Hanoi, Vietnam- More Adventures on the Street

More Hanoi!img_0253This is the second story engineering for one building on a major road. The end of each stick has a notch in it to rest on the wood below, thus providing unsurpassed structural support. They just don’t build ’em like they used to! This is one of many examples of the tradeoff between cost, independence, and probably contributor to an overall lower life span in Hanoi. Among building issues, there are all kinds of “health and safety” issues in real estate and food that would make the nicest inspector in the US retire on the spot.

What’s a good tradeoff between safety and cost? How realistic is it to have locals maintain what standards of building to protect people from occasional catastrophes,  while still allowing small, stall-type businesses where many Vietnamese make their money, survive?  I don’t know. img_0261Everything is done on the sidewalks here. EVERYTHING! You’ll see more examples later. But businesses/people clean/cook/skin/raise/park/live on the sidewalk just outside each business. It is the restaurant, the café, the “water cooler,” the street corner, or wherever people in the world meet to get together, and more.  Just outside our hotel/hostel in the old quarters, tomorrow’s dinner!img_0271The police/security smoking cigarettes on the right shut down the entrance of the street for packed nights leading up to the mid-Autumn festival. It’s busy down here right now! Lots of families getting noisy/blinky toys for their kids. Small flowers people pin to the top of their heads like Dr Seuss characters. Someone I met locally said it a Chinese “thing” that is supposed to be stylish, where people clip a flower to the middle of their head. Interesting! img_0263Burned my leg on the exhaust pipe of a scooter next to me when pulling up to park my scooter to get some Vietnamese coffee. Ouch!!! Yes, that’s a blister in the middle. Part of life! Everyone riding around on a scooter has burn marks on their legs, so guess I’ve been initiated!img_0265The Cong coffee shop has delicious coconut cold Vietnamese coffee, guerrilla-green uniforms with Che fighter hats, and Socialist dictator pics plastered around the shop. Delicious coffee!!img_0270Here is PART of a loaded scooter, ready to bring goods across town for the big festival. It’s amazing what people load up on bicycles or scooters – more than we could fit in most cars..

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