Siri, show me cognitive dissonance

He stares, seemingly off into space. But his eyes periodically shift downward, towards the rapidly growing numbers.




I don’t know if he’s numb to pain or actively questioning his decision

But he seems to have made peace with the fact that he has chosen to drive an SUV in the city of Hanoi.

The gas attendant makes a friendly comment to him and smiles his way. She seems to be enjoying her day.

I’m not sure if he’s doing the same with his. He remains aloof.

I notice five, six, seven bikes lineup and finish filling their tanks, within his interval.

A forlorn glance as the spigot pumps petrol, seemingly without stop, makes me think he’s at least a bit aware of his reality.

There are more and more SUVs on the roads as time goes on.


But the streets of Hanoi are merciless. Infrastructure is honestly quite good and for a city of millions traffic is usually not an issue until you get into a neighborhood, when two lanes become one, and one then becomes an afterthought of an alley.

SUVs, all status and comfort

Meet their match when things get tight.

And as I see this man pull out his phone and open his banking app to pay his bill, I consider whether he’s wondering the same thing I am.


Published by Radutti

Teaching in Ha Noi, screwing things up daily but surviving to write about it. ...everything's perfectly all right now. We're fine. We're all fine here now, thank you. How are you?

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  1. The repetition of the numbers pulled me right in, and even though I didn’t understand the value, your writing made it clear what was happening and what those numbers meant. Love how you share information about the city and the infrastructure, as well as your reflections and opinion, as well as a sliver of life.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My favorite part was you counting the motorbikes who got filled during the time of the SUV. I agree with your skepticism, but won’t pile on the scorn 🙂 Love the double meaning in your title- hope readers are seeing that.

    Liked by 1 person

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