Not that anyone might care, but I think I am part of an endangered species. Yes, my continued existence is imperiled. I am a pedestrian in Hanoi.
There are occasions when I am a passenger with different drivers and sometimes I think they have been taught to drive by an al Qaeda suicide squad. Being the passenger is always a nerve-racking experience because of abrupt U-turns, pedestrians on the streets, motorbikes on the street and any possible other lanes traffic lights which doesn’t work and other comatose driver who don’t know where to go to.
Taking to the pavement is the best option in my opinion and in this humid weather I might develop enough stamina to cross the Sahara on foot. Sadly, however, the wilds of the desert would be safer than the footpaths in Hanoi.
There are predators out there who preys on all of us pedestrians - bikers and motorcars.
As a pedestrian you have to adapt to the frenzy traffic here very fast. For the traffic situation you are not an innocent passive creature – it seems you are the game, the hunted and a nuisance for all other road users. They honk and probably curse (which fortunately I don’t understand) and get crazy with anyone that comes within a few meters. Sometimes it seems to me, that they are just waiting to come out of nowhere like the Hun in the sun.
So as I announced myself as an endangered species, this was not the intent of this rambling article. It’s about the Autumn Festival and local Vietnamese toys, which are, due to an article in the Vietnam News, being replaced by cheaper and different Chinese products.
Drums, Unicorn heads, lanterns have been soaring in prices this year and some of them are so expensive I’ve heard that only tourist will buy them. But beside the prices a lot of Vietnamese parents are looking for something different these days. Imported toys, particularly from China, seem to attract in appearance and price and they are gaining on popularity.
Especially two streets, Hang Ma and Hang Luoc, have these kind of goods and people are really crushed in. Pedestrians, motor bike bicycles and even cars fill these small roads and you can just move in a shuffling mode.
This years Mid-Autumn Night will be on 13. September in the Old Quarter in Hanoi and at the Pagoda at the West Lake are the most capable craftsmen of Vietnam showcasing, talking and making unique and traditional work.
Time to see something endangered as an endangered species. Seems to go by foot is reasonable due to a lack of parking place.