I am back in the US, alone and missing my better half, but keep remembering an encounter we had just before leaving Vietnam. I had to make an emergency trip to Hanoi to prepare for my trip home. Haiphong is a city of “only” 2 million and doesn’t have the amenities that the capitol city of Hanoi has, like airline ticket offices. For whatever reason, I couldn’t pay for my ticket online, it had to be in person at the airline office. My favorite hashtag is #thingsaredifferenthere, but that is why we love Vietnam.
Hanoi is three hours from Haiphong by bus, and four hours by train. We had done the train a couple of times so decided to take the bus. This is where we first experienced the rolling stop. Upon exciting the bus in Hanoi, or trying to exit, we quickly realized that he wasn’t going to actually stop. He slowed way down to a crawl and we had to “jump” off the bus. We survived the rolling stop!
Anyway – we took advantage of the day to wander the Old Quarter and buy some gifts to bring home. One thing I was looking for was a baby gift for someone I know who is expecting (shh – still a secret). Since they are early on and don’t know if it is a boy or girl yet I needed something generic. You would think with all of those many, many shops in the old quarter I could find something adorable that wasn’t for a girl or a boy. It was really hard until we stumbled on these two darling ladies and their knitting shop set up in an alley.
The husband of one of the ladies saw John taking pictures and kept motioning for us to go down the alley, which we finally did and found this beautiful courtyard. This is one of the many hidden treasures, right next to the hustle and bustle of the Old Quarter but very quiet and tranquil once you went inside.