On the Streets of Hanoi

In Asia, the street is the  epicenter of human activity. Almost every aspect of life can be seen and experienced there.

The streets of Hanoi are buzzing from the first hour of light until late in the evening. The first to appear are the merchants who sell food to the locals heading to work. Everything happens right there, on the sidewalk: the cooking, the eating, the dishwashing. And the cycle continues all day.

A bit later, the tourists appear. And they keep exploring the streets until midnight. The locals cater for them all along, making sure the foreigners will spend all the Vietnamese dongs they have, either on food or on the varied merchandise that is sometimes produced right in the shop. If there is a shop… I saw people butchering and selling raw meat right on the sidewalk, without even a table. Some other merchants don’t have the patience to wait for their clients, so they walk the streets all day long carrying everything they sell in giant baskets hanging from a shoulder pole. Or with their bikes.

People work on the streets, they sell, they buy, they sit and talk, they eat, they search, they find.

Of course, love is not absent.

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