Monday, January 21, 2008

Drinking in Hanoi's gutter

Ta Hien is a bustling hub of Hanoi; tiny narrow streets crowded with Xe May (motorbikes) and vendors in every nook and cranny, not to mention the street. The favorite place to drink is a cherished Bia Hoi (fresh beer) joint at one particular corner. Beer poured into glass cups from homebrewed kegs are enjoyed in tiny plastic cars splayed out onto the street and over, yes, the gutter. It is a cold and misty night, again, where a scarf and gloves are recommended, not shorts and a t-shirt. Tip back a few pints at 2500 Dong each (15.5 cents) and talk to the locals, the bums, the other westerners, all while fighting off the peddlers of shoe cleanings or paperbacks. I just like to think of it as interactive advertising; imagine if you could tell your radio or television ads to bugger off! A much more human world.