Kung Fu Pho & The Condom Mascot
I enjoy noticing signs in Da Nang—neon signs and billboards and chalkboards and posters and permanent building signage, in Vietnamese or English or both.
Phil and I went to a free film this past Saturday evening, part of a three-day Japanese film festival called “The Colors of Love”. While the film was free, tickets were required (or so we thought), so we went to the State-run Le Do Cinema in the city center early in the day to pick ours up. All of the tickets had been distributed, but the cinema staff encouraged us to come back after the start time, explaining that the theatre wasn’t likely to fill to capacity. They were right, and we enjoyed what was roughly a Japanese version of Love Actually while sitting in a stiff 2-person seat.
The Le Do Cinema doesn’t quite compare to the newly built cinema at the local Vincom mall, which is almost as nice as the theaters in Grand Rapids (high praise, as GR theaters are some of the best in the U.S.). Though the drama we watched at Vincom was rather loud—ear plugs would have been helpful during the musical montages—it was our only complaint.
As one review of the Le Do Cinema states, “this technologically backward cinema has only been upgraded once, over 20 years ago…[it] has poor air conditioning and a wet and damp interior.” Appealing, right?
All of this to say, outside Le Do that Saturday afternoon I saw a poster for what is sure to be one of the top releases of 2015: Kung Fu Pho.
Rather than look up the premise of this film, I’d prefer to make up a few options myself, Balderdash style:
Here's the real movie trailer, if you’re interested.
In musty, “totally outdated” theaters now!
Another sign that I cherish is one I have dubbed The Condom Mascot. It’s a permanent fixture outside a cafe-and-nonperishables-only-grocer that I walk by frequently to get to my country-music-playing cafe hangout spot. I had to wait until it was closed to get close enough for a photo, so as not to be too conspicuous:
I love so many things about this sign. The first is its formality, complete with faux wood texture. But it’s all about the mascot himself. This condom is winking at me. I’m confused as to the moral dilemma that has caused him to have an angel on one shoulder—or should I say in one ball?—and a devil on/in the other. Love seems to be involved. However, if this condom isn’t for use in one-night stands, then why is he winking? Or is the heart symbol part of his joke? That jerk!
Don’t worry, The Condom Mascot is important enough to be lit, so he can spread confusion and protect the vexed from STDs day and night.
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I quit a job I enjoyed at Founders Brewing Co. in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and left my family, friends, and beloved dog to join my boyfriend in moving across the world, in search of adventure and new experiences. I arrived in August 2015.