Took to the Streets at 6am
6th Nov 2018
For three reasons.
Jet Lag and my Circadian Rhythm for one
To beat the heat for two
Avoid the Morning rush hour for three
Number 3 soon caught up with us.
Armed with the research maps I had come prepared with we set of in the direction of Chau Long market again.
This time I kid you not, this was a real experience from the afternoon before.
Literaly hundreds of peasants setting out their “stalls” all around the Chau Long Market area.
Squatting women with produce they had brought in from the country or their little patch or bought from a wholeseller to sell on, but mostly fruit and vegetables.
Because of the crowds, yes at 6am, we did not go into the covered market area itself and because we did not need anything.
But we did buy two bunches of spring onions and a bunch of coriander leaves for 10,000 dong, about 33p.
And before we knew it had reached the lake side and Tru Bach.
A lake filled with fish coming up for air and ? flies and the edges of which are covered in rubbish.
And I thought the Vietnamese would be more conscious of litter than that of at least the Philippines and find hoards of unnecessary street cleaners cleaning the streets at 6am but we saw none.
We walked around the edge of the lake and in the distance could easily see D Thanh Nien the road dividing this lake from the larger Ho Tay or West Lake
and the American memorial next to a Buddist Temple on this thin strip of land that is not referred to in the up to date Lonely Planet, we borrowed from the local library at home.
To our surprise we met scores of Vietnamese, mostly women, exercising to music in neat columns and some in snake fashion, hands on shoulders supporting each other.
Rene calls it Zumba
There were three or four different groups doing their thing.
Added to that in a shaded part of the lake side with lots of trees and grass we saw the the meditators doing absolutely nothing most of the time siting cross legged like minature statues contemplating something or perhaps not.
Onward we reached Quan Thanh and the Taoist temple.
Drab and decaying is how I describe it and contained in an overgrown “patch”.
A place to avoid unless you are a Taoist or a religious freak.
What was more interesting was the Park and Garden with fountain opposite and the aforementioned road that leads to the Botanical Gardens and Ho Chi MInh Mausoleum, but that is for tomorrow.
We turned back on ourselves along Quan Thanh heading for our apartment and straight into traffic of horrendous proportions.
Motorbikes in their thousands like ants heading for who knows where. ? work or school.
Not only bikes but busses screaming to be let out and cars but interestingly no lorries.
We walked slowly along the strewn rided pavements full of bikes or sand and rubble.
And to the Communist authorites who may not walk the streets much I say pavements are for pedestrians or have you forgotten, don’t care or don’t know.
There were pedestrians here before motors but you would not believe it now
We passed street sellers and hundreds of cafe’s with seating outside an some eating breakfast of noodle soup and whatever with chop sticks.
Passing a junior school at about 07.30 am the children were arriving complete with plastic bag containing fluid and sausages on sticks presumably for breakfast or lunch.
Further on the infant school was deserted,thankfully.
Too early for the toddlers.
Once again I must mention the motorbikes with children on the front or back and without helmets acting as a buffer for the driver should there be a collison.
Rene was looking for a kitchen sponge and tea towels so we walked right past our stop on the opposite side of the road and had to retrace our steps.
Adding that in we had walked (slowly) 3 kilometres and my legs had had enough.
Over a mile and a half.
I returned for boiled eggs and french rolls we bought at the Bakery.
Then to bed again after showering and sleep.
We awoke at 12 midday, for the second part of the day.
Three points of call.
The Martyrs Monument
Vietnamese Women’s Museum
That involved CAC or Canc the taxi to give him his correct name.
We phoned him and he arrived in 15 minutes as planned and we set off at a leisurely pace for Hoan Kiem Lake and the open square where facing you is the Monument.
As the book describes it is a solemn statue depicting a woman with a sword and two men holding guns and a torch erected as a memorial to those who died fighting for Vietnam.
Independence from what ? China, America and the French Colonialists only to embrace themin one of the most corrupt countries on earth.
Vietnam is the 107 least corrupt nation out of 175 countries, according to the 2017 Corruption Perceptions Index reported by Transparency International.
Corruption Rank in Vietnam averaged 101.43 from 1997 until 2017,
reaching an all time high of 123 in 2007 and a record low of 43 in 1997.
So on average Vietnam has become more corrupt.
Right down to the Traffic Police
demanding money from motorbike offenders.
You can always tell a country by how clean its streets are
and not how people appear or are dressed.
Not a good advertisement for a Communist administration.
On to the Women’s Museum.
A plush palace for the people who bear the brunt of Vietnamese life.
And at only 300,000 dong each or £1 a good buy.
Three floors of family heroism and culture, fashion and history.
I bought some pics, two prints and three cards as souveners.
Then to the ? supermarket which was demolished and being rebuilt
Cac said he knew another, the Vit Market.
An absolute shambles – no prices for most things and boxes of part opened and unopened goods blocking the passage way waiting to be shelved by chaos.
If that is a supermarket they had best start again.
However we bought Rene’s kitchen needs and mostly expensive items we found difficult to get elsewhere.
I wanted some Vietnamese wine – DON’T. Its not even cheap and cheerful plonk and a £3 and £4 would have been better left in the bin.
Back to base at about 14.30 pm Vietnam time or 07.30 in England
Now comes the supper.
Rib Eye Steak and chips, sauteed carrots and sweated onions followed by cheese and biscuits.
Don’t be alarmed we have all the ingredients for Steamed Tilapia with Ginger Spring Onions and Spicy Coconut sauce, Tiger Prawn Fried Rice and Prawn Stir fry with all the trimmings.
Afterall I am awaiting the results of my Abdominal and Pelvic CT Scan with contrast injected.
So no street food for me.
Then to bed for a cuddle and the land of nod until now 03.30 am here or 20.30 there.
All to catch up on Brexit and is there any other news ?
It sickens me to see the bandwagon for the EU as most people haven’t a clue other than their hatred for either Corbyn or May for different reasons.
Even though I fear we are going to get a Brexit with Remain on Toast.
A complete mish mash and nothing the MAJORITY voted for.
But then that is Parliamentary democracy – complete selfishness.
MP’s representative of Constituencies – Its all Fake news friend
And time we had not a people’s vote, but a people’s civil war.
Lets decide once and for all
ARE WE BRITISH OR EUROPEANS
Or a bunch of ideological misfits ?
Not fit to be independent even of Fast food Outlets !!!!!
And why do I say that ?
Because you can feel it here
The people are staunchly Vietnamese and its their Vietnameseness that holds them together.
EVEN THE BBC IS BANNED HERE –
NO INTERNET ACCESS TO THE BIASED BBC.
SERVES THE BASTARD BROADCASTER RIGHT
Britain has lost that since the last war.
There is going to be trouble ahead !
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