Socialist paradise?

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  I'm somewhat confused by what reality you think is amply illustrated by the interesting photo you've attached. A few observations:

• The man is pushing a cart, yes, but at least it isn't a water buffalo and he isn't carrying the stuff on his back

• There appear to be various fliers and posters pasted on the poles in the background; it's not every neighborhood in the U.S. where you can see such vibrant street evidence of (commercial?) speech before it gets taken down by the local tidiness police. (Unless they are all communist propaganda of course!)

• On the right are what appear to be some fairly recently deposited construction materials, normally a sign of a booming economy

• Isn't that a sign for an Internet cafe with DSL in the background?

• Is that a small vending cart at left, with eggs or perhaps dumplings reflected in the glass? Don't know about Vietnam, but in the U.S. such things are heavily regulated

  I'm sure all is not roses in Vietnam however, and I do very much look forward to reading your trip report.

Love & Liberty,
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