In Hochimin City I had resisted to morose curiosity that leads a constant flow of people to stare at the embalmed body of the former Vietnamese leader, and the same thing repeated itself with Mao Ze Dong's mummy in Beijing, but surely Lenin's mausoleum couldn't be a third miss. After all, he was the first to receive attention from Communist embalmers. My descent into this macabre underworld was prepared by a half hour's waiting in the slow moving line, in a climate of religious devotion that can finds its parallel in the queues of worshippers waiting to venerate Orthodox icons. The black marble vault was lugubrious. From within a glass case Lenin's illuminated face sticking out of a black suit and an immaculate shirt naturally caught the eye, but failed to match the gloomy atmosphere all around because of its wax-like aspect, too perfect to be real.