Tuesday, May 26, 2015

First day in Hanoi

I'm not sick.  I can say that much.
But I'm not feeling too great.  I think it's pretty much standard, jetting to the other side of the planet with very little sleep and stepping into a rather hot, muggy and very chaotic environment.  My belly feels weird.
So I'm hiding in my room for a bit.  

I got scammed today.  I went out to see the famed water puppet show, which was pretty cool.  On the way back I stopped to take a photo, or maybe a video of this crazy intersection with a jillion scooters, bicycle taxis, buses and pedestrians all sorting it out. All of a sudden this kid runs up to me kind of shouting and pointing at my flip flop.  It might have been on fire or something, the way he was acting.  Before I know what's happening he's got it off me and is putting super glue or something on the bottom and slapping a piece of rubber on to "improve" it.  Then cutting away the excess with a sharp and scary looking knifeOnce he'd done one side I had to let him do the other.  He demanded 300,000 vnd for the job.  I gave him 200,000 (about $10) which was still a rip off.  I just walked away while he yelled at me!

Worst of all, the flip flops aren't as comfortable now.   I guess they'll last a lot longer, but it kind of shook me up.

It's hot and muggy here but not nearly as bad as I expected.  Nor is crossing the street as bad as rumor has it.  The architecture here in the old quarter is amazing- all tall and skinny buildings, some modern and very fancy and some ancient and ruinous.  And the streets go every which way!  

I think I'll go out again soon.  The sun is down and the daytime stools will be all rolled up by now.  I was out last night but way too tired to enjoy it.  I needed to eat and couldn't find restaurants!  Not in this neighborhood.  Just tiny stools on the street with some kind of noodle soup on offer.  Not so good for a vegetarian....
Not that many westerners about either.  Not like in Chiang Mai at all!  Which in some ways is very cool. This isn't such a tourist ghetto.  But a little daunting on first arrival.

And here's the iconic family on a scooter shot.  Wouldn't be SE Asia without that!

1 comment:

Carolyn said...

Loving to travel but rarely having left the states, I love travel stories! Thanks for sharing your unfortunate interaction with the little scammer- that rascal. And I love your photos. Never having been to that part of the world, it is all fascinating- the weather, buildings, culture... I hope you feel better soon!