Friday, September 15, 2006

F You Hanoi!

Hanoi Lake at 5 30am, originally uploaded by kathrynparry41.

Arriving at 5:00am to your destination is never pretty. Sleep still clustering in your eyes and feeling slightly disorientated by the fact you just woke up in a completely different place to the one you were at the night before. Arriving in Hanoi is never easy and after my overnight train ride from Sa Pa was no exception.

The train crept in and silently I begged for just another hour of sleep it was 5:15 am as I stumbled off my train. I struggled to carry my luggage but I was delighted to see a long line of metered taxis to ferry the hoards of back packers into the old quarter.

I requested the Thuy Lum Hotel (my home base) and the driver demanded 5 USD- I firmly stated 'No meter' as I knew it to be approximately 2 USD.

Reluctantly he complied.

I looked into my purse and noted that I only had about 1.80 USD and I did not want to cash a larger note (sure I would be ripped off- AGAIN) and requested he let me out by the lake after he started winking at me and insinuating we work out another fee paying arrangement.

Getting out at the lake was incredible. There were thousands of people doing their exercises in disorganised unison, people were running, walking, doing aerobics and Tai Chi.

I proceeded to walk back to the hotel and on arrival brought a room for half the day till my flight to Hue.

I slept in until 10am and then went for a walk to the museums (an area like Canberra where Ho Chi Min's body lay in his mausoleum).

After a quick visit, I sat under the shade of a very large tree and made friends with a nice polish guy. I told him of my adventures and out of the blue Hung my high way robber drove up and said 'Motto motto'. Alarmed and filled with an incrediable amount of anger I said 'that's the guy- that's the guy who left me on the High way'

Hung smiled at me and even said 'hello madam-remember me' I screamed at him to leave me alone and he drove off terrified.

What are the chances?

I then walked back to the hotel and on the way- a man approached me to buy some postcards and dodgy guide books and when I replied no thanks and he looked me in the eyes and said 'F you just F you'.

Hanoi is full of stuff like that and I am glad to be leaving the old quarter and all it's winding alleys. I am happy to be saying good bye to all the dodgy people that have tainted my first week in nam.

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