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Hanoi

Hanoi Travel Blog

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no motorbikes then

A visit to Hanoi when the bicycle was king.   Our country only this year normalized relations, so I'm one of the first Americans to visit after this relationship shift.  The country is mired in poverty.  I hate to admit it openly, but the failings of communism are more than evident in this country.  Considering the awful toll the war placed on both us and vietnam, I think both would have been better served if Ho had been completely permitted to usurp the south in '65 and consequently fall on his own sword. 

During one of my stops at a lake in town, I approach my rented bicyle and observe a man missing one of his legs below the knee extinguish his cigarette deliberately on my bike seat as I approach not 10 paces away.

Ho's tomb
  He gives me an evil eye while he's doing it.  I understand his bitterness entirely, and can't help but feel that he's probably just as bitter about the US as he is about the severely flawed government that he was forced to serve, but am nevertheless grateful when he hobbles away on his crutches as I continue to approach.  There's a small round melt mark in the middle of the seat. 

Very emotional visiting the memorial marker that commemorates (propogandizes) the capture of fellow Arizonan John McCain after he was shot down over the city and landed unconsciously in Truc Bach Lake. 

The feeling here is one of being in the countryside, even though this is the capital.  The city is very pastoral and the primary transport is bicycle.  I take a bicyle rickshaw taxi and have to close my eyes at each intersection because the driver doesn't even slow down as he merges through perpendicular traffic.  I can't even tell what side of the road we're supposed to stick to, judging by the traffic here.  I haven't seen even one traffic light, come to think of it.  I imagine this place will be a blood-filled nightmare once motorized vehicles come onto the scene. 

 

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no motorbikes then
no motorbikes then
Hos tomb
Ho's tomb
Memorial marking where criminal …
Memorial marking where "criminal"…
Not far from city center
Not far from city center
Catholic church
Catholic church
Wreckage of US bomber on display a…
Wreckage of US bomber on display …
Hanoi
photo by: mario26