The Saigon Central Post Office in what is now called Ho Chi Minh City, is full of unusual activity compared to Post Offices I visit. The outside of the post office appears gracefully designed and inside it is worth a long look. Colonial style with high ceilings, yellow and green colors and old wooden phone booths reminded me of train stations.
It was built during the French era over 100 years ago and continues to be a busy working post office with individual windows and clerks taking care of customers. Toward the back and in the center, sits Duong Van Ngo at a wooden desk. He is 85 years old and retired from the post office and the last professional letter writer. He translates love letters, business and family written material from Vietnamese to English and French and vice versa. Before computers, letter translators were heavily relied upon to translate written correspondence. Most days he can be seen sitting at his desk and helping people write and translate important letters. He is keeping the love of letter writing alive.
As I mentioned earlier, the outside of the building is beautiful enough that brides love to have their wedding photos taken in front of the building. Brides wear many different colored dresses for photos, such as this one in red.
The Saigon Post Office holds history and a buzz of activity unlike other government buildings.