Friday, May 18, 2007

the littlest birds sing the prettiest songs

preamble: a friend from university, fahmi, once wrote, "I've known her since 1999. Maryam's drive to learn and try new things is almost unbelievable, as with the verve she has to talk about all of them - all at once! ;p A good friend, always thoughtful and rarely says no to fun."

basically, i'm giving you a warning of what's to come ... a text diarrhoea of hanoi (and i didn't delete the last bit, for the feel good factor it brings ... teehehehe!)

jeng! jeng! jeng!

it was interesting that zaid appeared when he did. it's like he was sent to warn me, "hoih! jangan membazir duit tak tentu hala". :op

he told me to not pay more than USD 50 for an artwork unless i'm dealing with the artist directly + that i can find reproductions as well, USD 40 would be a fair price for them. he's got his eye on a gorgeous oil on canvas himself.

he was right.

we saw loads of beautiful reproductions; from van-gogh's 'branches of almond tree in bloom. saint ramy.' to lichtenstein's 'wham!'. they were mostly 60 x 80 cm thereabouts oil on canvas. (i'm good at guessing the artist game but sucked big time at the titles ... like orang siuman mana would hafal nama paintings right?)

*mata juling*

hanoi's old quarter somehow reminded me of le midi (read: southern france), but with a dash of oriental touch. while the more 'up market' area reminded me of avenue des champs-elysees (ada furla boutique summore!). i guess their architecture reflects the fact that vietnam experienced french colonialism for about 100 years and before that they were ruled by chinese dynasties for about 1,000 years.

did you ever wonder why vietnamese houses are tube like narrow + a few stories high?

well, their emperor used to charge frontage tax. therefore to minimise the tax, vietnamese built narrow houses + shop lots. what they lack in land area, they add in height. eventhough the tax had been demolished yonks ago, the vietnamese continue building narrow houses ... talking about conditioned mind. then again, looking at the quality of the structures, i'd recommend vietnamese construction workers over indonesians.
and somewhere along the line, zaid voiced out his frustration with the vietnamese. he's been around for a while to know the cost of living in hanoi but just because he's a foreigner, the asked prices were exorbitant. to me it's just classic. the way i see it, if you think they are being ridiculous, just walk (or run!!!!). no, i didn't tell him that, was there to listen.

by the way, 70% of vietnamese are atheists. the biggest religion in vietnam is buddhism, though there's two type of buddhism being practised. one is the localised buddhism, which originated from india + another localised buddhism was from china. most vietnamese muslims are in mekong delta, though there's a small community in hanoi, who are traders + restaurant operators. hence, the mosque in hanoi. vietnamese are given the freedom to practise their religion. it is common for the atheists to convert (or revert as some call it) to the religion of their partner upon marriage.

do you want more facts + figures? :op

oh ya! tomorrow, 19 may 2007 is the father of vietnam, ho chi minh's birthday.

happy birthday, uncle ho!
for the trip to halong bay, a guideline was imparted.

"if the asked price is 100,000 duong, the actual price would be about 40,000 duong. don't just pay the 100,000 duong!"

sir, yes sir!

*tabik hormat*

on my way to halong bay, guess what i saw + got excited over?

the long bien bridge over hanoi's red river, renamed so after vietnam's independence from the french colonial in 1945, which was opened to traffic in 1902 + since, pumped life into hanoi. age + its wound from war (with the americans) had meant it had to be replaced by another bridge, which construction was sponsored by the japanese government. if i'm not mistaken, the french still sponsors the conservation of long bien bridge though. why?

guess which company built the bridge?

dayde et pille

now, guess who designed the bridge?

precisely, alexandre gustave eiffel

if you're still lost ... the bridge was designed + built by the same people who designed + built eiffel tower as well as the statue of liberty!

jeng! jeng! jeng! exciting tak? :op

yeah! i'm a nerd like that.

*grin*

anyways, i leave you with jolie holland - the littlest birds


p.s. i'm home. shrek + tiena + cik pms claimed i've hitam-ed from the trip. aiyeh!

13 comments:

Cik Puan Muda Stress said...

you're a nerd anyways.

:P

Stupe said...

welcome back...now are you wiser after the trip???

:)

ti.e.na said...

wah i learnt so much abt vietnam frm dis page.wut is this?wegra-pedia?coolness.;)

Mr Hobo said...

tak try shoot some AK47 ka whilst u're there?

mental muz said...

i agree with cpms

:P

n|ns said...

entry ni bestttt!! i like!!

gravtkills said...

seems like u had lotsa fun

Erra said...

cik pms

only a real nerd can scan a room + detact another nerd. hah!

i've been contemplating over "you are who you meet".

stupe

thank you.

i don't know if i'm wiser but i did a lot of learning, yes.

:o)

ti.e.na

diarrhoea laa babe, not wegra-pedia

:op

mr hobo

i see none, kalo ada nampak ... kompem amek gambar!

muz

hello there, mr NERD!

nina

hi nina! i oso laike the trip ... work travel + shopping travel lain ... i think i'm loving backpacking.

gravtkills

i did ... what's interesting, i partied with a bunch of friendly strangers.

:o)

Angel Eyes said...

Nice place+photos.

Desparil said...

all i want to know is.... didja shout out 'GOOOOOOOD MOOOORNING VIETNAAAAAAMMM!'?

wegra said...

angel eyes

wait til you see halong bay ... it's breath taking!

des

demmit!!!!

demmit!!!!

DEMMIT!!!!

I DIDN'T ...

i have to go back!!!!!!!!!

Angel Eyes said...

halong bay is nicer?

*bukak mata besar2*

dang!

Now i wanna book a tickt. i mean now.

Erra said...

angel eyes

tomorrow ... i'll try to post the images from halong bay ok