Tuesday, 24 Oct 2017
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MY HANOICULTURE

In Hanoi, it's common culture to line up and squeeze for good food

Updated at Thursday, 21 Sep 2017, 15:31
The Hanoitimes - Getting in line and waiting to buy something is kind of trouble in some cities, but for Hanoian it`s kind of fun, a "quality-certificate" for age-old restaurants.
Those who have not queued for a good meal ever, certainly can not know that the queuing culture also bring a lot of fun. Patiently waiting in the small eateries, on the contrary, is interesting and unique.
Strangely, in the midst of busy times when everyone is living in a hurry, the meal must be fast or to be served to the teeth to satisfy the difficult gods. However, air conditioner or good serve now... do not seem to make them happy anymore. In Hanoi, people still come and happily wait for a good meal deep in small alleys, tiny restaurants in tens of square meters or even on the cramped pavement without shelter.
The famous noodle restaurant in Hang Chai street.

Waiting day by day – A kind of fun
At 12:00 noon in Nhan noodle Restaurant in Trung Yen Lane (Hoan Kiem, Hanoi), hundreds of customers queue up with money in hand just waiting to buy a bowl of delicious and popular noodles. They praised the owner for the carefuliness, some people are even "addicted" for it. Though Mrs. Nhan is sometimes irritating, this small restaurant is always crowded.
People queuing for "Bún ngan Nhàn" an old famous noodle restaurant in Hanoi.
People queuing for "Bún ngan Nhàn" an old famous noodle restaurant in Hanoi.

I have come here many times but not always patient enough to wait. Each time leaving away because of impatience, from the owner to the staff do not even give an eye-wink. The culture here is, to eat, to queue, whether they are children, the elderly, all are treated fairly.
The crowded and hot scene at a generation-to-generation food store in Hang Quat street.
The crowded and hot scene at a generation-to-generation food store in Hang Quat street.

The power of old famous brands
Not only this restaurant, noodles restaurants in Hang Quat, Bat Dan street is the same, sometimes even "more crowded”. In Bat Dan restaurant, people must even serve themselves and sometimes eating while standing.
 Guests queued at Bat Dan noodle restaurant - a long-standing restaurant with Pho - cuisine of Hanoi city.
Guests queued at Bat Dan noodle restaurant - a long-standing store with Pho - cuisine of Hanoi city.

It looks like the restaurant is famous but in fact, they are all popular with small space so the service capicity is limited. Even now there are rumors that Nhan noodles become famous, their service, perhaps stay unchanged. Over the years, the sellers like Mrs. Nhan have been busy maintaining the quality of food and serving the long queues of customers. Therefore, they have no ambition "to turn” their small restautant into a luxury one or branch expansion.
 People had to serve themselves, sometimes standing while eating.
People had to serve themselves, sometimes standing while eating.

Moreover, customers also come here to be treated the same and equally. This is the culture of fairness. In all of these restaurant, lining up and waiting is an unwritten rule but extremely urgent. In the meantime, if we go with friends and acquaintances, we must have chatted long stories. The wait now become not boring at all. And, until getting the food on hand, the feeling is so great. Good food is not only because of the chef's cooking skills, but also because you also participate in and become an integral part in that process. Food became a culinary delight. You are not only full, but all the senses have been satisfied, from the mind to the hands, feet, sight, hearing and touch ... That great joy can not be regarding as self suffering. For the seller, it is respectful culture to treat everyone fairly!
Therefore, if you see crowded lines in a narrow space, do not laugh at. This is Hanoi's culture! For delicious food, the guests also have to "dedicate" and engage in serving themselves. It is not suffering or trend, it is simply a pleasure that many Hanoian generation consider as obvious: going to eat the favourist food, and waiting civilly, as patiently as everyone else, that's all, there is nothing to bother!
 
Tu Anh
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