B: Thank you very much, Mouad, for tuning in to VOV and sending us your feedback. We wish you safety and good health and hope to continue to receive your comments on our programs.
A: Next, we’d like to thank listeners around the world for updating us on the COVID-19 situation in your country and sharing your condolences with Vietnam during its struggle against the coronavirus.
|Medical workers are mobilized to help HCM City fight COVID-19
B: Shivendu Paul of India and a number of other Indian listeners told us that the COVID 19 situation is now under control in India. Shivendu wrote: “The vaccination program is running for people above 18 years. Aged people are getting vaccinated in their home by health department staff. Many organisations have set up vaccination camps with the help of the government.” Shivendu asked about the pandemic situation in Vietnam.
A: As of Wednesday noon, Vietnam had recorded more than 36,000 COVID-19 cases. More than 9,500 of them have recovered and 132 have died. HCM City, Vietnam’s economic hub, is currently the epicenter of COVID-19 with more than 17,000 cases reported. Social distancing has been imposed in many cities and provinces nationwide to stop the spread of the virus.
B: Vietnam officially launched on Sunday its biggest ever vaccination program with the aim of vaccinating all Vietnamese people over 18. The program will run until next April focusing on import, technology transfer, and research to develop and produce vaccines in Vietnam in order to provide free inoculations to everyone.
A: Vietnam plans to deliver 150 million doses to 75 million of its 100 million population by early next year. So far, more than 4 million doses have been administered and more than 280,000 people have been fully vaccinated with two shots.
B: With these efforts we hope to contain the pandemic soon and resume our normal life. Stay safe and sound, our dear listeners around the world.
A: This week, many listeners asked what interesting things Vietnamese people are doing during the pandemic.
|A turtle route created by runner Dang Viet on Strava (Photo: Dang Viet)
B: Playing sports and doing physical exercise are among things we can do to stay healthy and resilient during the pandemic. But they all have to comply with disease prevention regulations. Due to crowd restrictions to prevent the spread of the virus, running has become a more popular activity.
A: To make your run more fun, use the exercise tracking app, Strava. A runner in Hanoi has been using Strava to draw the outlines of Vietnam.
B: Photos of his routes have gone viral online. Many people are calling him a "running artist" and a "superman artist". The runner has so far created 19 "artworks" on Strava including the outline of Vietnam, the legendary Hoan Kiem lake turtle, the coronavirus, and a water buffalo.
A: On Strava, his routes are marked in orange. As he runs, he checks the progress of his new creation.
B: His longest "artworks" are his "Buddha Sitting Under the Bodhi Tree" and "Battle of Eagle and Snake" routes, which stretch 42 and 54 kilometers.
A: "Drawing" by running has been trending in Vietnam. What about in your country? What activities make your life fun during this difficult time? Share with us your stories, won’t you?
B: This week, Siddhartha Bhattacharjee, SB Sharma and several other Indian listeners asked whether post offices still exist in Vietnam.
A: With the advent of digital technology, people around the world are contacting contact each other more4 easily, quickly, and conveniently using video call apps.
B: Sending postal letters has become much less popular, but still it retains its certain charm.
A: We remember when we used to go to the post office to send letters to friends and relatives living elsewhere in the country or overseas.
B: And we still remember the feeling of opening an envelope and reading the letter inside.
A: Post offices are no longer as busy as before but still provide postal delivery services. Some post offices have become tourist destinations.
|Hanoi Post Office in the old days
B: The Hanoi Post Office near Hoan Kiem Lake in the heart of Hanoi is famous for its clock which has become a symbol of the capital. It is a 4-sided clock cluster, 4.5 square meters on each side, with 4 loudspeakers.
A: Designed and built by Henri Vildieu between 1894 and 1899, the Hanoi Post Office possesses a neoclassical architectural style similar to the French administrative offices built in Hanoi in the late nineteenth century.
B: The original post office had a simple design of four blocks of 2-story buildings, wooden stairs, a clock mounted on the roof, black slate roof tiles, and a front overlooking Hoan Kiem lake.
|Hanoi Post Office
A: In the mid-1970s, the main building of the Hanoi Post Office was rebuilt on the foundation of the old building. The new 5-story building is in a more modern style. In 2016, the Ministry of Information and Communications changed "Hanoi Post Office" to "VNPT Hanoi".
| Hanoi Post Office ( now VNPT Hanoi) (Photo: internet)
B: The Saigon Central Post Office is one of the most iconic tourist destinations in Ho Chi Minh City. Its charming colonial architecture and ornate decorations form a backdrop for newlywed photo-shoots, school trips, and city tours.
|Sai Gon Post Office (mytour.vn)
A: The Sai Gon Post Office was constructed between 1886 and 1891 with Gothic, Renaissance and French Colonial elements. Some people have mistakenly credited Gustave Eiffel, the famed designer of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, but it was actually designed by French architect Alfred Foulhoux
B: The post office has a bright yellow exterior with white trim. Its curved windows are elegantly framed with green shutters and a large clock dominates the building’s main entrance. The spacious interior has tall, domed ceilings with metal arches and a gorgeous patterned tile floor. There are two painted maps inside – an 1892 map depicting the postal route from southern Vietnam to Cambodia, and a map from the same period of the then Saigon and its surroundings.
A: Walking through the Saigon Central Post Office will make you feel you’ve been whisked out of Asia and transported to a 19th-century European train station.
B: The post office has polished old-style phone booths, vintage oil paintings on the walls, wooden countertops on either side, old glue pots for affixing stamps to envelopes, and areas where you can write a letter to a loved one.
|Inside the Sai Gon Post Office (mytour.vn)
A: It is a marvel of colonial architecture. The city has meticulously maintained this exquisite building and it is still in full operation. It provides a full range of postal services and even sells an postcards and stamps, which make excellent souvenirs.
B: This week, many listeners confirmed that they have received electronic certificates of participation in VOV’s “What do you know about Vietnam?” (2020) contest. Some said they have not yet received a certificate.
A: Once again, we’d like to thank you very much for your support for VOV and its activities. We’re checking the contest participation list and making sure an e-certificate of participation reaches each of you. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, postal delivery has been interupted in some countries. That’s why VOV decided to send out e-certificates only.
B: Thank you all for tuning in to VOV’s English broadcast and leaving your comments on our Facebook fanpage. This has been another edition of VOV’s Letter Box. We always welcome your feedback at: English Service, VOVworld, the Voice of Vietnam, 45 Ba Trieu street, Hanoi, Vietnam. Or you can email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org. You’re invited to visit us online at vovworld.vn, where you can hear both live and recorded programs. Thank you. Goodbye until next time.