A time for giving
I spent most of today out and about in town shopping for warm socks, knit hats and mittens. While the temperatures have dropped a bit in Hanoi, the shopping spree was for small little people who I will meet in Sapa at Christmas time.
I’m headed to the very North of Vietnam for the holiday, spending the occasion with Pete and friends. Our festivities will include giving warm clothing to young ones who don’t have the proper gear to face the cold winter. We’ll also serve them a proper dinner and give them as much Christmas cheer as we can! I’m also going to bring some notebooks and colored pencils, because I think no matter what, kids love to have a toy or a coloring book for fun.
The mall was crowded today, I should have known. The very random Christmas displays outside the center were the biggest draw. Children, young girls posing sexy and whole families had their picture taken with big, fake presents and ugly snowmen in the background. It was the tackiest display I’ve ever seen!
My drive to and from the mall was a good dose of sightseeing in Hanoi. Honestly, I don’t get out much, and I know all to well the sights on offering on the road between my house and office. It was good to see some other parts of life in the streets. You know, the motorbikes with sliced-open pigs thrown over the seat, bus drivers openly peeing in public, and women holding their pantless children over the gutter so they can poop. Sundays are good for a bit lighter traffic, and some of the traffic lights are even turned off, opening the streets up for a special game of chicken in major intersections.
One of the things I really can’t stand is that when you go into a shop in Vietnam, one of the shop keepers will stay on your heels and follow you around, readjusting anything you touch. They don’t do this for Vietnamese customers, of course, only we foreign folks because, you know – we just can’t be trusted. I don’t mind so much when its a nice store, but when I am in the Citimart hunting through a bin of discount underwear, mittens and socks, no adjustment to the merchandise is needed! I also get a little peeved when other shoppers stop to watch me. Is it really that exciting to watch me pick out socks?
Anywhoo – I’m excited to power though the next few days and then get on that train to Sapa to celebrate Christmas with one of my favoritest people and put smiles on some very cute and tiny faces. That part will be the best and I can’t wait to share pictures with you! Merry Christmas!