Thursday, November 06, 2008

Time's up

So my time in Hanoi has yet again come to an end.

Tomorrow I'm off again - don't know when I'll be back, but I'm sure I will return some day. Hope you've enjoyed the pictures.

More Hanoi street pics

Monday, November 03, 2008

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Flooding in Hanoi

It's raining in Hanoi - and not like the normal monsoon rain, with heavy rain for a couple of hours - this has been almost 36 hours of heavy rain!

Yesterday after a meeting I went out and tried to cross the road - it was around noon and the water was knee high. I caught a taxi and as I passed through the narrow streets I watched people barricade their shops as the the taxi "sailed" by. Some waved at me, I guess finding it funny that the taxi was acting as a boat - others stood stunned and anxious obviously afraid if barricades wouldn't hold.

This morning I read the rain fall has been the heaviest in Hanoi for 2 decades. Friday 300mm of rain fell. The news paper showed pictures of people wading through breast-high water trying to save their moto. And apparantly several people have died in the floods.

It's still raining and the weather forecast predicts heavy rain for the next couple of days.

It's raining in Hanoi.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A little fat?

My tailor's reaction when she saw me after nearly two years away was:
"Very long time - you big now!"

I went to visit my "old" maid and she sad: "Maybe, you a little fat now" and gave me her biggest smile.

Yes, I have gained weight since I left Vietnam, granted - am I fat? Well, no not excatly.

But here, being fat is a sign of wealth. Being fat means having enough money to fill you stomach every night. Being fat is a compliment. I knew that, but nonetheless it was a tiny bit difficult not to be a little bit offended as I am raised in a culture where being told you're fat is certainly not a compliment. Furthermore, I doubt any person with a bit of sense in their mind would said it that frankly, should someone they knew years ago have gained a bit of weight.

But that's Vietnam and within a split second I smiled back and said: "Yes, I'm a little fat now"

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Back in Hanoi

So, I'm here. Back in Hanoi.

First impressions: Traffic has gotten worse - even though people are wearing helmets and there are more traffic signs up, it seems worse.

There are more flashy shops, more ATMs and you can actually withdraw 20 million Dong as opposed to 4 million in 2006.

Here are some pictures of the beautiful food I have been enjoying: