I feel blessed to be in hanoi, from the moment I checked-in for my flight here I have met really lovely people that make you feel like you instantly have a friend. My original plans to catch two buses to my friends place were thrown out the window when a guy I met waiting for the plane offered a lift with him to the centre and then my friend trang offered to take me the rest of the way by motor bike. So with 20 kilos on my back I hopped on the back of a bike with a cute little vietnamese girl and calmly rode along. I really enjoyed the ride – the chaos of thousands of motorbikes flocking on the streets actually felt quite peaceful.
While waiting for Trang to pick me up I had noticed so many beautiful elegant bike riders so I felt privileged to be riding with one of them. Trang giggled as we rode along and even slowed down for the bumps. At some stage I felt so relaxed I got my camera out and started filming. I will show you some of the footage someday. Helmets, jackets and covers for faces were all fashion accessories. I saw some very casual and fun dinking (doubling) on bicycles with one pair of girls both pedalling together, another girl on the back of a bicycle gave me a big wave. It seemed quite friendly on the streets. I guess the level of co-operation required in order to keep such a chaotic system smooth can only work if people are friendly. I will let you know more once I get on a bike myself – I might try to ride with an umbrella in hand to feel like a true local.
P.S. The food and hospitality on this trip so far has been awesome! Carrot cake (which has no carrot or cake in it but tastes awesome), lots of yummy green vegetables, coconut water, mango drinks, food from a little thai restaurant with lots of mushrooms and sticky rice – yum.