Viet Nam often names its streets and roads after famous people, including historic and cultural celebrities and heroes. But recently people in Ha Noi were surprised to see a street named "Uop lanh" (Freeze). The street is about 1km long and lies next to Ham Nghi Street in Nam Tu Liem District.
Professor Ha Dinh Duc, a Ha Noi resident, told Tuoi tre (Youth) newspaper that a photo showing the strange street name was posted on Facebook on Wednesday, when Viet Nam celebrated its 70th National Day. The photo was captured by a friend of his, Quach Hien.
Duc said he was so intrigued by the photo that he shared it on his own Facebook page, while notifying Truong Minh Tien, deputy director of the Ha Noi Department of Culture and Sports of the bizarre name. "I asked Tien to check if the Uop lanh Street is really in the list of approved street names in Ha Noi or not," he said.
When Tuoi tre newspaper's correspondent asked local residents why the street was named "Freeze", they appeared surprised and said they had no idea. The weird street name plate appeared around a fortnight ago, according to local residents. People usually laugh at the name when they see it, they added.
However, other locals say they once called the street "Uop lanh" because there was a big iceworks in the area producing ice for food preservation. To Van Dong, director of the culture department, said he had asked district administration to look into the issue. "I also find the name unusual," he said.
Nguyen Thi Thuy, head of the board in charge of cultural and social issues with Ha Noi People's Council is responsible for approving street names in the capital city. However, she said that during the last five years she had not received a proposition to name a street "Uop lanh". "I do not know where the name comes from, but it is definitely not a name approved by the council," she said.
Meanwhile, when the newspaper correspondent checked again on Friday, the name plate had disappeared. Put on ice, maybe.
Time for a drink
Provincial leaders in Ha Tinh are wondering why a recent dispatch to them was marked "urgent" It was sent by the Ha Tinh People's Committee chief administrator Le Minh Dao to invite them to an "I love Saigon Beer" festival.
A leader of the Ha Tinh Department of Industry and Trade said Sai Gon Beer contributed US$16.8 million a year to the provincial budget and that Ha Tinh Province helped the brewery organise the festival.
In August last year, Ky Anh District sent a dispatch to organisations in the district to use Sai Gon Beer whenever they had meetings.
Good position for business
Street vendors in Van Noi Commune in Ha Noi's suburban district of Dong Anh were delighted to see the money roll in when they started selling goods at the gate of the People's Committee office from midnight to 5am.
First there was one shop selling goods there, then another and another as farmers flocked to the central location. Traders say the location is convenient for both business and buyers.
They refuse to move to a newly-built market nearby worth billions of Vietnamese dong because they complain they would have to pay high fees.
Vice-chairman of Van Noi People's Committee told Dan Viet (Viet people) newspaper that traders were now being asked to move. The committee has totally banned food stalls in front of its office.
However, traders have already met to oppose the ban. They believe that when you're on a good thing, stick to it! — VNS