Hanoi

Quietest airport ever been to and much smaller than I expected … visa & immigration no problem … no one, literally no one, manning the customs area so just walked through. Arranged driver 25 minutes late … made 95% of the other drivers seem courteous … must have blown his horn at least 100 times on the 20 minute ride, but to seemingly little effect . Room little larger than a walk in closet, but comfortable … windows wide open … it’s 13C (you look up the Fahrenheit conversion, I don’t want to know because it’s 20C lower than what I’m used to) … silly tourist, I asked if there was a heater … "Air con only one way, sir." And people ask why I brought long underwear with me when I left the US in ’08.

Walked around for an hour as evening gathered into night. Gritty, vibrant, high end stores 2 blocks from eating pho seated on little plastic stools on the sidewalk – and not a single 7-11 in sight. First tourist district in SE Asia where I’ve not seen any. Made buying toothpaste more difficult than I anticipated. No photos this afternoon. Wanted to experience Hanoi through my senses, not through a viewfinder while thinking about f-stops.

Had a small bowl of pho during the walk. Knew it wasn’t enough to last til morning, but that means as soon as I hit send I can put my sweater and jacket back on and go find something new to eat.

Am flying to Da Nang tomorrow morning.

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