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A 60-Year-Old Trash Chute Is Saigon's Latest Most Checked-In Place on Instagram

Editor's note: Happy April Fools' Day! This article was part of Saigoneer's 2019 April Fools' Day celebration. This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the writer’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner.

Following the popularity of Da Nang's Golden Bridge, an anonymous garbage chute in a Saigon apartment building is attracting Instagram-addicted teens from all over the city.

The six-story chute that allows residents of a 1950s-era District 11 apartment complex to dispose of their trash without going down the stairs began appearing on social media feeds across the country late last month. Instagram tags alone had reached mid-six-figures as of the time of writing.

"It's something unique and real. Anyone can show beaches, mountains or markets, but this is the Saigon we grew up in," 20-year-old Hoa Sen University student Thoai tells Saigoneer. "No one else is doing this," she added while queuing up behind a dozen other students for a filter-distorted snap.

The chute was included in the original design of the building and, except for an instance when a particularly stuffed bag of durian husks was shoved down it, has remained in working order for the last 60-some years, according to the building manager. Never intended to be anything other than a manifestation of "out of sight, out of mind" waste management, it's unclear how the disposal system first infatuated netizens.

"It started appearing everywhere, so I just had to see it for myself," commented British backpacker Joaquin. Pulling a phone out of the pocket of his elephant pants, he extended a selfie-stick while exclaiming: "My friends are never going to believe this. It's like a different world over here!"

Not everyone, however, is so enthusiastic about the chute's recent celebrity status. Apartment resident Tran Tue Linh explained that the influx of youths has become a source of stress, as they clog the staircase where it's located. "And the trash! They are tossing their bubble tea cups and bánh tráng trộn bags all over the hallway. They could at least use the chute — it's right there!"

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