Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Tidbits from hanoi

Have a moment in airport to try to catch up on blogging. Going 3 weeks back to our first days in hanoi (of which I have partially blogged).

We had coffee on hoan kiem lake early one morning. The cafe is called the Thuyta Cafe and is located at No1 Le Thai To. It is a curving old colonial style building that hugs the north shore of the lake with great views of the Bridge of the Rising Sun and Ngoc Son pagoda). We drank coffee ( I had a latte, jerry had vietnamese coffee served with its old little drip pot nestled on the top of the cup) on the open air terrace. We watched birds (something akin to our belted kingfisher and egrets) a wonderfully quiet moment.

This year is the 1000th anniversaey of the founding of Hanoi...there were many celebratory banners and balloons all around. We think that is why there were giant balloons tethered in the lake...quite a sight. But they may have been for other reasons. Pretty and festive regardless os the reason.

Hanoi is a city of motorcycles....very few private cars. They even use motobikes a strucks of sorts. A few birds but not many. No pigeons whatsoever...few dogs. We hesitate to think but we suspect the hard times in vietnam may have been even harder on small animals...perfect size for a pot.

In our morning walk, we experienced for the first time the mass of humanity eating together on small plastic chairs and door stoops...their morning pho (soup). At about 7:30 a manks voice started to blare over public loud speakers. Don't know if that is a regulsr occurrence, I forgot to ask. Could have been a weather report for all I know, no one seemed to be paying attention much.

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