"Where are you going Derek?"
"I'm going to the bathroom. I have exploding diarrhea."
"Thanks for the info, Derek"
Now friday afternoon and we are all checked in for our flight tomorrow night. It will be nice to get home.
Yesterday I walked over to Hoan Kiem Lake to read my book and enjoy the scenery and activity. I was standing around looking for an empty bench and a very nice young vietnamese woman offered me a seat next to her. I sat down and we started chatting. She seemed very nice and was a recent graduate in computer technology. We were having a very nice conversation - her english was fair and we enjoyed trying to get each other to understand. She is from Hanoi, but the lake area is a bit pricey and touristy and locals don't necessarily spend much time there. She asked me if I would like to walk to the VN First University, which was a few km away. That certainly sounded fun so I agreed, but then started sprinkling a bit. We were both enjoying the cooling weather even tho we were starting to get quite wet. The rain turned into a downpour and we were both totally soaked and we sought refuge in a little trinket shop by the lake w about a dozen locals trying to wait out the storm. I actually found a little gift for Jeff (which perhaps he'll like). There was no way to walk anywhere in such a downpour but my hotel was only 2 blocks away and I thought it would be fun to introduce her to sue and long and the boys, since we had already talked about them some.
I didn't want to embarrass, or offend her by asking her to my hotel room, and I also didn't want to end up as the hapless groom that evening in a quickly arranged VN wedding...but...I decided not to overthink it, and since we both seemed to be enjoying each others' company and our shared experience I went ahead and asked and she agreed. We bought 2 rain ponchos for $2 and ran to the hotel. I was a bit worried that Sue and Long wouldn't be there, which would make things a bit awkward, but luckily they were in. Sue seemed a bit surprised when she opened up her door, and I was standing there with a cute little 24 year old vn woman and we were both soaking wet. Anyway, we came in to the presidential suite (sue and long's room) and chatted and had a very nice time together for the next hour-ish. We then invited her to lunch but she had other plans. We took a few pics and exchanged emails, so it will be fun to send her the pics and have her practice her english via email. Overall, a very nice afternoon.
For today's adventure I spent several hours wandering around Hanoi Old Town on my own, armed only w a little map. I managed to cross several very crowded streets and found both my destinations, the VN history museum (yawn), and the VN revolutionary independence museum, (a bit more interesting). I found a little side-walk cafe and ordered "some of these" and "some of those". These were pretty good, those were not, and I also had a nice ice-cold beer. I really enjoyed wandering around the city, and am feeling fairly comfortable now doing so. I must admit that the traffic takes full concentration to avoid getting rundown, but I also feel almost like a local crossing crowded streets, which I also get a strange satisfaction from.
Back in the presidential suite, using the only private internet computer in the hotel. Check out tomorrow and head home. Wow - unbelievable!