Friday, May 21, 2010

Old Hanoi: Daily Bric-a-Brac

Hanoi - the labyrinthine center of Vietnam, a warren of fabled streets tunneling through the bustling grit and grime. An exhilarating slap in the face, a wake up call to be alive and remain so...

It's not just the scooters that twist you out of shape, but the people who call you in for a bite to eat, offer a seat for a drink or invite you in to check out their shops. And you want to do it all, everything...

This woman was selling sweet buns. We picked up a few and carried on around the old neighborhoods surrounding Hoan Kiem Lake. This area dates back centuries and the buildings are all no more than 5 stories high and stuffed with the bric-a-brac of daily life - noodles, beer, grave stones, candles, clothes, books, tropical fruits and animal parts...


I made a friend too...


This guy was hanging around the Den Ngoc Son temple (Temple of the Jade Mound) on a tiny islet on Hoan Kiem Lake. He was taking a break from his daily performances at the Thang Long Water Puppetry Theatre nearby and explained a bit of history. Apparently, there are turtles in the lake - giant testudines - and if you spot one you're guaranteed good luck.


He hadn't had the good fortune of seeing one yet, which explained his rather severe hair style. I got him to take this photo of me on the Huc (Sunbeam) Bridge.

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