Friday, March 20, 2009

vietnam: the happiest place on earth?

There are a few reasons I am proposing this:

1. The food here is ridiculous. I have been eating every three hours like clockwork, and I don't feel weighed down, like I would in China, or god forbid the US.

2. The vendors, while bugging me all the time to ride their motorcycles and buy their fruit, don't bother me too much. It's a fairly mellow type of hawking that suits my style. They look at me, smile, point to their motorcycle, pineapple, holographic decal, etc. I say no, they smile and ask again, I say no again, they might ask me again, I say no, they go away. If these events happened in China, I'd flip out. I don't know if it's the way they do it, or just that I'm Chinaed out, it doesn't bother me.

3. Hanoi has these great horns that instead of honking a straight, piercing note, modulate between two tones. This makes honking mellow, as well. Instead of turning around, staring the driver in the eyes, and walking slower across traffic, I turn around, smile and wave at the driver, and walk slower across traffic. It's great.

4. I had my three favorite Vietnamese dishes, pho, bun (rice vermicelli), and banh mi (a pate and pork sandwich on a bastarized baguette) for about 5 bucks. (author's note: while I am pretty sure I could have, I did not eat them all at once.)

5. Walking around the night market, I stopped to watch street food being made, as I am wont to do. A cute girl was getting a handful of what I will call mini banh mi, which are made with a small baguette about the size of a breadstick and filled with a tiny bit of pate and dried meat. It looked good. The girl then turned to me, and with pretty darn good English, asked me if I wanted to try one. This is the part that makes me love Vietnam. Before I could order it myself, she took one of hers, handed it to me, and walked off. I shouted thank you at her, but she didn't even turn around...random act of kindness. It was awesome.

Preliminary verdict: Vietnam is mellow, and so am I. Let's see how the next 68 days of my trip go.

1 comment:

Alex in China said...

I am continually amazed by the exceptional English spoken by residents of every Asian nation with the exception China. What's the deal?