Making stuff as a founder of Avocado. Former music-maker. Tuna melt advocate. Started Google Reader. (But smarter people made it great.)

Humid, Hectic Hanoi

Walking through the streets of Hanoi's Old Quarter recalls The Running of the Bulls in Pamplona.

Traffic is a free-for-all, a speedy, fun unchoreographed bit of snarl. Walk when you want, drive when you want, stop when you want. It's great. There are as many mopeds as brunettes.

Yesterday, we received a little taste of political difference. A truckload of police pulled up next to us and the store we were walking by erupted. Girls began hiding the luggage they were selling - they had so many that it had spilled onto the sidewalk - as the soldiers began taking whatever they found and throwing it into their truck. Later an expat explained (or sort-of explained as an expatriate's story is best enjoyed if half-believed) that there is a penalty for selling on the sidewalk without a proper permit (read: bribe), the penalty being your wares.

Also: Lan Ong is the best smelling street on the world. Sidewalks barbershops are unbelieveably cool. And though locals may laugh that a tourist would ask, the best Banh Coun (sp?) you can have for under $1 US is had on the streets of Hanoi.

More later. This is amazing.
posted at September 7, 2004, 5:39 PM


  • At 8:22 PM, Anonymous said…

    Yeah, but are you coming to super, sexy Saigon? I've lived here for a few years. Give me a shout if you need some info or want to meet for a drink or compare the Saigon version of banh cuon (mmmm, even better). Try Randall at swordandpen dot com and I'll send you my mobile number.

    Enjoy your visit!


Post a Comment