If I could first just apologise for the tardiness of my return to Blah Blah land in the new year. I have a good and jealousy inducing excuse. I spent a week in London followed by a week in Vietnam. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, that’s how I roll.
So I thought it best to do something which I do not believe has been done before – a comparison of London vs Vietnam (I know this because I googled it and all I got were a load of price comparison sites for flights from London to Vietnam). I can’t think why. I’ll keep it to three things for the purposes of this article:
- LONDON: Seedy. Usually it appears late at night and involves sausages and onion fried up and shoved in a 2 day old roll with your choice of dried up tomato sauce or something else which is brown. The smell of which is scientifically proven (not confirmed) to get the saliva flowing after 4 or 5 drinks however is more likely to get something else flowing after 4 or 5 hours.
- VIETNAM: Plentiful. Lots of street stalls. They cook all sorts of soups and meats in a pot over a pile of coal on the side of the street. The smell of which is scientifically proven to get the saliva flowing however is more likely to get something else flowing unless you also down 4 or 5 Imodium tablets. (On a serious note, I recommend Banh Mi which is delicious and solid. Before and after.)
- LONDON: Busy. Always busy in the centre, no matter what day or time. Lots of people, buses, cars, motorbikes, pushbikes, taxis. All strictly abiding the road laws, like waiting for green lights before going, giving way to traffic on the main thoroughfare before pulling out, stopping for pedestrians at crossings. Anyone not abiding by commonly understood laws are beeped and shouted at by other drivers.
- VIETNAM: Busier. Always busy in the centre, no matter what day or time. Lots of motorbikes, buses, people, motorbikes, pushbikes, taxis. All who see road laws as simply rough guidelines or advice. Motorcycles rule the road and they only look in front of them (many don’t have rear view mirrors). Beeping is almost constant and can mean “I’m coming through”, “I’m turning left”, “I’m turning right”, “I’m stopping now”, “I can see you are pulling out right in front of me and I’m cool with that but I just wanted to let you know I’m here”. None of this is done with any kind of aggression or road rage.
- LONDON: Normal. With the UK nibbling (intentional use of the word) on the heels of the US in obesity rates, I was able to find ample (also intentional) clothes in my size and there were a variety of shapes and sizes of people walking through the streets including many who were considerably bigger than me.
- VIETNAM: Novelty. Comedic novelty. It was the few times in my life when my petite, attractive friend was shoved aside as people were taking photos of themselves standing with me. All the while copping a feel of my spongy upper arms and the ripples of my back fat. Which I think could be tolerated if they didn’t then look at the photo they just took and laugh hysterically as if it was a picture of a cat in a hoody.
Great trip all in all. Anyone else end up an unsuspecting celebrity while travelling?