I was not sure what to expect in Hanoi, despite having read much about changes in Vietnam. The communist regime seemed to be relaxing many controls and letting evil capitalism ooze into the country.
Saigon proved that change had arrived, because it appeared to be like most Asian cities (albeit with less cars and more motorbikes). The government restricts automobiles by making the cost prohibitive. In addition, the price of fuel is an added inhibitor.
The below photo--shot in Hanoi’s old quarter (District of the 36 Streets)--symbolizes the city and the country. Much of life goes on as before, but a few can afford to enjoy riches of a growing economy. Not only does the guy have money (and connections) to drive such a car, which costs more than double the price in other countries, but has the power and respect needed to park on a street where few drivers even dare to venture. Traffic in this neighborhood is mostly foot, cycle, or pedicab, so any car makes a statement.
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.