Lots of people in Hanoi, Vietnam exercise in the morning. They go down to the central lake and exercise by doing tai chi, lifting weights, running or line dancing. Mom, Dad and I went down one morning to work out with people. We did a tai chi class and a massage train. The tai chi was very slow and relaxing and the massage train was very interesting. About 30+ people (including us) were standing in a line. We all stood facing one way, giving a massage to the person in front of us. The Asian lady behind me was very strong and was hurting my back! She was digging her nails into my skin and slapping my back like she wanted to kill me! After that my back felt great, but it hurt so much while she was doing it.
Along the streets of Hanoi there are lots of markets, coffee shops and restaurants. There are also lots of people who are behind carts selling fried foods, fruit, and anything else you can imagine! Also there are very tiny stores as big as queen-sized beds. In those stores there are tons of light, baggy, genie pants with crazy prints, chop sticks, bowls, hats, silk scarves and silver plaques. The store owners sit in tiny chairs in the back of the store all day waiting for customers. You never pay full price, because you bargain it down (100,000 Vietnamese dong is almost 5 US dollars).
In Hanoi the traffic is unbelievable. There is a huge amount of motorcycles, buses, taxis and cars. Pedestrians do not have the right of way here, so if a vehicle hits you, it’s your fault. No one in cars or motorcycles care about the stop lights and stop signs, so when you cross the street, you have to look right, left, behind and in front of you. To get to the other side, you just walk into the street and the motorcycles will drive around you. If you try to avoid them, you will make them confused and they will hit you because they can’t anticipate your next move. All of the locals just walk right into the traffic and don’t get hit.
It’s crazy busy and it’s very hard to find a place where it is not bumper to bumper traffic. There are sometimes five people on one motorcycle – father, mother, two kids and a baby – nobody with helmets. Also, when there is a lot of traffic, people drive on the sidewalk! You cannot get away from the motorcycles anywhere!