Xin cháo (Hello) everyone. Our trials and tribulations have stopped and we are enjoying the heck out of Hanoi! The people, the food, the sights are all we hoped for. The traffic is quite a challenge for us lowly pedestrians. This little video clip is indicative of the the ebb and flow. It seems everyone here is always on two wheels. We are not sure where they are all going all the time.
You would think with so many people ( 7.588 million) in such proximity we would see and hear conflict but really the only thing resembling this is the constant, continuous, never ending and all the time (yes, I know I am repeating myself redundantly – for emphasis) noise of the beep beep of scooter horns. We do not see and hear this as anger or peevishness but as a warning that ‘here I come, I don’t want to hit your scooter, so please stay outta my way’.
I love getting up early and seeing a new place come alive in the mornings. With my camera of course. Rome, Dubrovnik, Edmonds are all late sleepers. Not so in Hanoi. While the pics below show relatively empty streets, there are lots of peeps out and about. Nancy and I were out and about this morning.
The everyday life is played out on the streets it seems. Especially in the Old Quarter where we have spent most of our time here. It is a rabbit warren of small streets, alleys and arm span wide alleyettes. Despite what the signs say, these are all a minimum of two way roads but we have to make sure our heads are on swivels at all times. The method Nancy hit upon in China of waiting to cross the street with a little old lady (LOL) does not work too well here. Everyman and woman for themselves. I have taken a few LOL under my wings to help them cross. It is tougher than Rome and quite a challenge.
Vendors with their wares on bikes, hand carts and over the shoulder panniers are in traffic because the sidewalks are parking for scooters, dining rooms, kitchens and bars so we are all using the same space at the same time (physics does not apply here!).
I do not know what kind of trees these are but they provide lots of shade. I do know what kind of wife this is though. She provides lots of love!
Those are MaiTais we had last night. We have not partaken of the Mexican food or libations though. The cost is a little over $2 for a shot – expensive but imported (I hope).
We meet up with our group later today so our travel style will be changing. I am sure we will have a great time. We will keep you posted. We are headed south slowly including an overnight on a sampan on Halong Bay, another sleepover on a train between there and Hue. This map may help.
cho đến lần sau
(until next time)
Chris & Nancy