homesick for Spud
02.18.2009 - 03.18.2009 72 °F
Sunday night in Hanoi
Hanoi's Night Market
Everybody goes to the Lake in Hanoi
These kids asked to practice their English with me
Just a few hours left now in Hanoi, then a short transfer leg in Korea, and I'm off to Oregon City to reclaim Spud. This morning the staff at the Especen were still sleeping in the lobby at 7:45, and a guest was trying to get them up so he could pay his bill (they do sleep in here!) People eating a congee type gruel on the street, but I go to this really nice place that has the best omelettes in Vietnam, and they're cheap. Last night I returned to Old Hanoi Restaurant for Halida Beer (Carlsberg in VN), spring rolls and pork in cinnamon sauce w/rice (especially good!) Walking back via the lake, the area was jammed packed with people going to the night market, and it looked more like a Saturday night than a Sunday (pictures later).
This am I had my museli w/yogurt and fruit and a mango pancake. Pancakes here do not resemble House of Pancakes at all (here it's a plain crepe topped with fruit slices - no butter or syrup at all).
Next on the list was to have been lunch with Anne and Diep, but Diep was tied up, so Anne and I went down to Restaurant Street again, and ate fried noodles with seafood, then walked up by the train tracks looking for a fruit vendor. The lunch with Diep is postponed until tomorrow (my last day in Vietnam). Now I have a few hours to kill, and on to the Gecko Restaurant for dinner.
And what a fine dinner it was. Banana Flower Salad, Chicken in Curry Pot w/rice, fruit salad with rum and 2 draft Halida Beers. The Gecko is quite atmospheric (think San Francisco in Vietnam) - good music, bamboo walls and ceiling, attentive wait staff and great food. The only downside was that steep spiral staircase. I'm just a tad light headed, and perhaps it will wear off a little before continuing up to the night market - after all, my last night in Vietnam deserves better than TV at the Especen.
Now checked out of the Especen, and on my final day, I had a 90 minute foot massage and then on to lunch with Diep. Anne was under the weather, so Diep took me for seafood, and he ordered everything in sight (crab, steamed clams, clams in congee, noodles with meatballs and plenty of Hanoi Beer) and would not take a dime! After this feast we said our goodbyes, and I waddled down by the lake to recover from so much food. Sitting on a bench, I was approached by two male students who practiced their English with me. I'm just killing time now till my taxi comes at 8pm for my 11:35 flight (I always insist on being early). Guess I'll sit up at City View Cafe with a beer for an hour or two.
Next stop - Korea, and then over the pond and home.