Hanoi daily life observations…

One of the beauties here is that many good food things are nearby. Delivered to your doorstep so to say. From early morning on women are on the streets selling all kinds of food. They usually come with their traditional carrying baskets and sometimes carry amazing weights.:

When you watch them you will notice that they all have a special walk. Their goal is to lift the foot off the ground as little as possible. So they make the biggest part of the step by moving the side of the hip with the foot in the air forward.

Anyway, one can learn a lot just by watching people. For example the Asian women peel fruit and vegetables with the blade of the knife pointing away from them. Europeans do it the opposite way.

This morning a lady was selling little crabs (and small fish) on the street right underneath my apartment. The crabs would have made a nice breakfast soup – but I’d already had breakfast.

What I do buy about every day is pineapple. There are 4 women near my building that sell them. When there are no clients they clean them, cut them apart and in slices and put them in small plastic bags for selling. At the beginning they tried to charge me at least double the regular price (but I knew from my neighbours what the “real” price was). After a few days one of them gave in first – and so I have become her loyal client. Today I bought two wonderfully sweet and juicy pineapples, cut and cleaned for 0.70 Leva, 0.36€.

When I just took a picture I realised that I had munched already more thna half of them. But they are sooo delicious.

Somehow you always have to bargain here! They just think it normal to overcharge a foreigner! The other day I wanted to buy some lillies for my apartment in a flower shop around the corner (well, an outdoor “shop”). The boy wanted 130,000 Dong and did not accept my offer of 90,000. I guess it was because it was still in the morning. In the afternoon I came back and a woman had taken his place. We haggled about and in the end I bought the same flowers for 55,000 Dong – 3.85 Leva, 1.95€.


My best buy today, however, was a thick slice of “fromage de tête”, boiled pork. I bought this rolled delight from a friend of the lady from who I buy my duck embryos, just 20 meters from my house.

Pure pork, no other ingredients – and from a farmer’s pig! Every pork lover would pay me a fortune for this! I have not had such tasty boiled pork meat since decades – even better than anything we make in Bansko! I could not control myself and had to finish off half a baguette with layers of this incredible delight. What an experience! Now I am stuffed, of course.

I need to go to the city to the international post office but I had been waiting for the streets to dry after a rain shower. Now as it happens, a second shower has set in and I am stranded again. Well it is only 1.40 pm, so there is time. The couch and the TV will take care of the waiting time…




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