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Sleeping on the job

Sleeping on the job
Photo Information
Copyright: Gert Holmertz (holmertz) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 7854 W: 441 N: 15425] (70776)
Genre: People
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 1995-04
Categories: Daily Life, Transportation, Artwork
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Theme(s): Rickshaws in the world [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2014-12-13 6:15
Viewed: 3310
Points: 90
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
During my journey to Vietnam in April 1995, to write stories ahead of the 20th anniversary of the end of the war, I visited the province of Quang Tri, just south of the former border between South and North Vietnam. On my way to Khe Sanh, where one of the toughest and longest battles was fought in 1968, I made a brief stop in Dong Ha, a sleepy provincial town, just to stretch my legs and take a few photos.

Indeed Dong Ha was so sleepy that this rickshaw driver had nothing better to do than to take a nap while waiting for the next customer. I appreciated that he had fallen asleep just below a giant poster promoting the virtues of the Communist Party.

In a workshop you can see more people from the transportation business, along with more public art. Both photos were scanned from Kodachrome slides.

Here is a larger version.

Romano46, PiotrF, adramad, pajaran, macjake, COSTANTINO, marabu61, ourania, BennyV, Silvio1953, PaulVDV, jhm, saxo042, kordinator, tyro, nikkitta, gervaso, adores, danos, Kielia, NorthernLight, mcmtanyel has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To SnapRJW: translationholmertz 1 2014-12-13 10:08
To NorthernLight: härjedalenholmertz 1 2015-01-04 03:37
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Critiques [Translate]

hello Gert
bonne scène de vie, et bonne association avec l'affiche géante.
Bon W-E

  • Great 
  • Nicou Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 13813 W: 0 N: 16043] (169294)
  • [2014-12-13 8:18]


Avec cet homme qui dort dans la charrette quelle vue et cette pancarte en fond quel dessin et vue superbe image et captage.
Bravo et amitié

Ciao Gert
sembra che dopo anni di guerra, la pace sia molto apprezzata e anche questo trasportatore si è rilassato fino al punto di addormentarsi.
Mi piace questa foto, unisce un evento di caratura mondiale ad un particolare di vita quotidiana, come a ricordare che la vita scorre, va avanti in ogni caso.
Buona domenica

Ciao Gert
queste foto del Vietnam sono stupende.
Questa già sarebbe bella solo per il cartellone propagandistico, ma l'uomno che dorme nel suo veicolo a pedali completa la composizione in maniera magnifica e fa assumere allo scatto un particolare significato,
Colori, nitidezza e contrasto eccezionali come per le precedenti.
Anche in questa la scannerizzazione è perfetta e non si avverte minimamente perdita di qualità.
Ciao e buon fine settimana

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  • Fis2 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 9593 W: 157 N: 15499] (124061)
  • [2014-12-13 9:00]

Witaj Gert!
Super scene.
Excellent shot.
Good POV and composition.
I like "old" colors.
Well done.
Good evening

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  • PiotrF Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3978 W: 2 N: 6692] (33192)
  • [2014-12-13 9:02]

Hello Gert,
Interesting photos from your trip to Vietnam with beautiful scene.
Good quality, excellent presentation, thank you for the detailed notes.
Very nice work!

Hello Gert - I find Communist 'art work' fascinating; smiling faces extol the wonders of the political system. I did a quick Google translation of the w/s poster and it says something like Striving for a prosperous people and a firmly defended strong nation I can relate to that! Both shots are really interesting and I do wonder how a country like Vietnam which is populated by industrious people (who seem to have a natural capitalist/ business bent) work within the system. It seems to me so un-SE Asian.

Two very good shots.

Warm regards


Hello Gert.
A fantastic composition, which immediately attracts attention by the large and curious painting, with two characters of socializing character, the rickshaw driver, slept on it, is crucial to the great attraction of the object image.
Great photo, beautiful natural colors, very good lighting and excellent sharpness.
Well done. I love it.
You enjoy the weekend.
Best wishes from a too rainy Madrid.

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  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 11756 W: 126 N: 21145] (108879)
  • [2014-12-13 10:24]

Hi Gert,magnificent memory,the peinture remind me a bit Cuba or the modern North Corea political messages,beautiful capture and quality and interesting WS too.Have a nice Sunday and thanks,Luciano

Dobro vece.
Lep pogled i trenutak ...
Dobar rad skeniranjem slajda, lepo pokazan covek koji spava u kolicima i pano.
Lepa fotografija u radionici.
Prijatno vece i sve najbolje, srecno.

Good evening.
Beautiful view and a moment ...
Good work by scanning the slide, shown a nice man who sleeps in a wheelchair and a billboard.
Beautiful photos of the workshop.
Good evening and all the best, good luck.

Hi Gert
it must be part of the job eh? we see so many rickshaw drivers taking naps all around the world haha

I'm, sure i'll get a photo or two of that when we visit India in Feb too.

and you're right, how thoughtful of the guy to park infront of that sign! funny how they make Communism looks so pleasant and welcoming. advertising is everything i guess.

fun shot, set up perfectly for ya
see you around

Hallo Gert!
Great catch here!
A fun, funny, interesting and attractive daily life picture!
Sharpness, exposure, colors, vertical format and composition are all excellent!
TFS - congrats,

Hello dear Gert,
Wonderfull ! Most probably some directives on the plakat and a young Vietnames in front of it taking his siesta !
TFS and have a nice weekend

  • Great 
  • Gerrit Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5832 W: 95 N: 9345] (52961)
  • [2014-12-13 16:10]

Hi Gert,
This could be a great series. I have a sleepuing guard somewhere and I saw other sleepers too.
Excellent composition and the poster is magnificent too.
Thanks and greetings,

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  • CLODO Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2685 W: 1337 N: 3016] (38587)
  • [2014-12-14 1:02]

I Gert

he is having a nap because he is tired of biking, but if someone comes, attracted by the big welcoming advert, he will be ready to make them discover the city.

Good morning my dear friend Gert Holmertz
and have a nice new week and a pleasant
as always here we have the clever photogood quality excellent presentation perfect timing and nice inspiration
may be this driver was so tired and had nothing
better to do than to take a nap while waiting
for the next customer
thanks for sharing your ideas with us
and thanks for this humorous photo

Hello Gert,

very fine picture from Vietnam showing this interesting and funny scenery. Very good colors and light management. I like the view very much.TFS.

With regards from Luxembourg


Hej Gert
What an irony indeed this rickshaw driver napping beneath a giant poster promoting the workers paradise. But then we never know how long the shifts are that these workers have to be on duty in order to make month end meat.
As usually a superb scan of outstanding quality.
hejdå och trevlig helg

Bonjour Gert,

Une autre très belle photo de tes archives. La qualité est tellement bonne qu'on la croirait prise hier. Au lieu de travailler dans la joie, il dort dans la joie.

Bon dimanche


Hello Gert,
both of your pictures are very effective in capturing and expressing the contrast between political ads and real life. The government's images try to convince and inspire and it's amusing to see the effect they've had on this rickshaw driver's attitude. I like how the contrast is expressed through different colour palettes and textures too. The ad people have nothing to do with the sleeping driver, maybe they don't even exist in his dreams. Congratulations and thank you!
All the best, have a great evening,

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  • BennyV Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2445 W: 34 N: 4392] (24697)
  • [2014-12-14 9:28]

A classic, Gert! The sleeping cyclo man dwarfed by the the giant propaganda poster, that makes a terrific contrast. Congratulations! This old slide surely deserves its second life here! Excellent stuff.

Sleepy provincial towns...you just gotta love'em!


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  • emka Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 10131 W: 144 N: 25349] (123439)
  • [2014-12-14 10:06]

Hi Gert, You had luck here - such poster and the sleeping rickshaw driver under it. The poster is in the style that was common in Poland in fifties-sixties, strange that it is still there in nineties. And how clever of Rosemary to use Google to translate it. Smart idea. You nicely composed the picture with the tree as a small framing. In Asia it is quite common that people sleep like this on public. My friend had quite a gallery of sleeping Chinese in work.
Fascinating this poster, the round eyes, small lips, and uniforms.
In Warsaw still no winter and my son goes in sandals.
Warm regrads Malgo

Ciao Gert, lovely composition with sleeping man on unusual trasportation system, excellent clarity, splendid light and colors, very well done, my friend, ciao Silvio

Hello Gert,
Both pictures remind me of some poststamps of Central and Eastern European countries I had when I was a kid.
It are the interesting daily life-scenes that I also would like to photograph if I were in Vietnam.
This rickshaw driver takes probably a nap before new customers turn up. But it's also possible that he came from a village to work in town but that he has no home in that town. I don't know whether this situation exists in Vietnam but it does in some other Asian countries. Some rickshaw drivers have to spend the night in their rickshaw.
It's already a certain ease to travel in a country where you do not speak the language but where the alphabet is more or less identical to the Latin one. In such case, you can read what is written and at least recognize place names.
Best regards, Paul

Hi Gert
That's enormous Commie Propaganda backdrop we are only familiar with, and almost sucking that poor fella, but what a great prop it turns out to be! Lovely overall atmosphere created and a delightful reminder of that afternoon siesta, timely shot as he is making the most of that little moment in slumberland. Superb street candid, Congrats, tfs.
Best regards

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  • rychem Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3350 W: 0 N: 7673] (55973)
  • [2014-12-14 22:07]

It is a rare photo, such posters are today a valuable document of the old days, and the scene is funny, very well observed and captured
regards Ryszard

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  • Graal Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 9445 W: 268 N: 3085] (103038)
  • [2014-12-15 2:09]

Hello Gert,
amazing reportage from Vietnam in 1995. Good captured scene and shot. WS is good also. For me promoting of the Communist Party now is funny. Superbe documentary slides.
Have a nice week.

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  • jhm Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 24405 W: 523 N: 40828] (175668)
  • [2014-12-15 2:45]

Hello Gert,

I think you have ten tens of thousands picture out of the Far East countries have in your archive.
Again a nice scanned picture with the driver dormant on his job.
Very well composition, excellent presentation, TFS.

Warmest regards,

Hello, Gert,
This old billboard on the background reminds me my happy Soviet childhood. But I see this rickshaw is not so impressed with their optimistic ideas. Amazing photo, good picture for an article about Vietnam of 1980th.

Best wishes,

Hej Gert,
En rolig kontast mellan de överentusiastiska personerna på propagandaaffischen och den måttligt entusiastiske verklige personen under dem. Ett foto som ger en mångfacetterad bild av livet i Vietnam.

  • Great 
  • boa Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 568 W: 2 N: 1442] (7899)
  • [2014-12-15 12:16]

Hej Gert,
en synnerligen passande titel för det här fotot:) Propaganda skylten i bakgrunden är verkligen underbar i det här sammanhanget, mannen på cykeln lever inte riktigt upp till budskapet. Jag tycker att det är fascinerande med propagandabilder, vare sig de är kommunistiska, gamla Tyska, Amerikanska eller andra. En riktig bra bild där du var på rätt plats till rätt tid. Bravo!


Dear Gert
Nice scene with this man sleeping in the cart.
Nice poster in the background which drawing and image capture beautiful view.
Great job,indeed.
Kind regards

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  • tyro Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1835 W: 415 N: 6630] (26832)
  • [2014-12-16 1:47]

Hello Gert,

Two wonderful photographs, an interesting note and also - how delightful that Rosemary actually went to all the bother of translating that slogan for our benefit!

Both images have the benefit of huge posters displaying some sort of proclamation that Communism is good but yet the images are quite different. Your main picture shows an exhausted (or just fed up) rickshaw driver relaxing or sleeping on his vehicle, obviously unaware (or at least uninterested) of your presence.

But I wonder what the farmers are up to in your workshop photograph, all sitting lined up on their little mini-tractors? The first thing that this reminds me of is farmers these days in Britain on some sort of rally or demonstration, perhaps making some protest about their poor treatment. At the moment, dairy farmers here are protesting that our supermarkets are paying them far too little for their milk - at other times they have protested against rising costs of vehicle fuel. But I rather doubt that such demonstrations would be countenanced in a Communist country twenty years ago.

Again, two excellent scans, very well presented and with an excellent note.


Kind Regards,


Candid shots of people are amusing, either he has been busy and need a rest or it's a slow day. I like the background picture with happy faces, I hope the pedicab driver had a wonderful day. Good lighting and nice details. Well done, tfs.

Hola Gert
Will be back at the other post but now this deserves my attention by the sleeping boy under the classical communist advertisement
As usual an interesting personal note of this time
Well done, regards

People at the WS could be both, more probably taxi drives because of the rolled protection above

bel instant de vie saisi…

Hello, Gert!

Very nice daily life capture, with this big poster standing out in the composition and an interesting note about it. Framing and colors are perfect! Excellent job!

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  • adores Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5877 W: 64 N: 11341] (46935)
  • [2014-12-17 15:33]

Hi Gert!
What a great daily scene, you couldn't find a better background than that poster. I like both shots but this is surely a fantastic moment!

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  • danos Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 13701 W: 295 N: 27287] (109585)
  • [2014-12-22 6:51]

Hello Gert,
nice the snapshot with the tired driver of this rickshaw to takes a nap during his waiting for the next customer.In the WS we can see another group of drivers with their motors to are waiting.A good reportage shot from the Vietnam two decades ago.


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  • Kielia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2514 W: 0 N: 6733] (24077)
  • [2015-01-03 4:32]

Dear Gert,
this is another wonderful impression of daily life and living conditions! You have captured the scenery very well. Excellent scan as usual. Thanks for sharing!
Warm regards

Hej Gert,

bilden får mig att le. Trevligt att se att den här mannen också kan koppla av under sin arbetstid. Förhoppningsvis förtjänar han trots brist på passagerare nog pengar för att försörja sig och sin familj.

En mycket sympatisk bild.

Hälsningar från Härjedalen


I like the contrast between the grandiose poster and the everyday scene. Life goes on whether it's communism, capitalism or whatever. If only the decision makers could recognise it.
Interesting WS too!
Best wishes

Hello Gert,
You have caught a very cute irony. The rickshaw driver is sleeping under a colorful poster which, I'm sure, is extolling the virtues of work directly or indirectly. Well seen and fabulously rendered in Kodachrome color!

Hello Gert! Wonderful take. Fine man, fine bicycle. Superb graffiti. Good contrast and sharpness. Very good quality. Orginal picture. Well done!

Hi again Gert,
Well seen and amusing image. I wonder what the words on the poster.. I imagine something propaganda like, 'Work hard to rebuild the country'.. or Sleeping into a new world...:-D

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