Have been doing loads of stuff lately. On Saturday we went to a rock concert at the Expo centre near Kim Ma, which was very good. Most of the bands were Vietnamese, one was Itaian: Piero Pelu or something similar... The music was very loud and the crowd really got into it. They were waving their arms in the air, shaking long hair if they had it, singing along and generally enjoying themselves. So it was a great atmosphere, went on from 8pm to 11ish. After some empty water bottle throwing at the police, which they just accepted with some hard staring at the perpetrators. The coppers at the front were eventually overwhelmed and the whole crowd streamed past the barriers to the front of the stage. But there was no real aggro and the fuzz were fairly well behaved and just accepted it and moved the barriers to the side. It was great to see the capacity of music, it really is a powerful force.
The coppers in Hanoi have a great deal of power. I have been told about the two biggest discos in Hanoi being closed down by the law, but do not know the full truth. Apocalypse Now was closed for reasons unknown. There is one of the same name in HCM/Saigon that seems to have no problems. Now New Century has been raided, apparently because of drug use, and closed down. So there are no longer any big discos in Hanoi.
There is a big difference between the two cities in the powers that be. Hanoi is the capital and home of the government and cops. I have been told that all the coppers in HCM are sent down from Hanoi, but do not know if it is true, but they are certainly much more relaxed down there. Luckily, they never bother foreigners anywhere in Vietnam, so it doesn't affect me greatly. I rarely go to discos.
Hanoi has some lovely parks and we have been playing badminton in one of them at weekends. I have also been playing table tennis with Henrik at a centre that has table tennis, a gym, pool and snooker. The weather lately has been great, with most days being sunny, the odd shower, but very few and far between.
We have quite a few people round the house for dinner, which is nice and we have had quite a few people looking at our spare bedroom and hope we have found a suitable housemate. Watch this space...