Culture shock

We’re not in Kansas any more.

Well, we were never in Kansas.  We were in Georgia.  But, you know what I mean.  We are a looooong way from home!

A typical Ha Noi street scene

This is my second time in Vietnam.  I spent several days in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) in 2002 when I was studying in Hong Kong.  Back then, I was pretty lame.  I was scared to eat the local food.  I was not comfortable trying to talk to local people.  I was, basically, the epitome of the American Tourist… eating only sandwiches, ticking sites off my To-Do list and being way too chicken to try to cross the chaotic streets of Saigon by myself.

Well, not this time!  We’re diving right in to Ha Noi!  We’re planning to live in this city for at least three months so we will really have time to explore, to get to know Ha Noi and the smiley, friendly people who live here.

A lady cooks soup at her street-side stand in the Old Quarter of Ha Noi

These ladies are carrying their gear in the traditional baskets... and texting someone to come pick them up? Vietnam is an amazing mix of old and new.

And, so far, it’s been a wonderful culture shock.  Ha Noi is colourful and ramshackle.  The people here are friendly and curious… they stare at us as much as we stare at them!  The food is bright, light and incredibly fresh.  We’ve spend hours and hours each day just walking around, exploring new districts, back alleys and tiny cafes.

Chilis and limes in the local market

A bowl of pho ga (chicken and rice noodle soup) for lunch

Fruit for sale on the side of the road

We went to another district (Dong Da… don’t make Dong jokes, please.  It’s beneath you.) to look at apartments yesterday.  We’re really keen to get out of the hostel and into an apartment so we can begin making this wild and wonderful city our own.

2 thoughts on “Culture shock

  1. You just had to throw in the sandwich comment, huh?!? That’s ok…I’m not ashamed to admit that’s what I chose for my first non-American culinary experience. 😉 Dong Da? Paris Hilton’s first words to her Dad?? Nothing funny is ever beneath me.

    • Don’t worry, DeeAnn! Sandwiches are much more common in Cuban food than in Vietnamese food! You’re a brave soul… I was a total wimp! Dong Da, indeed!! :) :)

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