Gasoline : the plastic bottles that contain some crystal clear liquid spotted on the road are in fact the signage of gasoline stalls. Usually sold at higher prices than at gas stations, these mini gasoline tanks often come to the rescue when the gas light comes on all too soon.
Also gasoline : this sign requires a better understanding of local codes. In the motorbike city of Saigon, a brick can also mean “We have fuel.”
“I don’t know who came up with this installation in the first place,” said Nguyen, the owner of this street gasoline stall. “But everyone has adopted it. Besides, it is not a good idea to leave a can of gas in the middle of a street.”
Those who are more attentive go a bit further by sticking a white piece of paper onto the brick. Still, no words needed.
Repairmen : Two tires hanging on the edge of a road means it’s bike repair. They are usually used tires, again to reduce the risk of being stolen.
The whole business is on display. “We are not allowed to leave our equipment close to the edge of the street, where people can easily see,” explained Le, a repairer. “So this is how we improvise.”
In the parks in the downtown, used newspapers are no rubbish, but a sign indicating that this seat is taken by drink vendors nearby. Anyone who sits on them would have to buy a snack or a drink from “the owner”.
The larger ones are used by vendors to mark their territory as an open-air cafe; park visitors understand that they are only welcome to use these blankets if they order something.