Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Life Happens In Hanoi

I spent a couple of days in Hanoi before going to Sapa and while I thought it was alright, I didn't think it was anything that special. After walking around the city for most of today, however, my opinion has completely changed. It's certainly chaotic and hectic, which can also make it overwhelming and frustrating at times. But the fact that there's so much going on is exactly why it appeals to me. 

Fruit sold from bikes

The 'restaurant' where I had lunch

My meal... mmmm

Birdcages everywhere

Friendly game of chess

Flower markets on wheels

Snoozing road-side Barber

Amazing old colonial buildings

Meet Bull, the cutest lab in Hanoi

Embracing the madness

People watching+juice = perfect end to the day

While at first glance Hanoi seemed no different to me than any other big city, upon closer inspection I realized that everywhere I turned, people's everyday lives were unfolding right before my eyes. Kids chasing each other, colleagues grabbing noodle bowls for lunch, old ladies chatting in hushed tones, babies learning to walk, friends enjoying a game of cards or chess, men getting a cut and a shave...  things that would in most cities happen behind closed doors, happen right out on the street. I can't think of a better way to get a real feel for a city than to observe its people going about their day, and Hanoi allows you to do just that.

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