Hanoi's orange with oranges. Got scurvy? Fly to this fine capital for an overdose of vitamin C. They are never out of view, rolled around town on the back of bicycles, carried in shoulder baskets and piled up outside markets, every second person seems to have a bagful.
Vietnam grows a ton of varieties, some simply named after the province or town they're cultivated in. The best ones today are little clementines, most of which are seedless and sweet. I pulled up amongst a fleet of push-bike sellers to get a bit of citrus action, which was pretty dim-witted considering the fact that even a subtle sideways glance at a fruit hawker is a license for them to swoop. A foreign investor like me is worth fighting over as a bit of extra margin can be bumped onto the price and I might not notice.
Like fun! I'd done my homework.
The bloke who got my trade started his negotiations at 25,000VND (USD$1.55, AUD$2.10) a kilo, a grossly inflated price. I laughed. He smiled the smile that indicates he knows I know the right price. Does that make sense? The usual bargaining tug-o-war ensued, a price was agreed upon and then he started putting the crappiest specimens in the bag. I started taking the crappiest specimens out of the bag. More knowing smiles!
He got me with his final trick, though - 'the-old-get-him-to-buy-more-kilos-than-he-actually-wants-trick.'
Two kilos (I wanted one) of clementines - 26,000VND