Friday, 7 May 2010
Hanoi Pictures and Impressions
Just some last things I wanted to mention about Hanoi. It was weird because if I had never been to China and Vietnam was the first Asian country I ever went to, it probably would have been a totally new experience, but it was so much like China that it wasn't surprising to me at all.
I am used to sales people shouting at me to buy things, I am used to bargaining, I am used to squat toilets, I am used to making my way across a street with no apparent traffic rules, I am used to people staring at me, I am used to spitting and the differences in hygiene and personal space. Even the stuff vendors were selling in all the touristy places was mostly exactly the same as stuff I see in China all the time. It was actually a challenge finding presents for people that were obviously Vietnamese and not Chinese.
There were some differences though. I can't understand a word of Vietnamese. In Japan I didn't feel quite so out of place since there was often Japanese kanji, which borrows a lot of words from Chinese. But in Vietnam? Nothing. It felt very strange. Also, because of the french influence, the vendors in Hanoi were always yelling "Madam!" at me to get my attention instead of "Lady!", which I thought was fancier. Ha.
I suppose that's all really.