After large plate of phở xào – noodle stirfry – the trance is starting to start to kick in as blood rushes to my stomach and caffeine floods my brain. The rhythm of passing motorbikes, the quiet birdsong from across the street, the rhythmic rising and falling of TV conversation.
61 Bát Sứ is a no frills street operation – you can probably not get any more opposite from Align 3D, around the corner. It is on a shady corner at the end of the tree lined street, producing an effect not all that different from the expensive bamboo courtyard of its counterpart.
There is something about the caffeine trance that encourages people watching – whether the conical hat clad fruit vendors haggling with customers around the corner, or the uber-clean “True Milk” franchise store front operator across the street, or the silent solitary man sipping his đên next to me, I am filled with a sudden desire to know everyone’s stories.
Maybe it is just the coffee or perhaps the accompanying mild dehydration headache, but I feel a kind of zen state that Align perhaps was trying to bring on, but that can only really be achieved by close contact with the Vietnamese street, rather than at a safe and A/C-enclosed distance.
PS – I am indebted for the inspiration for this photo to fellow Hanoi blogger Steve Jackson – mine isn’t as good as his, but shares the same lucky phone camera shot aesthetic.