OUT AND ABOUT

Raw meat – not your average street café

with 2 comments

Warning: Some pictures in this text show severely injured people. Do not continue reading this post if you find such depictions upsetting or objectionable.

Street cafe in front of Hanoi hospital

Street cafe in front of a Hanoi hospital

There are some things in Vietnam I just can’t understand or get used to. I’ve written about eating dogs before. That’s one example. Here’s another one.

There’s a hospital in downtown Hanoi that has a glass showcase on its outer wall. Displayed in it are very graphic pictures of injured people. I originally thought they showed victims of traffic accidents, because reckless driving is a big problem in Vietnam. But a friend told me that the photos depict work injuries and virus or bacterial infections treated at the hospital.

Display case with graphic photos of injured people

Display case with graphic photos of injured people

Are these people the hospital was able to save? Or are these the cases where the doctors couldn’t help?

Are these pictures meant to show what horrible injuries the hospital doctors have to deal with? Or should they serve as a warning to people to be careful and drive cautiously and avoid such injuries?

The pictures make me sick. I try not to look at them whenever I pass that street corner.

graphic depictions of severe injuries

Graphic depictions of severe injuries in front of a Hanoi hospital

I disapprove of displaying these pictures on a public intersection in the heart of Hanoi. How do the people depicted here feel about being shown like this? What about the friends and relatives of the victims? These are things that passers-by – and especially children – shouldn’t have to see.

What strikes me, though, is that Vietnamese people don’t seem to be as squeamish as me or as sensitive to the ethical questions that displaying these photographs etail. They just don’t seem to mind these pictures. They’re able to ignore them.

Hanoi street café with display case

Hanoi street café in front of hospital display case

These days, a street cafe has even put out its chairs right underneath this traumatizing display case. Cafe patrons sit just in front of these horrible pictures of severely injured people. They eat, drink and chat as if they were sitting on the banks of a balmy lake.

There are some things in Vietnam I just can’t understand.

Advertisements

Written by Thorsten

July 31, 2011 at 6:02 am

2 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. It’s really bizarre! Haven’t heard anything like this before. Firstly, I don’t get the idea why people are displaying these horrible pictures publicly. Secondly, it’s obviously surprising to see people eating in front of these terribly intolerable images! I can understand how you felt to see all these in the flesh!

    Anonymous

    August 1, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    • You’re right, it is totally foreign to our eyes and sensibilities. Maybe someone who speaks Vietnamese or knows the Vietnamese mentality better could explain this?

      Thorsten

      August 1, 2011 at 1:19 pm


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: