God, where to start? We have seen sooo so much today, and yet done nothing at all tbh.
The walking tour around the tourist area surrounding the hostel was a great and much needed introduction to Vietnam. Not only did our guide show us the way around the many narrow, busy and intertwined streets, but also how to cross the road (something I doubt I’ll ever be comfortable doing in this country) and the different foods. I swear, when I return to Denmark I will be bowing at every person and flapping my arms and screeching like a bird every time I cross the road, and then people will look at me saying “look at her, she has traveled the world”. Here the zebra crossings are meaningless decorations of the roads and have no function what so ever, and the sidewalks are reserved for parked mopeds and street vendors to line up their entire product mix (MJ would be so proud of us). Walking in the traffic you should definitely never take your eyes off the road, however it is most difficult to avert your eyes from the colourful shops, restaurants and charming houses – I almost drove Niamh crazy today with walking so slowly but my eyes just could not keep up with my feet. All of the impressions you get from only leaving the hostel for half an hour are enough to put you to sleep – so many sounds, smells, colours and movement.
Shortly after we returned to the hostel we ventured out into the city on our own and before long we were nice and lost, but thanks to Niamh’s impeccable sense of directions we were soon back on track. We spent hours and hours walking – although slowly, so on our way back to the hostel we took a seat at one of the benches in the park surrounding the lake close to where we are staying. Five minutes had not passed before a couple of young boys asked if they could sit next to us and converse – they wanted to practice their english. Suddenly there was this nice family passing by asking if their daughter could ask us some question – she needed to practice her english. And the next minute there was a third child accompanied by her older brother asking we would help them practice their english.
In Hanoi, they close off streets for an entire weekend without the bustle of cars and motorbikes – these streets become swamped with street-vendors and people playing games. We could learn something from this in the west.
That is pretty much our day in a nutshell, all of these impressions have fried my brain so I’ll probably head to bed soon.