Can pictures can say more than words? Maybe not on this blog – it's me remember? Babble boy?
Anyway I wanted to highlight these first set of pictures because it specifically focuses on people and more importantly (in this case) the traffic. Now the pics may not show much in terms of the volume of traffic and if that's the case I didn't do a good job of picture-taking because here in Ha Noi when it comes to traffic and the daunting task of facing it, it's kill or be killed. No joke. Drivers WILL kill you without hesitation. You have to walk across very, very, incredibly busy streets with confidence or as I repeat they will run you over and that's it for you. Game over. Pedestrians are not kings here. Cars will not stop for you. Buses and trucks will hit you, no problem. People on scooters and motorbikes will drive on the sidewalk to avoid traffic jams AND even honk their horns at you to get out of the way. Not for the faint of heart but with a little practice you gain the confidence to handle it. Well, it's either that or enjoy your visit to Ha Noi standing at the side of the road all day waiting for a kind hearted soul to let you cross the street. Yeah, good luck with that!
The city is also preparing for Vietnam Tet or New Year so it's all gussied up. There are kumquat tree everywhere. Everywhere!! On the street, in homes, in my hotel lobby on motorbikes to take home! I think they bring luck? Definitely used for decoration. You don't dare come close or God forbid touch the trees for fear someone will lose it thinking you're bringing them or someone else bad luck. I've learned here that sometimes it's just best to look, maybe even take a picture or two and mind your own business, know what I mean?
And the rest of the pics!
Ya know, sometimes you forget that Viet Nam is a Communist country so when you see the flag you're a bit taken aback! Just a bit though because honestly you really don't notice much of a difference. I suppose if you get into trouble or do something stupid then you may see the differences. Let's not hope for that. Anyway I'm off to Ha Long Bay for the next three days with zero Internet capacity. I'm back for half a day in Hanoi on Wednesday then off again to the Sapa Mountains returning to Ha Noi on Sunday. I'm hoping at least in Sapa they'll have WiFi so I can update the blog, if not I won't be until the following week that I'll be able to post anything.