The only way I know how to describe Hanoi is raw and chaotic, yet charming. A somehow functional hodgepodge of well...everything. This was my second trip back home to the motherland, and though I'm no stranger to my heritage, I like that I still get culture shock in "my own country." I love that in Hanoi there is such a blend of the old and the new, the undeveloped and the ultra-modern, and somehow it all seems completely normal for such deep contrasts to subsist side-by-side.
Street food, coffee culture, lack-of traffic lights, motorbike city, forgetting everything you were taught about crossing streets, colonial buildings, peaceful lakes, people everywhere, barber shops against street posts and tree trunks, and the refreshing sense that "anything goes." I can't wait to go back!