Cutting down on cable clutter
One of the things about Saigon that many notice—after the traffic—is the overhead electrical wires. And television cables and internet cables and telephone lines. Nothing is buried so it’s all swaying overhead, the lines sagging from the weight. Some of it’s legal and much of it’s not.
With Hanoi’s big birthday coming up, the rest of the country is on red alert for beautification projects. Ho Chi Minh City’s electrical lines were numbered from the get-go.
The cleanup crews arrive with their clipboards of confirmed businesses. Those cables are secured neatly with giant zap straps. The rest are cut. We’ve wondered how many irate folks suddenly found themselves without electricity, telephone or cable TV because of the daunting task of trying to determine which lines are legit and which aren't.
For now, the cleanup project is only targeting main streets. There are simply too many to do otherwise. But it’s funny, we only notice now when the wires are cut. A block-long cleanup leaves a gap like a missing tooth from the smile of the street.