Saturday, March 24, 2018

Landed: Vietnam

We arrived in Vietnam after sunset. A man wearing a badge took us from the taxi to his van. We showed him where we wanted to go. He quoted a price—about 90000 dong, about $40 dollar, about 1 hour, maybe 30 kilometers. It is hard to be sure. We got in the van wound our way to Hanoi’s old quarter. Motorbikes sped and zipped and whirled and spun trailing streamers of ezxhaust. Cars nudge and lean and honk into lanes crossing traffic.

We check in to the Cinanamon Catnedral hotel. Cathedral view,  teak floors, teak beads, sliding teak doors to get into the brightly tiled and slated bathroom.  American outlets. The room is lovely and the balcony space just makes it.  Look at this view.

We drop our bags and fly down the stairs for an initial explore. Undaunted, we wade into traffic and safely cross several streets. My friend Allison’s nd I are traveling with our teenage boys and they are mighty hungry, so we go in search of dinner. There are cafes where patrons sit at low tables nearly on the sidewalk. Then are store-front, street level cafes and then even two and three story cafes with balconies. We choose, of all things, an Italian spot and are greeted by as my friend says “real Italians!” We sometimes forget how wide the world is and how International the landscape. Here in Southeast Asia we hear so many languages and see people from Italy to Uganda, from the U.K. and Germany, from Canada to South America. All the languages we hear in snippets on the streets while we walk. 

Hanoi is lit  at night. People are out: on feet, on bicycles, on mopeds, on scooters, on motorcycles and Vespas, in cars and trucks and taxis and vans and buses.  Motorcycles are parked four and five deep along the narrow road. Traffic is a bit of barely organized chaos.

We are in for a spring break adventure! 

1 comment:

  1. Wow. That hotel looks amazing! I am in awe of all these new experiences you're having, and I love that you continue to discover how truly international the world outside the U.S. is. I've only been to Europe, but I remember that feeling well: realizing how many people travel outside their countries so often, speak multiple languages, and zip around trying new things in new places so much more often than we do in our big American bubble!