Thursday, 15 March 2007

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Lake

After six months in Hanoi I think I have seen a fair few unusual sights, had some unusual, even amazing experiences, and enjoyed almost every minute of it. I was going to say most of the unusual sights, etc, but that would be far from the truth. Every day I still see and hear things that surprise me, shock me, make me laugh and every other emotion.

I bought a small Olympus FE-180 camera, to take the place of my too big Fuji S7000, to try and catch some of these sights, but often forget even to take that out with me. It is always the days I don’t have it with me that I see things I would like to have photographed (an odd word that! How come you can’t use picced or photoed?

The sun came out for the first time in days, which made everything look more attractive this afternoon, which was nice. On my usual afternoon walk I saw a sign which said something about the Young Vietnamese Socialist Party’s wish to overthrow Capitalism. I will definitely take my camera out tomorrow and take a pic of that.

One thing I definitely did not want to photograph was being approached by a man wanting to take me back to his room and give me a massage! I said that I preferred women and he disappeared. Err is it the bangle and necklace I wear that makes ‘em think I am gay? I was told by a former pupil that if you wear any kind of jewellery, like I do most days, the Vietnamese will consider you gay.

I saw an old lady hoist the leg of her shorts and piss in the road, right next to Hoan Kiem Lake! Now that is something you don’t see every day. Not sure taking a photo would have been the correct option though.

This morning I went to get a spoonful of sugar out of the bag I have been using for a few days and noticed a slight spotting in it. I put the sugar in and then the coffee and was about to put the water in when I thought “hang on I had better have a look at that sugar.” When I looked closer, the bag of sugar was full of tiny ants! I had coffee yesterday and probably hadn’t noticed the tiny ants so must have been drinking ant powered coffee…

At Christmas I saw two skinny Vietnamese men dressed in Santa suits on a motorbike, which is a sight I think I will remember for the rest of my life, but again, unfortunately I didn’t have my camera.

Oh so many sights and happenings … It is a very strange and wonderful world here in Hanoi.

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