There are three types of people at festivals: those who work, those who play, and those who people watch.
A woman douses her festival fruits with sugar, chili and salt.
The kitsch needed to celebrate Mid-Autumn: masks, lanterns, noise-makers, drums, moon stars and Uncle Ho.
Food vendors must compete for attention.
The Old Quarter delights and suffocates.
Look up! A deep blue sky fades into a pink dusk. Radiant lanterns float in the trees. Bubbles whirl through the flow of the streets. People chant under a large red moon. These hypnotic whimsies distract from more important things on the ground.
A crowd inches along Hang Ma, Lantern Street, like oozing lava.
Bo Bia is a thin pancake with honeycomb, coconut fibers and sesame seeds. Buy one to try it, of course, and also because these women work incredibly hard.
Chaos itself looks at Hanoi and says, “No, thank you.”∗