Questions to ponder while riding the bus in Hanoi

Yet more random thoughts that occur while riding the bus in Hanoi.

Do dogs ever think to themselves, “Wouldn’t it be great to have hands?” as they struggle to pick something up with their teeth. Are they jealous of humans and our ten fingered dexterity? Chances are, though, if dogs ever evolved a pair of hands they would only use them mostly for throwing sticks and balls.

Do clones have belly buttons?

In the Eighties there was a ridiculous pop star in the UK called Adam Ant. Which got me thinking about his family tree. There was the push-over called Compli Ant, the stand offish one named Dist Ant, the really annoying Ped Ant, and the black sheep, Vari Ant.

At what point do men give up on their receding hairline and shave their heads. Is there are a critical mass of hair where they finally give up on their once flowing locks?

And how about washing your face? At what point do you stop and call it your head?

Not many people in Hanoi have lawns. Is that why everyone owns a jack hammer and angle grinder to make noise at the weekend.

Why does everyone clammer to be first off the bus? Being first surely increases the chances of being hit by a motorbike undertaking the bus on the inside.

Am I the only person who gets pedestrian rage at traffic ignoring the stop line and coming to a halt on the pedestrian crossing? Or worse still having motorbikes driving on the sidewalk and them expecting you to get out of their way.

Is not smoking, not drinking to excess, not driving a motorbike and always staying downstream of other pedestrians while crossing the road enough to reduce the risks involved of not having medical insurance in Vietnam? How much would you regret this strategy when you wake up in the middle of the night with a ruptured appendix? How soon could you make a claim after arranging cover online at 4am while wracked with pain only morphine will fix?

Is it possible to get non emergency NHS dental treatment back in the UK even though you haven’t been registered with a dentist there for two years? Would they notice if you booked an appointment for your father and you turned up in his place? Being his son is a head start.

How much of a reverse culture shock would it be if you were compelled to leave Vietnam and return to the UK, its dreadful weather and horrible narrow minded inhabitants? Personally I will, barring unforeseen circumstances, be here long term. As I often tell people, I know exactly when I will leave Vietnam. It will be the day after this place stops surprising me. So, no time soon then.

At what age do you suddenly realize the world is entirely fuelled by bullshit? Is it 10. Or 40? The very worst type, of course, is the plausible bullshit we are all fed as a manipulative means to an end. At what point in your life, then, are your hopes, dreams and aspirations finally crushed and you go into survival mode? In this era of fake news, spin and outright bare faced lies, can we ever take anything at face value anymore? It’s all bullshit, isn’t it?

Will anyone now, other than the 1 per centers, ever be able to afford to retire? Are we destined to expire at an office keyboard, our forehead forever imprinted with the middle row of a QWERTY keyboard? Or will we see out our twilight years working part time as a supermarket shelf stacker?

Questions to ponder indeed.


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