One of the many pleasures of Hanoi is waking up at 5 a.m., walking (or running) to Hoan Kiem Lake, and seeing the city come alive—with hundreds of people of all ages, but more in the 60-80 year-old range, exercising together. (The average age seems to drop later in the morning, with more people in their 20s and 30s exercising by 6:30 or so.) Seeing so many people come together before dawn to move around and stay healthy and limber is an incredible and inspiring sight.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (the “ADA”) revolutionized the way many Americans live, work, and travel. This landmark legislative achievement helped Americans, and visitors to our shores, enter and exit public buildings and spaces with ease, regardless of whether they walked or perambulated by different means, by requiring that, in the case of all “new construction,” ramps or elevators be provided wherever there were also stairs. The ADA had the added benefit of helping parents with small children in strollers get around more easily. Unfortunately, there is no ADA in Russia, a fact of which we became acutely aware after spending 36 hours in Moscow, and three full days in St. Petersburg.