By Neeru Gulati
|Ha Noi is a city of lakes. These are oases of serenity amidst the bustling city. — File Photo
Writing about Ha Noi gives me immense pleasure.
When I arrived here two and half years ago, I didn't know if I could ever love this place. It looked so strange, so indifferent. And it remained like that for a long time.
The roads, full of motorbikes, were scary and difficult to cross. It was my family's first foreign stint. It took me a long time before I could muster enough courage to venture out on my own.
However, the day I started lowering my guard, the city embraced me with open arms. First and foremost, I fell in love with the rain. It mesmerises like a shower of blessings from heaven and touches you like a toddler's toothless smile. A stroll through these rain-washed paths is a treat for all senses.
Ha Noi is a city of lakes. These are oases of serenity amidst the bustling city. I feel privileged to live near one of the largest lakes in the city, the West Lake. It gives me my daily dose of peace from across the road every day.
Another high point of Ha Noi is the Vietnamese people. They are warm, happy and easygoing. Their happiness is contagious. They exuded enough warmth to melt the ice in my heart. And not to forget the women whom you see everywhere you go. Women work in all walks of life. They are enterprising to the core. Almost every house front has a sales point.
This place is a paradise for food lovers. Vietnamese food is delicious and colourful. Rice, fish sauce and freshly picked herbs give Vietnamese food a delightful flavour. Ha Noi is a city of flowers. Every 500m, you can find a woman selling these little wonders of nature on her bicycle. These flowers are so vibrant and colourful that even a rainbow looks drab.
Every day I learn something new about this place. I look forward to spending some more years here. I am sure the time I spend here will be treasured for life. — VNS