To Hanoi – Pt.1

IMG_6532The flight to Hanoi is fairly tough, especially back in economy class. You read your magazine, then your read your book, then you watch the good movies, then you nap, then you watch the bad movies, then you eat some kind of chicken, then you watch the Korean TV shows, then you read the inflight catalog, then you land in Hong Kong.

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It’s a whole other day, you want breakfast but it’s dinner time, you shop for gold Rolexes and look at perfume displays and then you get back on the plane again. It’s a different plane supposedly, but whatever.

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IMG_6662Hanoi isn’t quite like any other place I’ve been. It’s crazy like Bangkok, but more down-to-earth. It’s vibrant like Beijing, but less ambitious. It’s dusty like Kuala Lumpur, but without face veils. It’s warm like Doha, but no Maserati showrooms.

Most days seem foggy but that’s actually motor fumes and wood smoke. The Air Quality Index is 45 in New York. In Hanoi, it’s 360.

Scooters mosquito past all night and day, vast swarms of them stacked high with egg cartons, toolboxes, slim dogs, kettles of fish, and toddlers. If people wear helmets at all, they look to be made of plastic, covered with flowers, or manga characters, like inverted kindergarten lunch pails.

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(To be continued, probably tomorrow)

 

4 thoughts on “To Hanoi – Pt.1”

  1. Have been patiently waiting for this. Thank you. Now I have to look up what the air quality numbers really mean.

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  2. Was just there last summer. As I flew in from Vancouver, your blog brought back memories of the mind-numbing trip! Truly enjoyed the hustle and bustle of Hanoi, a feast for all artists and photographers. Looking forward to part 2 of your post 😀

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  3. Missed you by one day. Try to visit the Blue Dragon whilst there. It is a street kids drop in centre and day care for kids with disabilities. Left all my drawing equipment in Saigon to be distributed by a Vietnamese friend. The Vietnam people are so gracious and make westerners welcome.

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