Walking Around Hanoi ハノイ子連れ散歩

I love the hustle and bustle of a growing city, especially in Asia. The noise, the motorcycles, the old buildings that look like they might be falling apart, but still keep some of their beautiful past. I love buildings in Vietnam with their splash of colors and crazy wires everywhere.

Or I did, until I was traveling with kids. Suddenly, the wires are weapons, motorcycles are like a Roman war chariot, the noisy crowd is like bloody murder screams that wake napping children and old buildings are health hazards. Especially with a wandering toddler who is used to having other people avoid her, it’s not easy to maneuver in a city in Asia. You have to remember that you’re visiting and your common sense means nothing regarding safety. I mean, I had some “love taps” from motorcyclists (engine still off) who wanted me to move out of their way. I’m carrying a kid! Not my usual scene in the US or Singapore.

When you travel with young kids, you leave a place to get to a place, there has to be a purpose, we have to figure out where to eat, get there, eat, run back and stay on schedule. When the place we want to go to is not open for whatever reason, we get upset. We have to change our plans, find the next cleanest option available while we still have our snacks to please them. It gets pretty stressful. Especially when you have two toddlers, it isn’t that much fun. Hence, Marc’s lack of interest in Vietnam.

But there is so much beauty in the old buildings, the grungy looking old stalls and a corner cafe where people lazily spend their days. Mila had to be on that leash again and kept very close to me at all times, or be in the Ergo, but she still enjoyed the attention she got, the random toy shops and the occasional snacks. With a one and a half year old, the walk was somehow quite enjoyable. No offence to my perfect husband, who doesn’t always appreciate the ordinary in the same way I do, but my sister and I share similar views on old buildings and the mundane. We found random street corners beautiful and fun. With her, I can just wander, like I used to. There are more smiles with children, an extra nod, and I remember what it is like to enjoy a city without going anywhere ‘special’.

I sincerely enjoyed travelling with just the girls, so sad it will probably be a long long time before we get to do this again. Hopefully someday, it will be us four girls, together, travelling and finding wonders in all corners of the world. Marc, don’t be jealous, but there’s a reason we sometimes need a girls’ night out as much as you need your boys’ time.

We did all the appropriate preparation too, bunch of baby food squeeze tubes, backup restaurant research, reserved taxis. The hotel was super helpful with all that and made sure they recommended a place we could get to easily ; )

So I wandered around with my sister and took pictures. Wish I had a better camera and the skills to use it, but hope you get to enjoy some of it.

私はアジアの街の喧騒というかごちゃごちゃが結構好き。バリバリ走ってるバイクも古くてボロボロいになってる建物も、それなりに情緒があるというか、何となく惹かれるものがある。ベトナムは特にぱっと明るい色があったり、色んなところに緑があったり、それなりに美しいと思う。そんな事言ってられたのは子連れ旅行の前まで。子供連れてたらワイヤーなんて凶器だし、バイクは戦車みたいだし、人混みは子供起きるから入れないし、おんぼろビルは色んな意味で健康に悪いし、崩れてきたらどうしようってもう危機感しかない。ホテルを出て、直タクシーでお目当てのところに行って、開いてなかったら次の場所を選んでおかなきゃ、とかそれでもお腹すいてご機嫌斜めになったらどうしよう、とか無駄な心配ばかりしてしまう。ところが今回は結構平和だった。やっぱり感性の似てる妹と旅すると、同じものをみれるので、急く気持ちがなく、ゆったり散歩出来たんですよね。もちろん子供のいない頃とは比べられないし、実良は迷子防止紐でピッタリくっつくかエルゴで背負って歩くんですが、1歳半だとまだ色んな人が構ってくれたり、おもちゃ屋さんをみたり、たまに貰えるおやつだけでも楽しめるんですね。三歳児はやっぱりもっと遊び場に連れて行かなくてはダメだったりするので、もっと大変。やはり普段家族で旅行する時って目的地を決めて、そこへ動くツアー方式になっちゃうんで、それが上手くいかないとイライラしたりもするのが、妹とだとのんびり女子旅行出来て、ただ街を歩いて、あのビルの感じいいよね、って言ってるだけでも楽しい。嬉しい発見でした。妹とゆっくり旅行したのにこれが初めて。普段は両親かお互いの旦那さまや子供着きなのでこうは行かない。もう多分しばらくは無い事かな、とは思いますが、とても楽しかったです。そのうち娘達ともこんな旅が出来るようになるのかしら。

もちろん子連れなので、ホテルを出る前に色々お目当ての店とバックアップを調べたり、子供のおやつの確保、タクシーの手当て等は先にホテルでリサーチ済み。ホテルの方も子連れ様に生きやすい場所等を教えてくれたのもありがたかったです。

そこで、散歩しながら撮ったハノイの写真を幾つか。

Not a huge fan of the dessert, but love the colors

Not a huge fan of the dessert, but love the colors

SmallIMG_5989

Mila and her friend at the toy shop

Mila and her friend at the toy shop

...What happened to the bottom half?

…What happened to the bottom half?

Cool building

Cool building

I had those funny bouncing dolls when I was Mila's  age

I had those funny bouncing dolls when I was Mila’s age

Party City!

Party City!

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