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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Vietnamese On The Street

This driver picked me up upon my arrival at Noi Bai Airport. He couldn't speak English and I thought at least knew some simple words like "You pick me...here to Hanoi.... FREE?" as the hostel offered the pick-up but apparently left my query unanswered when I asked if it's included in the price. "Yes, yes " was what he said and just hurried off driving me to the hostel. Sure enough, I was asked to pay this guy USD 13 upon arrival. Felt cheated, I knew it's around this cost but I would find a cheaper alternative if I'd known it earlier. Maybe a bus(USD 30cents) or sharing a taxi with other fellow travellers. In fact, I had all the time in the world and not in a hurry to reach Hanoi.

Later the next day in town, I booked a morning return taxi to the airport for USD10 which apparently was a minibus. I was the only passenger apparently and that's so cool+a lil apprehensive.

Just watch how this fella drives. Both of us didn't speak other than several attempts of my Vietnamese which he couldn't be bothered to entertain.

Me: Xin Chao (Hello)
Driver smiled and looked away.
ME: Bang ten la yi? (What's your name?)
Driver: Heng, ya....Heng
ME: Nai di Hanoi...gaan? (Here to hanoi....near?)
Driver just noded, and looked away.

So,thereafter I remained silent absorbing the view. The rest of the time was just him speaking on the phone. I just felt like asking " What's the hurry? Why so impatient?" The constant impatient honks really got on my nerves that I felt like giving him a smack on the face.

It was my last evening in Hanoi. The people and traffic had not slowed down. Across the street was a popular activity venue for the locals. There's a monument and around it people play football, rollerblading, and what do you call that... ball taming/balancing/passing with foot. Over here where I'm standing, there were still people jogging, walking and spending their time beside the lake, locals and foreigners alike.


Johnny Ong said...

u must have enjoyed yrself there. its always nice to see other countries lifestyle

Unknown said...

That looks like such a great time! It sure is a bustling place.

Call me A.S for AkiraSabine said...

Hi Johnny,
Yea, it's different especially the language. Apparently, I learnt that the alphabet 'd' is pronounced 'z' in Vietnamese. During the trip, I heard lotsa "Zai , zai ,zai" and I wonder if it's "Yes, yes, yes". Also, do not be offended when someone called you 'oi'. Apparently, it's the polite way to get someone's attention. For example, at supermarket, I heard lotsa children calling their mom with "May oi". And when I strolled the streets, the mototaxi drivers addressed me by "Co oi, #$@##^% " thinking I was one of them. I just smiled or say "Khum". I simply enjoyed the trip all because I get to mingle with fellow travellers and practising my language skills. That's the best part and I got credits for that. Many even expressed their admiration of Malaysian fluent in lotsa languages. So, I think I played a Malaysian Ambassador quite well. *LoL*

Call me A.S for AkiraSabine said...

Hi Sagan Morrow,

Thanks for dropping by. Yay, you bet, I really did enjoy myself and came back with more confidence as that was a solo trip. Yeap, Hanoi is indeed a bustling place. Many say that Hanoi's traffic's CRAZY!

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