetermined route or destination. I just walked, right by a theater that I’d passed by the previous day. Then, I had considered asking the street vendor for permission to enter and photograph the giant green circus-like tent that draped over the stadium chairs, but I feared being turned away. This time, realizing that I may not get another opportunity, I asked for permission, and with a shrug, the vendor let me in.

One flap of the tent tumbled to the ground like a broken tree branch. It was that flap and the symmetry of the rows upon rows of chairs that caught my eye. The chairs were different colors, which added a sense of depth and drama. I circled the tent for about a half-hour making the most of my time and expecting to be ejected by someone at any moment, but I never was. I did receive a few odd looks as I exited, but nothing more. And, as with the previous times that I’d felt reticent to go out photographing, I found some exciting images.