Ask anyone who arrived in here for the first time what their first shock was, and I bet you’ll probably hear about the traffic. Yep, it really is something. By all means I’m not saying that it’s worse than Paris (God knows I’m scared of even thinking about driving on the Place de l’Etoile); no, I’m just saying that it is an ‘organized mess’. No matter where you go, the traffic never seems to stop, and the traffic lights that happen to be on certain junctions seem to have a purely ornamental function.

At first, you’ll probably be so disconcerted you won’t dare to even cross the street. After a little while, you’ll venture out and get a kind of thrill by just walking steadily from a sidewalk to the opposite one, with all the motorbikes avoiding you with a certain sense of grace. And after this first, you will progressively acquire this nonchalance Hanoians display when they walk on their streets.

The only thing is, when you go out of Vietnam, just forget all I said. Rules don’t apply anymore out there!