20 random Hanoi memories

February 20, 2009

Vietnamese girls outside St Joseph's Cathedral after Sunday Mass

Vietnamese girls outside St Joseph's Cathedral after Sunday Mass

  1. Walking randomly into someone’s dining room for dinner. Surrounded by locals smoking and drinking Hanoi vodka.
  2. Being kinda disappointed that I didn’t get to wear my jacket more. I did wear my sweater to sleep because the room was so cold.
  3. Loving Viet coffee. Although I think I’m going to get diabetes from the amount of sugar they put into it.
  4. Being thankful for S’s far superior direction sense and road-crossing abilities. I blur. Friends back home actually texted me instructions on how to cross the road. So embarrassing.
  5. Sitting at lunch, listening to nuanced econs jokes. Smiling to myself. I do love economists.
  6. Sitting by the road, trying not get hit by the motorcycles zooming by, eating a very yummy Banh My. The guy selling it had very nice shoes.
  7. Eating spring rolls 3 times a day. No more spring rolls for me for a long while.
  8. Wandering into Art Galleries to escape the heat. Wondering about art as art and art as a business.
  9. Seeing a pair of dragons made of flowers. From across the street, they looked like part of a religious festival. On closer inspection, they turned out to be leftover Tet decorations. And there was a whole bunch of young people breakdancing. Bizarre!
  10. Hoan Kiem Lake. The hotspot for lovers everywhere.
  11. Watching cooking shows and Disney movies in the hotel room. I never watch TV so this is quite a novelty.
  12. Making the near miraculous transformation from sweaty, smelly and dusty to cocktail dress, make-up, jewelry and matching bag and shoes. A very amused look from the receptionist at our hotel.
  13. A little girl coming up to S and gesturing that she thought he was very tall. Then running away. I just thought that was funny.
  14. People staring into the cab on the way back from Lan’s wedding. I guess we *were* ridiculously overdressed but still, I felt like I was a goldfish in a very small bowl.
  15. Valentines day in Vietnam. Balloons. Lollipops. Romantic strolls by the lake. Heart shaped pillows. Flowers. Chocolate. (Way too much Hallmark-card sentiment for me.)
  16. Walking through a never-ending alley to Thang’s house in a really ridiculous pair silver shoes. Very unwise.
  17. Vodka shots at the wedding. Oh dear.
  18. “Cheryl-is-a-lousy-Christian” quote for the day: What’s happening outside the Cathedral?! S’s deadpan reply: Mass. HAHAHA! There were oddly more ao dais at mass than there were at Lan’s wedding.
  19. Getting the very last bowl of porridge for the day. 1 part porridge, 1 part you tiao. The porridge had been boiled so long that it looked oddly like that paste you use for paper mache. Oh dear. It was still pretty yummy.
  20. Standing by the security guys at customs, chatting and drinking Bia Ha Noi (local beer). They wouldn’t let us bring it onboard so we finished it on the spot. I think we ticked off the customs official but we couldn’t care.
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