Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Day 11: The streets of Hanoi (Monday, July 7)

I hate this stage of a holiday, where I know it's almost over and want to hold on and pack more and more experiences in. I want the fun to end with a bang, not a whimper. So I spent the day walking all over Hanoi's Old Quarter trying to soak it all in.

My favourite things anywhere are open markets, and the Hanoi ones are exceptionally alive. I hadn't been so delighted with a market since I bought a hanging turkey from a butcher in the big market in Ulus years ago.

There are eels and snakes, frogs and other strange meats. The best thing about this market is that you can buy your vegetables already chopped however you like them. The women sitting and selling are busy cutting carrots into flowers, julienning bamboo shoots, cleaning pineapples, whatever can be done to add value to their product. Plus there are already-made rolls and stuffed things to take home to be cooked there. I read that many households shop before each meal.

Of course, it's made easier by the women peddling their goods all over town.

No comments: