Street plant vendors are very common now in Hanoi in addition to the more noticeable flower sellers. After getting cheated a few times, I now know to check the plants very carefully before finalising any purchase from these vendors. Just remembering how I got cheated makes me feel silly but I do admire their endeavour, even though it's clearly not right.
At that time, as is my habit, I was sitting in front of Cafe Nang listening to the different conversations going on around me. I saw the plant vendor ride her bike past on the back of which was a very beautiful small bonsai covered with many gorgeous red flowers. After a round of bargaining, I thought I got a good deal. In fact, most of the customers in the cafe admired my bargaining skills and the flowers on the plant. Of course, two days later the flowers were dead. My friend checked them and we realized that the flowers had actually been pinned on, every single one of them. Hate that.
Another time, I got off my bike just opposite Cafe Nang, and noticed another seller with beautiful fire cracker flowers. I bought two plants and got them home safely. I went down to the Red River flats near my house to buy two new pots to plant them in. Great job, I thought to myself as I sat admiring them with a cool drink. Unfortunately, the next day the same friend pointed out that I'd been scammed again. This time the flowers had started to go moldy and I realised they'd been stuck in using elephant glue and I was so disappointed.