One of the things that I really love about life in Saigon is the way that impromptu or at least seemingly impromptu stuff just happens. Almost overnight a street or even a main thoroughfare will suddenly take on a whole new life. This is totally apparent at Tet when markets, flower shows and kiddies fairgrounds spring up in many neighbourhoods around the city. Many markets in Saigon, have a transient nature about them.
Food vendors are another good example. One day you can be driving along and suddenly spot a new food vendor that has decided to try and go it alone in this highly competitive market. Often one will find a good spot only for two three or more others to join him or her within a few days. What starts off as a one man band can turn into an outdoor food court within a week or two.
Where I live in District 2, this happens frequently. In the days leading up to Tet, a large outdoor furniture market arrives every year. Stalls are set up overnight and for 4 or 5 days people come in large numbers to look at the traditional style furniture for sale. Then just as fast as it arrives, it disappears as the Tet celebrations get under way.
Markets in Saigon can be Impromptu Things
This weekend in just round the corner from where I live a large street marker arrived. The stalls started going up on Wednesday and by Friday an enormous market feeling just about everything was in full swing. A concert stage was erected and many rides were provided for excited children. I have no idea why it is all about, how permanent it is, (I suspect not very) or when it will disappear. But it drew very large crowds over the weekend.
Not being a native speaker of course means that I don’t know how well it was advertised or where. This only adds to the whole mystery and charm of living here for me. Whilst of course there are many permanent markets in Saigon, these fleeting temporary ones really add to the flavour of life here.