Saturday, June 23, 2012

Banana Party: Our time in Hanoi

Buying our bushel!
   While on Hanoi we quickly realized Vietnam has the best bananas we've ever had. We decided to get some snacks for the night train to Sapa. We mentioned the great bananas to the staff we had become friendly with at our hotel. Of course at that exact moment a banana vendor happened to be outside the hotel door. The door man offered to go talk to the vendor for us to get some bananas. We followed him outside. The bushels were huge and we only wanted four or five bananas, but this would not work out since there was no way to cut the bushel and the vendor insisted on $1 per bushel, no matter how many. It was silly to not buy the whole thing so we did and preceded to give them away to our friends, the hotel staff. We made sure there was enough for the night staff and everything. "You sure?" the manager asked.  The staff seemed to think us giving bananas away was really funny. During all the laughing the female manager made a risque  motion with the banana to the other staff member. We started laughing. She had not thought we saw and was very embarrassed. This led to more laughing. We all ate our bananas, laughing. "It's a banana party!" said Lindsay, which led to more laughing.
     The banana theme did not end there. When we got on the sleeper train to Sapa we had several small bananas awaiting us there, too. Apparently the Vietnamese know how good their bananas are. The people we were sharing the birth with arrived. It was a Vietnamese couple and another woman (for a four sleeper berth....).  Great, we were hoping for some other tourists. These people were loud before they even stepped in the compartment. The man was strange and his first question was "do you speak Vietnamese?" Then of course he wanted to know where we were from. Getting the sketchy vibe Lindsay promptly said "Canada," which unlike the answer "America" is not followed up with any other questions. The man then asked if we wanted bananas and proceeded to hold them up and point them  towards us. He thought this was very funny. Then he said something in Vietnamese at which point his wife playfully  slapped him and he said to me "Do you like your bananas longer?"(lots of giggling was happening) The he started to make pretend sex noises. He really thought this was funny, I mean, really funny. This man was at least 29 years old.  I was not amused so I ignored him and Lindsay went to look for our guide so we could tell him about this jerk and he could reprimand him in Vietnamese. She could not find him, but ignoring the man worked. Then at 2am the three of them got up for a party in the room, complete with a noodle dish and all. We wanted out of there so bad.
   While gathering up our items the next day we came across the bananas from the street vendor. Lindsay decided it was time for some payback. She brought the bananas to the man and shoved them in his face. "You like banana? Here take a banana. It's a big banana for you" I thought this was hilarious and luckily so did the Vietnamese trio. The women especially. After that the man was actually a little friendly and even laughed when Lindsay told him he could not smoke in the car. When in Vietnam, make the best of the banana.

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