The Tet holiday is almost upon us, and the streets are full of kumquat trees. One of the traditions of the lunar new year in Hanoi is to decorate the home with these fruit trees, so the roads throughout the city are busy with motorbikes carrying shrubbery of varying sizes from growers’ gardens to people’s houses. The smaller trees look like they’d be blown away in a sharp breeze, while the largest ones are a danger to overhead power lines. In the narrow stretch of land between the flower market on Au Co and the Red River, there are dozens of plots given over to growing these kumquat trees. Late on Sunday afternoon, when I visited, the neighbourhood was busy with families picking out their trees, growers digging up their crop, and delivery drivers speeding in and out on their motorbikes.
Another Tet tradition is for expats to flee the city in search of warmer weather, and – although the winter has been mild so far – I’ll be joining the exodus. On Saturday, I’m flying to Burma / Myanmar for three weeks. It’s a new destination for me, and somewhere I’ve been wanting to visit for some time. I know a few people who’ve been there, and they all seem to glow a little when they talk about it. It will be a while before I post any pictures from the trip, as I’m not taking my laptop with me, but I have a few more Hanoi street portraits lined up to post while I’m way.
Chuc mung nam moi, everyone.