Yellow is the traditional colour of Hanoi, so I finally finished sewing this version of Butterick B6380 in novelty postmark-print yellow cotton for the trip - and I had in mind just the place to photograph it.
You may have come across the famous “Hanoi train street” on Instagram, but did you know that there’s actually more than one train street? We visited both, in the early mornings before the insta-tourist crowds showed up. We wandered down the narrow alley while the community started its day, washing motorbikes, packing children off to school, and hanging out laundry, alongside the tracks.
A few enterprising residents operate “cafes” out of their kitchens, and one cheerfully beckoned us over, set out a pair of tiny, kindergarten-sized chairs and a miniature table, and invited us to order egg coffee while we waited for the train to pass by half an hour or so later. Although we weren’t particularly bothered about seeing the train, the people-watching opportunity was so rewarding we decided to stick around.
The locals went about their morning while we sipped our coffee - various babies were brought out and passed around between neighbours; an elderly woman stopped by, nibbling on a breakfast of whole baked taro root; a man in his boxers brushed his teeth at an outdoor tap.
And the train came, and went, and the day carried on.