The usual question of a consultant weekend are: read or not read? finish the paper or not finish the paper? review the sent last week or not? write a blog or not write a blog? go for a walk in town or not? eat in a restaurant alone or not? These question accompany the hours of the weekend and more often than not I am surprised to see that all of a sudden outside the window is dark.
This is what happened yesterday where I also learned something new about Vietnam talking to Tuy while sipping Japanese green tea.
More and more people are thinking about moving out form Ha Noi and settle in some other parts of Vietnam. Roads are more and more congested. This will only get worse. Ha Noi is the city of lakes. Tens of them dot the map of the city and limit the roads’ expansion. The population of 6.5 million is growing rapidly. The cost of properties in the city has increased to European levels pushing young families to buy a flat at the outskirts of the city. This requires more time for commuting to the offices in the centre and in turn greater traffic congestion during peak hours.
Da Nang, in Central Vietnam in a favourite destination for the ones who decide to move. Less traffic, on the seaside, warmer weather, and improved facilities and services as demand for housing is increasing.
Tuy explained to me all this. She has also been thinking about moving there, though there were some impediments. Her kids are still at school and she did not know whether in Da Nang schools were as good as in Ha Noi. More importantly, she did not know yet whom of her kids would continue to live in Ha Noi. In a family with only girls, changing province and town would not be an issues, but if there are male kids the family can move only if they make sure that one of the boys will remain in town and keep the link with the ancestors. If all boys leave the house for work or studies, the parents have to stay so to respect this old tradition. So, Da Nang has to wait for Tuy.
I am thinking about our conversation while walking along the sellotape road and then the flower road in the old city centre. How long can these tradition last? How many of the people who work in these small shops and travel agencies manage to keep up the tradition? I do not know. Certainly for Tuy was very strange to hear that my home is now in the Philippines and that I do not own one in Italy.