I am having a few days off in Vietnam on the way back to Australia, once there I turn round in two weeks and return to the UK at the end of February.
Hanoi is a fascinating city in all sorts of ways. But the traffic is always worth a comment. The roads are packed with motorbikes: thousands of them and they never stop; not even at traffic lights let alone pedestrian crossings, so getting from one side of the road to the other is an adventure and quite scary at first. I discovered, though, that hesitating at the curb is almost as stupid as just walking straight out into the traffic. The way to cross the road is to wait for a slight gap in the lane immediately to your left and step out bravely. Once in the flow you simply negotiate each stream as it comes and you can weave your way across quickly and safely.
What a metaphor for change at work. You plunge in without thinking or stand and hesitate for years because it looks daunting. Two very poor ways of dealing with that need. The best course of action is to think and then start the process and work out each new issue as it comes. Once out there, there is absolutely no going back and that feels better than standing and hesitating and feeling rather useless and disempowered as a result. Out there in the middle of the traffic, it feels okay and gives you a sense of achievement and progress. It is even possible to enjoy crossing the road!
It is also New Year so the frantic pace is even more frantic as people race to the shops for traditional sweets, flowers and gifts. The cumquat tree is a traditional new year’s gift so if you need to take a tree across town to present it to someone or put it in the family home, then you use the only transport available to you: your motorbike. This guy has one tree on the back. Some bikes carry two trees and that really does look like Burnham Wood travelling at a rate of knots towards Dunsinane. But the most surreal sight was some one carrying a huge mirror on the back of the bike, balancing it on the seat. So the view was all the traffic racing towards the bike but going in the opposite direction.