Air conditioned ATM booth

It was 7:30 pm. I was leaving a restaurant famous for its good food and nice seating. There I saw a mother and a son sitting on the floor of an air-conditioning ATM booth. They were having their packed dinner. They didn’t talk. The weary mother looked around anxiously. She must have worried that someone would asked them to leave the booth. The disconnected son chewed slowly.

It is clever of them to get themselves a chilled place to eat in that hot damp summer evening. But it is also upsetting. We all hurry somewhere to have food after a long hard day but that where we eat is so different. In the restaurant, diners sat on nice chairs with nice views, chatted away while tended by a team of staff. Just outside, the two sat on the floor quietly going through their last meal of the day. That is what I understand of wealth gap. To me, that speaks louder than those Bentley, Rolls-Royce and Ferrari cars driving on Hanoi bumpy streets. The cut might not be deeper but hurts more.


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