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13/11/2017 - 08:25

Hue "By night".

The new entertainment spot in Hue, the Pham Ngu Lao - Chu Van An- Vo Thi Sau pedestrian streets, has opened for over a month. People eagerly gather and visit the walking streets. I have only been there two or three times, but I have realized that I quite suit this type of busy space. I felt sorry each time I left, dreading having to wait a whole week until the next weekend. On many occasions I just wanted to exclaim: Hue is so bustling nowadays!

The crowded restaurants required booking in advance

1 – Since the opening day notice boards, banners and posters were hung all over the streets, there had been many whispers and talks on where to go, what to do and what to wear on that day. Everyone made appointments with their friends. However, talking about the expectations, the bar owners in the three main streets were probably the most excited. Every pub prepared as many tables and chairs as possible, utilizing every inch of space, wishing for just more guests to come and enjoy themselves in the crowd of people.

My friend and I had a hard time finding a parking spot. In the end we had to park quite far away. I have learned from experience so I had prepared a nice outfit to wear, so I won’t feel out of place in this new visitor destination. To be honest, everyone there was very well dressed. On several occasions, I was quite surprised to see some girls wearing body-con dresses and very high heels. I wondered how they could walk quickly and for a long time in those heels. As evening progressed, more and more people poured in, creating a bustling scene. The restaurants were so crowded that you had to book in order to get a table. So those who wanted a bit of wine or some Huda beer were in a bit of a dilemma.

I was quite sure that this activity was probably only suitable for young people. I was wrong. Kids and adults too, everyone wanted to participate in something new and fun, or at least check in on Facebook that they were in the Western quarter, in the pedestrian street. Everyone seemed to like the welcome gate the most. So even though the gates were rather similar to a place not too close but not too far away, I still saw people queue up to take pose in front of the camera lens.

Although the streets are smaller, and they don’t have as many souvenir shops such as Hoi An and Hanoi, but probably because the streets are too small that people are closer to each other. I mean closer in the physical sense, of pushing against the crowds, not the “so deep” emotional or psychology regards. And in that crowd, the sentimental mind of everyone must be very different too. The children are eager, the younger people are full of passion, the adults are more anxious, clutching their bags a bit tighter in their hands...

2 - One day, my uncle asked, "What is so attractive that so many people go there? " Well, according to statistics ... ah, as I see it, some of the young people like the skewers of the roadside stalls or like the striped brocade of the new bag their mother bought them or want the street artists to paint scary faces for a celebration. Those are the majority. There are a few children that had their hair up in high buns, with some blush and lipstick, dancing in front of the crowds. I squeezed into the crowd to watch the children closely and suddenly realized how the small children nowadays live so boldly. I idolize them because I was not able to do so when I was younger. Now that I am older, it is even further away from possible. The Hue stubbornness just clings on to me and doesn’t let go.

And people called it the "Western Walking Street", but here the westerners walked by rather quickly. Maybe partly they were accustomed to the hustle and bustle in the corners of the world; or maybe they are upset that the western streets now had so many Vietnamese. So the majority of the westerners slipped into the inner quiet corners of a non-crowded restaurant.

Some the people at my age gathered around the guitar player; other clapped their hands and sang “yeah yeah” with the beat of the hip hop dance on the stage; another group had their phones out, taking selfies and checking-in on Facebook. Although I'm not old, it must be the old maid in me that got irritated when I saw people playing darts for prizes. It reminded me of the bingo lottery and music groups that turned my face instantly into a frown. But no, because there was no lottery show that had a young calligrapher. So this was just walking street, no other name was used. Sometimes I was a bit sad because I wanted to dance to the music but my “Hue friends” were to shy. People were dancing and screaming but I was just walking around taking pictures. I was afraid if I got too excited and started dancing, people would look at me.

***

 “That Hue has this fun destination is great, isn’t it? But I don’t know if it would be crowded for long,” were sentences I heard a lot while walking among the crowds. At first, I was wondering about it too, but then again I let it go. “Hue now has a really cool place. Let’s go again next time. Remember to wear something nice!”

Story and photo: HANI

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