In this 8th part of her soon to be published book, Sashi Sherpa visits the ‘Train Street’ which is extremely popular in instagram. Will Sashi be able to take a picture hiding from the cops? Find out in this story.
Hide and Seek with the Cop
We were superbly excited to visit the Instagram worthy infamous train street– you must have seen it on You Tube, on the travel blogger’s Instagram page about this place: it’s a narrow railway corridor, just enough to fit the size of the train- but this train track serves as an extended courtyard for the cafes lines on both the sides- offering munchies, food and beverages to the over enthusiastic tourists like us. Closer to the train arrival timing, all those chairs and tables would be removed until the train passed through that lane. Imagine eating your meal and suddenly you have to get up from your table to allow the train to pass, that goes so close from where you stand, you can literally feel the vibration in your head for quite some time. This queerness of this place attracted people from all around the world and soon it went on to become one of the most ‘instragrammed’ places in the world. To be in Hanoi and not to have a single picture clicked here was almost like not being there at all.
However, Vietnamese government came down strongly on all these cafes, banning the extension of the courtyard.
When we reached there, we saw a police barricade, placed right on the railway track, blocking the path to enter the area. A young policeman told us that we are not allowed to go in but we did see tourists and all sitting, drinking and eating on the tiny porch of the cafes. We were slightly disheartened and as we turned back to where we came from, a local man in his early forty, perhaps, approached us.
“You want to go inthith, follow me,” he said in broken English. We followed him- so there was actually an entry from the back of the café and it took us exactly to the same porch where we had seen other tourists sitting.
Ah! We thought, so ‘juggad’ (finding ways of doing things) is quite strong here also, like in our country.
The next challenge was to take pictures on the track. We had made up our mind that we are not going to miss this out- come hell or high water! After all, don’t we want to be snapped at the most ‘in’ place of Instagram world? The young cop who had stopped us, of course, saw us and I am sure he was aware of all the ‘juggad’ too. Thankfully, there was just one cop, as he turned around to talk to someone, I told Ashish, hurriedly- “Please take my picture now.”
I went to the middle of track and I had hardly given a pose, he saw me.
He said something in local language and looked at me angrily. I slyly went to where I was sitting and I asked Ashish in hushed tone if he had managed to take at least one picture. Yippee!!! He had managed to capture actually a nice picture of mine, which was a natural shot I had given. Sometimes, blessing comes in disguise, isn’t it?
Step by step, each of us managed to take pictures, playing hide and seek with the police.
It wasn’t just us, other tourists were frantically trying to do the same and to some, we were partner in crime: we would give them signal if the cop came back to his standing spot, as occasionally he would take break and would disappear for few minutes, probably to attend the nature’s call.
What we learnt today- ‘juggad’ is everywhere and secondly, don’t judge only Indian tourists to be mischievous, others are no less, too.
What's Your Reaction?
Sashi hails from Sikkim. She is now working as a professional with a travel and hospitality business organisation as its General Manager. She revels in writing as a passion. Her novel on social life is being readied