Paradise Lost in Haze

filed24 May 2009 from Carmen Jenner CategoriesAsia

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Crazy traffic in Hanoi

Crazy traffic in Hanoi

It’s downtown Hanoi and holding hands we take our first step onto the tarmac to cross the street. We don’t look left or right, but instead directly ahead and, careful to not make any sudden movements, we steadily walk in a straight line as though we are being tested for drunken behaviour. Given our mad jaunt onto the road, doubting our sobriety would have been perfectly reasonable; that is, anywhere else in the world except for Vietnam. The traffic parts like the Red Sea and, as quickly as it opens, the gap fills just as rapidly as water flows into a jagged stream. It’s as though the city has given birth to a million horns and every newborn is crying at the same time to be fed. I wonder how anyone knows who the horns are meant for.  I long for a Vietnam I have never been introduced to, and sadly never will. Where are all the gliding ladies on bicycles?

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