Everyday life in post-war Hanoi seems remarkably relaxed, according to a news cameraman who has spent a week filming in the North Vietnamese capital.
Everyday life in post-war Hanoi seems remarkably relaxed, according to a news cameraman who has spent a week filming in the North Vietnamese capital. He is Chris Callery, a Briton working for the National Broadcasting Company of the United States.
Although nobody spoke to him in the streets during his tour with an official guide, Callery reported that people seamed to show few signs of suffering after eight years of warfare.
His film includes his own commentary, of which a transcript follows. An alternative commentary appears overleaf.
SYNOPSIS: Hanoi -- now a city at peace. These are impressions of the North Vietnamese capital filmed by a British cameraman. He was allowed to record his own report of the city no longer threatened by giant United States B-52 bombers.
The bustle was the first thing that impressed. Children being children -- snatching free rides on the trams. People in the streets who were friendly but curious -- curious because the North Vietnamese do not have a television service, and the appearance of a film cameraman is still a novelty. The normality of the situation bore out reports from Hanoi Radio that the North Vietnamese people were making the most of the new atmosphere of peace and security, and were busily rebuilding their devastated country.
The market is the end result of the work going on in the countryside, where peasants have been repairing dykes, pumping water into rice paddies and transplanting rice ready for the next harvest.
Even at a time of national reconstruction there's opportunity for relaxation. At a lake in the centre of the city, the people of Hanoi can take things easy or listen to loudspeakers broadcasting music.
At a lakeside cafe, customers were able to enjoy cakes and iced coffee - another indication of the quick return to normality in the city. Elsewhere in Hanoi, six railway stations damaged by bombing have already been restored to use.
One commodity that seemed to be in plentiful supply we??? bear -- being sold at another cafe at lease than a penny a glass.
And if toys are lacking for the children, they are able to improvise??? amusements of their own. Schools closed by the bombing have been reopening, and it's officially reported that two-hundred-thousand pupils in the capital are now able to attend classes for the first time this year.