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[Photos] Napping in Saigon Through the Decades

Can you hear the snores?

The vast majority of animals spend a great amount of time napping...why not humans? 

Studies overwhelmingly confirm the many virtues of a mid-day snooze, and yet as workplace cultures homogenize around the world and people increasingly become little more than tiny cogs whirring, whirring, whirring in an insomniac widget machine churning out useless nodules and niblets, the nap is becoming a lost art.

Nón lá make for great ways to block the sun

Still, Vietnam's nap culture remains strong. Even if you aren't given a chance to curl up beneath your desk at noon for a satisfying sliver of sleep, you have certainly had to awake a tạp hóa worker, seen a construction worker catching some shut-eye on the job site, or been infuriated by banks and businesses closing every afternoon for company-approved siestas.

These photos taken in the 1950s, 60s and 70s and collected by Flickr legend manhhai showcase just how endemic the habit is on the streets here. Have a peek below and then grab a pillow. You deserve a nap!

A vendor on the streets of Saigon sleeping in a doorway in 1966.

Catching a couple Z's on a jeep seat.

Magazines make for decent pillows if you are tired enough.

Sleeping in a cyclo.

The shoes go back on sale when she wakes up.

A group sleeps beside a building.

Watching the most gifted gymnast somehow isn't as impressive as seeing someone sleep atop a motorbike.

A shop counter serving as a bed.

One of a hammock's many virtues is how it can be strung up nearly anywhere.

LIFE Magazine helped share the word of Saigon's napping citizens. 

[Photos via Flickr user manhhai]

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