Mon. Jul 4th, 2022

VietNamNet Bridge – Hanoians’ habit of going to pavement food shops have been
tormenting themselves. The coal stoves at the food shops have created so many
smoky streets in the capital city.

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The
smelly streets in Hanoi


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Vietnam, pollution, markets, river, parks

The smoky streets begin a “new working day” after noon, when servers of the
pavement food shops begin making a fire for their coal stoves. On the Thai Ha
Market area alone, where there are tens of duck and dog meat shops located, tens
of stoves begin operating, thus generating so many black columns of smoke.

Local residents say the black smoke is a part of their lives over the last many
years. They especially feel stuffy and oppressive with the smoke on sunny days.
The smoke gets thicker at 5 pm or 6 pm, when the pavement shops get most crowded
and the stoves run at full capacity.

“Pavement shop” is the most suitable word to talk about the shops: everything is
done on the pavement, from meat cutting, processing, roasting to serving. Of
course, the coal stoves are also located on pavement, a good idea to reduce the
air pollution to the shops’ owners. Especially, pavements have also been turned
into the car and motorbike parking areas.

Wearing a protective mask, Nguyen Thi Ly, a local resident on Tran Quang Dieu
Street, said she suffers the burnt smell everyday, because she has to pass the
Thai Ha Market to go having physical exercises.

“We breathe the terrible smell every day. It is a mixture of the smell from
burnt meat, fresh meat, the smell from nearby sewers and the dust from the
street,” she complained.

Another resident said a lot of old people and children have caught respiratory
diseases since the day the “restaurants” arose. “My friends and relatives say
they hesitate to come to see me at home because they are afraid of the smoke.
Meanwhile, those, who come across the area, always have to wear protective
masks,” she said.

Local residents dare not leave their windows open, because they fear the wall
would get smoky one day. Meanwhile, children have to stay inside instead of
going out to enjoy the fresh air.

“Look at the trees nearby the pavement shops and you can see they have got black
and oily with the smoke from the shops,” Thu, a housewife, said.

The “duck restaurant complex” on Lang Road is also a well-known smoky street in
Hanoi. However, the local residents here may feel luckier than the ones on Thai
Ha market area, because Lang road is large enough for tens of smoke columns.

However, Cu Thanh Hai, an office worker, said the situation would be terrible
when there is the traffic jam. Hundreds of people would have to inspire the
smoke from the motorbikes, cars and the smoke from the pavement shops at the
same time.

Bach Thu Huong, who lives on Nguyen Huu Tho Street near the Linh Dam Lake, where
there is the “biggest roast duck center in Hanoi,” complains that she doesn’t
know what to do to escape from the pollution. “If I return home soon, I would
have to bear the smoke from the pavement duck shops. But if I return home late,
I would not be able to avoid the waste water and garbage thrown into the
street,” she complained.

There are many more such smoky streets in Hanoi – Dai Co Viet, Hang Dau, Le Duan…
Where people live, there are coal stoves and smoke.

Duy Anh

By vivian