Nearby the eastern banks of Truc Bach Lake, little sister to the vast West Lake, on a sleepy corner, there is a tree on the pavement. In the shadow it casts, there's a cafe where I've been throwing back caffiene hits for a few years. Not sure why I haven't posted about it before. I think somewhere in the grey matter, there is a twisted knot holding onto some of Hanoi's gems.
The tree is a gnarly old banyan, slowly strangling itself and all of its surroundings. The gutter, drainage and footpath at its roots have had havoc wreaked upon them. Watch your step, here. Above, the power lines themselves are a scary snarl of voltage even without the added entanglement of the banyan.
The proprietors have taken their revenge, however. An altar is wedged high in the trunk of the tree, adorned with pink roses and an incense urn. The tree is connected to the electricity supply, somehow, with a power socket to recharge your mobile perhaps, and two fans attached to take the edge off the heat in summer. Higher, where the branches of the tree marry with the power lines, the laundry is hung out to dry from the second story window.
Fruit juice, tea, coffee and cigarettes are on offer here. A few quiet moments to contemplate, also.
Cnr. Cau Bac & Pham Hong Thai