Hanoians have found ways of beating the scorching heat blistering its way from India to Indo-China. The capital city's temperatures have recently hovered between 38 and 39 degrees, soaring to 41 degrees by 3pm.
Hot, sunny weather drives motorbike drivers so much that they seek methods to avoid sunlight when they have to wait when the light turn red at intersections. They takes advantages of possible places as shadow of trees or fly-overs, under the bridges even if it isn't close to the zebra crossing. It's not only women but also men who wear jackets or even those used for the cold weather and masks to protect themselves from the sunlight.
The unfavourable condition is causing much trouble for students who have graduated from secondary schools and entering high schools examinations. To avoid the heat, Lam Kieu Ninh, a teacher from Dong Da Secondary School, asks students to go to extra classes before school (5:30-7am) instead of after school (2pm to 5pm).
She feels the early morning is the coolest time of day and the best time for students to acquire knowledge.
Farmers in central Nghe An Provine, were being scorched by the searing heat as they transplanted rice seedlings. Even the seedlings wilted under the relentless sun.
Now, many farmers and their families flock to the fields to do the job after having their evening meal. They have no choice but to work at night. During war-time, farmers had to transplant rice seedlings at night to avoid American bombs - "and now we are doing a similar thing to avoid the heat", says Chu Thi Tu, a resident of Hoa Thanh Commune.
Caught with their pants down
Ha Noi people should be careful about what sort of clothes they wear when they want to register their cars and motorbikes. Luan, 26, from Ha Noi, recently went to the Police Traffic Station at 86 Ly Thuong Kiet to get his car registered. However, the door guard decided not to let him in because he was wearing shorts.
Luan tried to persuade the man, but he refused, claiming that he acted in accordance with the station's regulations. Luan was wondering what to do after being told to go home and put his trousers on.
Then a young man approached him outside the Police Station and and offered his services - believe it or not, trousers for hire for just VND20,000 (almost a dollar)!.
Cao Thanh Hai, another Hanoian, had a similar experience. He went to the station to get his car registered and was told to go and put trousers on before going in.
While men have little choice but to take the trouser-renting service, they wonder why women can walk in and out of the police station wearing shorts or mini-skirts. Hai posted his own message on www.otofun.net
It's odd that although the provision of number-plates is being computerised, scammers can still make money from those denied entry to clothing puritans in the traffic police!
How to be popular
When people are poor, no one wants to know them. But when they are rich, they are as popular as film stars. This basic truth perfectly suits Huynh Thi Anh Hong, a scrap collector.
Hearing that police in HCM City's Tan Binh District were completing procedures for her to claim five million yen (US$40,160) that she had found nearly a year ago, many people went to her rented house to ask her for a share.
For Hong, the money could help her two children continue their studies and ease her financial burden. Even though she hasn't yet received the money, some people are asking her to share "god's gift". Others just try to cheat her!
Half a month ago, a group of people rode their bikes to Hong's house, saying they worked as scrap collectors in the city and were from disadvantaged families, Hong said. They said they heard rumours that Hong had received the money and would give a slab of it to the poor.
It took Hong a long time to explain that she hadn't received any money before they would leave her alone.
On May 21, a woman went to Hong's house and offered her a number of documents she claimed was an estate's licence as guarantee to get a VND200 million (US$9,170) loan. The woman said she was doing it at a loss and needed the money for two months, adding that she would pay double the bank interest rate. The woman fled when Hong's husband came home.
Hong's good luck (or problems) began last March, when she bought an old loudspeaker for VND100,000 ($4.50) from a man near her rented house in Tan Binh District's Ward 10.
Inside the box containing the loudspeaker, she found a pile of Japanese banknotes. Hong handed the money to local police who said that under the law, she could put in a claim for the money after a year.
A day before the deadline, a woman named Pham Thi Ngot claimed that the money belonged to her husband. Tan Binh Police later dismissed Ngot's petition.
Let's hope that Hong gets the money before the fraudsters start camping on her door step. — VNS