Getting acclimated –
Life is always an adventure and my trip to Viet Nam was no disappointment. The night before I left, Seattle was hit by thunderstorms. It sounded great and made for some awesome sleeping weather, but unfortunately the storms didn’t clear up in time for my flight and my first flight was delayed long enough to make me miss my connection to Tokyo. Alaska Airlines came to the rescue and put me on a flight to LA, then Hong Kong and finally arriving in Hanoi 12 hours after my original flight was due to arrive.
It was great to be back in Viet Nam. I wish I had taken video of our taxi ride from the airport to the hotel. It is indescribable, you have to experience it yourself. The good thing is everyone looks out for everyone else – it doesn’t always seem like it as they are passing on the shoulder, driving with two cars in one lane and narrowly missing trucks and motorcycles as they squeeze through to get to their destination. I don’t see road rage or accidents. I am sure they happen, but it doesn’t seem like it happens very often. The video below is from a much tamer ride from the Hanoi to Hai Phong.
Hanoi has grown since my last visit in 2007. It is much busier and more sophisticated than before. The people are still very friendly and school children love to practice their English on us calling out “Hello” as we walk by.
We went out to a place for lunch that I remembered going to with Christina and Maggie many years ago. But it was hot and by the time we checked into our awesome suite at the Melia Hotel, I was a sweaty, stinking mess. My husband on the other hand seemed quite cool and collected. After a short nap we walked to Hoan Kiem Lake and had dinner on a roof top restaurant. Made it back to the hotel and slept great from about 11pm to 7am.
The following day about an hour before our driver was to pick us for the drive to Hai Phong, the wind came up and the rain came down hard. The rain stopped just as we were having the bags loaded into the van. It was pretty clear most of the way until we got to our home and another downpour showered us as we unloaded my many bags and boxes. A group of boys were playing soccer out on the street when we arrived and I saw one of them lay down in the street which was quickly filling with water as the rain came down hard. He laughed, jumped up, shook himself off and went on with the game.
Our home is a four story “villa” located near one of the many rivers in Hai Phong and down a couple of buildings from a Karaoke bar. There are empty lots (very narrow) on each side of us but a house behind us. Even though our home is 4 stories, the other houses on our street rise way above ours. I hope I get to meet some of our neighbors and see the insides of their homes at some point. Can’t imagine what they do with all the room. I think I will have to study my Vietnamese a little bit first.
It is hot, hot, hot here. John said it took him about 3 weeks to feel acclimated. I am trying my best to get outside as often as possible and walk. Today’s walk was a little too much during the heat of the day. We headed home after lunch for a siesta and will try again this evening.