Pointy Hatted Street Vendors of Hanoi.....
Vietnam is a country that has a lot of things that are quite specific to itself, things that give the Vietnamese a national identity, apart from many things such as scooter riding and wearing dust masks an essential ingredient to obtaining that Vietnamese look (other than the dust mask - mostly for females by the way) is wearing a traditional bamboo (pointy/conical?) hat.
For the street vendors I guess you would be wearing one of those things walking around all day carrying bamboo baskets full of produce over the shoulders in over 30 degrees and not only that but they must also persevere through the harsh and intense sunlight!!! Bamboo is the ideal material though for carrying such heavy loads in this way, it's very flexible and also smooth and comfortable to have over the shoulder.
Such is the habit of the Vietnamese people for transporting saleable items by way of bamboo pole and bamboo baskets that some say the country has the same form, a long strained and bent bamboo pole (refering to the length of the country) with a bamboo basket hanging off of either end (which would be the chunky parts of the country to the north and south). I have no reason to argue with them over this point, it certainly looks as though it could be the case.
Sometimes when you see the amount of stuff they are carrying you could be forgiven if you thought they were moving house seemingly carrying everything but the kitchen sink!! Those vendors lucky enough to have a bicycle can quite easily turn it into a mobile home what with all the pots and pans hanging from every imagineable place and kitchen utensils, baskets, sweeping brushes and other household goods to name but a few.
Flowers are very popular too and another favourite commodity that the pointy hatted vendors like to peddle and quite literally as again this seems to be the domain of the cycle vendors.
Those on foot tend to sell a lot of vegetables and tropical fruits which they dutifully weigh out on the spot (wherever that may be) by the kilo and slice and dice them if the customer requires.
There is a wonderful Flower Market in Hanoi where they collect the flowers from about 5am until about 8am afterwhich all the action is over and all the flowers have been sold!
Flowers are very popular in the city of Hanoi especially in the old quarter where residents have small balconies or terraces with french windows where they can display their floral purchases.
Hanoi is a bustling city where the moped or scooter is 'King', (you will never see so many concentrated in one place in all your life i'd bet) But still its an exciting city and has many beautiful attributes.
The Street vendors favourite 'hang out' is in the old french quarter (the ex-french colonial area), where a lot of trading occurs in the back streets and it's where there are some marvelous scenes to witness where life can be seen operating just as it has done for many a year. Very Interesting.
Labels: Asia, Hanoi, Street Vendors, Travel Photography, Vietnam, Vietnamese