Sunday, November 22, 2009

Ho Chi Minhs' brain

14 + 15 November 2009
As we're driving into Hanoi, it's everything I expected and more. The combination of the French architecture and the Vietamese way of living is very interesting to see. Like in China, the electricity poles consist of hundreds of wires leading to them, sometimes you can't even look through the mesh of wires (later in Vietnam in the rain I could even hear the raindrops sizzeling as they hit the wires, like flies in one of those electrocuting-bug-killers).

We get to our hotel, the elevator plays the "fur elise" everytime we reach the floor, it's right near the night market and we have free internet (facebook and blogging works for the first day, but later the government decides to censor them aswell). It's around midnight when Ankie and I head out into the streets, hoping there is still somewhere we can eat. Which there is, a foodmarket right near our house! We have our first PHO: noodles with beef. We're happy to be here, good food, nice people, the night is warm and peaceful...

The peace lasts till about 6 am, around that time the city speakers come on and a woman starts shouting propaganda out of them: keep your houses clean, serve the community, wake up early, be a hard worker, that kind of stuff. A few hours later when we leave our hotel we don't know what we see and hear, it's CRAZY outside (what a contrast with the night before), I dont think I've seen so many scooters and motorbikes in my life. It's like the equivalent of bikes in Amsterdam (with the same parking problems we have at the Central Station), but then with crazy drivers and in between them the traditional ladies still carrying there goods in baskets over their shoulders. There are so many different horns on the cars and bikes, that I wonder if there's a business here for me selling hornsounds. Since a few years it's now illegal to ride without a helmet, but apparantly this only applies to the grownups, so the cute little kids end up squashed between their parents on the bike wearing a woollen hat for protection.

But we love it, it's so busy we don't even have time to really think about it: just cross the street, look sure of yourself and hope the bikes don't hit you ( we get pretty good at it in the end, but even after drinking just one beer later that evening it gets more difficult). We end up doing quite alot that first day, we pretty much see everything we read about: the squares, markets, lake, mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh. Also the Ho Chi MInh Museum, this must be the weirdest museum I've ever been in, with 3D pieces of La Guernica hanging around, a weird art-piece depicting the industrial revolution, next to it is the traditional house on stilts Ho Chi Minh grew up in, and also the brain of Ho Chi Minh which you can walk through... I'm not sure this is HCM's idea of a true museum about his life (he wanted to have a simple burial/cremation, but the people put him into a mausolem like Lenin)...

1 comment:

  1. Oh ik wil echt zo graag naar Vietnam als ik dit zo allemaal lees! ;-)