Drinking so many Vietnamese sweet coffees with condense milk I can even count on one hand, trying to cross to the other side of the street when so many motor bikes are zooming around, Overlooking Ho Chi Minn city at night from the Rex hotel’s rooftop, helium balloons, street food vendors, walking to Ben Thanh Market and having Pho noodle soup for breakfast, squeezing lime into the soup, adding red hot chili peppers, The Notre Damn Church outside of Paris, Cu Chi Tunnels, walking barefoot into the Cao Dai Temple exactly at noon time, Spring rolls and Shrimps at the night market. Sitting on a stool among the locals while having dinner and experiencing all the cheers and celebrations of the Tet Holiday. Staying at the old French Quarter in Hanoi, right next to the St. Joseph Cathedral. Waking up every morning to the sound of bells of the Cathedral and heading for a run along the Hoan Kiem lake, Tai Chi in front of the red Tortoise Tower, walking around the ’36 streets’, looking all day long for a steam Bao and finding it at the bakery next door. Sofitel Metropole Hotel almost every night to get a fast internet connection, passing through the Opera house on my way back. Mango and Pineapple on a stick covered with sweet chili, Halong Bay in the fog, Taking the night train to Sapa and walking almost half day inside a foggy cloud, Baguette and chocolate for breakfast at the Austrian coffee shop, Kit Kat Village, taking the night train back to Hanoi at the same day. Hoa Lo Prison, Tran Quac Pagoda, and giving some fake money to the Gods. Temple of Literature, Ho Chi Minn Mausoleum and walking back through the Ba Dinh Square. Drinking lemon tea and eating sunflowers seeds like the locals do. Getting to Hoian just on time for the Full Moon Lantern Festival, floating a paper lantern on the Thu Bon River on that very special night and praying for some good luck. Sweet potato and coconut green bean cake almost every day. Condense Milk out of the can almost every morning, Grilled corn with chili lime sauce. Waking up at 4 am in the morning just to see the sunrise in a fishermen market. Speaking in English but have no one actually understands you, but still making your way around in a smooth way….Priceless!
February 9, 2012