Walking, limping, sweating...Air Con!July 18 in Vietnam
Today, I woke up early on purpose to have Phở (pronounced fuh) for breakfast, then pack and check out of the hotel. The hotel let me store my big bag--which now consists of the large backpack, the small backpack, a bag with bulky stuff, and a bag with hash shoes--until later today when I go to the train station. My overnight train leaves at 8:30 pm and arrives in Hue at 9:30 am. Sweet.
I'm currently sitting in the air conditioning at Legend Beer, a semi-German style restaurant (they have lager and dunkel). My poor feet have had enough walking, plus it is super humid today. At noon (the selfie on the street) I was by the old Hanoi City Train track remnants. Squallid tenaments have grown up along them now.
Last night, I met up with my new hasher friend (picture of the blond). She's in the Air Force and is stationed in Bangkok, but routinely works in Hanoi and Vientiane. She's part of the ongoing effort to recover US servicemembers' remains across Southeast Asia. Awesome mission.
Anyway, we have several friends in common, and it was fun meeting a new old friend in a great place: The Unicorn Pub, the Hanoi Hash House Harriers Bar!! The owner is a hasher with whom I also share a mutual friend and whom I will see in Nha Trang, Vietnam, this September for the Mekong-Indochina Hash event. Love it! Oh, she makes a most delicious drink called a Phở Cocktail, which is poured by flame. [Hmm, that reminds me of a time at a Schnapps Haus in Germany with the Ramstein HOG Chapter. 🌬️🔥]
The building pictured is the old city cistern, which I stumbled upon while walking to the pub. I didn't walk home, though. Instead, I took a GrabBike. Yes, the scooter taxi. They make you put a helmet on your head, which would be good if it actually fit or even buckled, and I rode sidesaddle. It was cool, cheap, and quick.
Today, I visited the American War Memorial by the larger lake just north of the old city center with smaller lake. It's really just a marker where they pulled Navy pilot [Thanks, Kelly!] John McCain out of the water after he was shot down. I didn't take a pic of it with my phone, but grabbed the attached screen shot for you. After that, I made my way to the Ho Chi Minh Memorial and Masoleum where his body is on display. I went mostly out a morbid sense of curiosity--similar to the the Icelandic Phallological Museum (Google it)--but it was closed. Oh well. There are remains of a ahot down B-52 further west, but I was simply too hot and tired to go there.
All in all, Hanoi was great. I could definitely spend more time here and would have loved to have seen Halong Bay to the east and the Sapa area up north. I'll save those for next time.
Out for now. ✌️Read more