Cycling for a living sounds like a dream, whereas for many living in Hanoi, Vietnam, it takes on a completely different meaning.
On a recent trip I took the opportunity to walk through the old district and snap photograph as many cycles as I could find. With some very ingenious setups the mere bicycle has been transformed into a multitude of roaming, transportable retail stores including clothing, groceries, flowers and soup for lunch to name a few.
If you happen to pass by a construction site, you may notice a fellow covered in dust wearing just a pair of shorts, pushing a bicycle down the road with 20 or more steel reinforcing rods the length of a small bus strapped to the side. Don’t talk to me about work place health and safety issues, that’s just how it is.
Alternatively if you decide to rise early and watch the spectacle of thousands of people quietly exercising around the Hoan Kiem Lake you may chance upon the flower girls riding back into the city from the markets on the outskirts of town.
It’s an eerie feeling watching three girls sitting tall in fresh white ao dai dresses from head to toe, quietly floating down a tree-lined boulevard into the morning dusk with a bright splash of yellow flowers emblazoned across the tail of their bicycles.