Rubbing elbows in the market

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March 7, 2010 – Day 436 – Hanoi, Vietnam

A market in Hanoi is a unique place. Like a whirling planet of activity all happening within the confines of a thimble. The aisles are so cramped that a single person can barely squeeze through, and just imagine what happens when someone stops to look at something in one of those tiny aisle shops.

The eye of the storm

The eye of the storm

Inside a large dingy building the market buzzes with life from inhumanly early til late in evening, selling everything from hair scrunchies, wristwatches and dust masks to funny Asian hats (they are all about the hat here), shoes, and luggage. Amazingly we didn’t buy a single thing because most of what is being peddled here is junk. Occasionally there is something decent quality but more often than not, even the cheap junk is overpriced and looks as if it might fall apart if you look at it the wrong way.

In the market

In the market

Still it was an interesting place to get into and certainly a good place to get in with the people of Hanoi since there were exactly 2 foreigners present (um, that would be us). We got some funny looks and some funny prices too and eventually made our way out through the jam packed aisles and over the ankle deep garbage littering the floor from all the packaging. Stepping back outside into the streets made us realize the market was just a shrunken version of Hanoi. Same trash, noise, buzz of activity, same close quarters, self-centered people, just less mopeds.

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