Tane and I are in day two of our time in Vietnam. So far it's great fun, Vietnam is an amazing place that's intimidating and exciting all at once. We spent the first day feeling more than a little shell shocked, but once we figured out how to ignore the hustlers, rickshaw riders and locals trying to fob off dodgy copied goods, Tane and I both started to really enjoy ourselves.
The trip over was long and nasty on account of me having a really bad cough and cold - all the crazy business of the last few weeks in NZ caught up with me the day before we left and I got really ill. Poor Tane, a sack of pototoes would have been better company on the flight over, not to mention coughed less. A sleep in Bangkok and a Thai Coke Zero saw me right though.
We flew into Hanoi on Friday morning. After seeing so many Vietnam war movies, it felt like we should be arriving by helicopter and have to run in slow motion from napalm at least once during our trip. Turns out, though, that the Vietnam war seems all but forgotten, not a trace of it anywhere. Even when we went to the "Hanoi Hilton" today (the place where American GI's were kept during the war) the only mention the war got was that Americans protested against it and that the GI's were (apparently) well treated by the Vietnamese government.
The traffic, though, is probably just as dangerous as napalm. Tane and I have found that if we walk together, look one way each, and run, we are able to cross without getting hurt. Each time has my heart rate going faster than the crazy Vietnamese on motorinos, and I swear I will never complain about Auckland drivers again. This is a photo of Tane crossing the road:
As I am running out of time (we are heading out to brave the traffic to have dinner with a backpacker we met from Austria), I think I'll just leave you a few picks of 'Nam.....
Haggling with a street seller around the corner from where we are staying. After this photo was taken, the little woman in yellow actually chased us down the street in an attempt to sell us bananas.
"Are we on Pho Hang Trong or Pho Hang Non? I have no idea how to find that bakery we saw yesterday ... "