Relieving oneself in public: Urine trouble

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With the concern the government shows for sending tourists away with a good feeling about Vietnam I cannot understand why they do not start a campaign informing the people that public urinating is unacceptable.

My wife and I walk our two small dogs in the park at Nha Trang beach most evenings and I always take small plastic bags to clean up their droppings whether on sidewalk or grass. In the past we have been asked by the green uniformed attendants to stop allowing them on the grass but we show them the bag and they stopped bothering us. By the way, I never see a Vietnamese owner clean up after their dog and many dogs run loose.

When I do not have time to go to the beach I take them to the small memorial park that is right in front of the train station. That is just a block from our house. The attendant there is not satisfied with my cleaning up. He still wants to make a fuss. My wife was with me the other evening and I told her to ask him why he complains about us when people, both men and women, can be seen every evening urinating in public even though a toilet is in the park. They refuse to pay! He just mumbled something to my wife and we took the dogs home.

The other night, I thought I would trick him and went to the second section of the park, away from his usual sitting spot. As

I was walking a man started to urinate beside the walkway just as the attendant came from his usual spot and started to speak to me (I still speak almost no Vietnamese by the way, sadly!).

I took his hand and pointed him to the man urinating and gestured that he should leave me alone and stop that behavior. He strode off to exercise his official duty but he was very hesitant and the man just ignored him. A few minutes later another man took his place for the same purpose. After awhile there are sections of the sidewalks where you cannot walk without having your nose assaulted by the smell of urine. It is disgusting. I cannot speak for other Asians but I doubt people urinate on the streets of Tokyo or Beijing.

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