This coming Monday marks the first day of the year on the Lunar Calendar – commonly referred to as Tet in Vietnam or ‘Chinese New Year’ to those of you who don’t speak Vietnamese.
As a result, Hanoi, and in particular the riders/drivers on the roads have completely lost their minds. I don’t want to overplay it, but it is absolute mayhem out there on the roads. BUT – let us focus on the shops. Just imagine Christmas shopping in Sydney or wherever you are from, multipled by like thirty in terms of pure insanity – with crazy Vietnamese people who have no concept of personal space or manners thrown in.
For example, the other day I went to Big C (think Vietnamese Costco) with Liam and Linh. We honest-to-god lasted about 8minutes in there before we couldn’t move anymore, so we dropped our goods and got out of there – which no word of a lie, took us 7minutes or so. Think about that – seven minutes to just get out of a store similar in size to Bunnings. BUT it get’s better. On the way out as we started beating old women and young children out of the way, Linh got jabbed multiple times in the kidneys by a small child who wanted her to move out of the way. It was actually a soul-destroying experience that we only recovered from after a trip the local Com Tam Bi Suon Cha vendor.
I’d write more, but I am a tad intoxicated so I will stop and leave you with a photo I took this afteroon whilst riding into town. A photo, which mind you – I nearly died taking – as I sped down the road following this woman with my iPhone in one hand, and my other hand trying to simultaneously brake and weave in out of chaotic traffic at the same time.
If you can’t tell by the grainy photo, let me explain. Our friend here was wearing a body hugging long sleeve leopard print dress, capped of with tiger print tights and heels accented with leopard print graphics.