a busy center of fun
(This town is totally alive at 18:00 on a Sun night)
For the second time today, I plugged in my card reader and tried loading pics to this blog, but I believe there must be a block of some sort for this site. Perhaps I offended some VN official with my offhand comments? There is no block here at the free terminal at the Hanoi Windows center, but there's no access to the USB plug necessary to use the card reader.
Next trip I think I'll rent a full shipping container in order to buy out the place - truly a shopper's paradise. Super art, sculpture, even mini musical instruments, silk, etc. It cost me less than USD .20 to use the Internet Cafe, but stamps are rather expensive @ 9000 VND to the States.
Went by Adventure Indochina Tours a second time to buy a return train ticket from Lao Cai, and Mr. Diep was so helpful. I walked into an agency at random, and just so happened to pick the one where my friend, Wendy, had ordered her e-visa, and Mr. Diep said, "hello John Wagner, Wendy told me bout ya". He picks up on names, and noticed that the name on my train tickets matched the Skype chat session he had had with the now famous Wendy.
Everyone's talking bout Wendy (she canceled Hanoikids yesterday), and even Diep said that this lady is strange (he commented that this 72 year old American wears mighty short shorts!) Wendy and I never met face to face, but emailed each other after I answered her question about air fares (Thorn Tree/Lonely Planet's Vietnam forum). She needed a good fare for her friend (she's on medical leave from United Airlines and gets to fly nonrev, aka free). Her friend canceled, I felt sorry for Wendy, and I suggested we travel together for a few days to Sapa, however, when Wendy asked for a discount on an already ultra-low hotel room ($13.) in Sapa, I pulled out! I figured this woman to be some kind of ugly American who goes around asking for special privileges in the Third World.
Ms. Thin sent me yet another email today - she invited me to her wedding party on 3/27, but I'll be in Sapa then. Ms. Thin and I go way back. She's the one who did not hold my reservation at Hanoi Guesthouse (I had booked at least 6 wks in advance), and she's worried that I'll say nasty things about her hotel at Tripadvisor (maybe, maybe not!)
(Thanks again, Thuong and Duc of Hanoikids for showing this Yank the sights)
Off to the P.O. down the H.K. Lake and then for some Bia Hoi (that's fresh beer - cheaper than bottled water in Hanoi).