Notes from Hanoi
First let me apologize for the interruption in blogging. My email was hacked in Bangkok when I used a machine in our hotel at the end of the red light district which was booked for us at the airport curtesy of the Thai government…go figure. It was an education all around. Did you know that half of the beautiful girls offering their wares are not girls? I’m not sure whether the European and American men I saw there looked sad, surprised or resigned. It’s a mystery.
After we got to Yote’s things started to look up, we saw the city from the river buses and the sky train, easy to use and delightful. The sleeping Buddha and the standing one, the cannon in front of the palace were amazing. We spent a couple of days wandering until…Yote’s father took us to dinner on the river. Tom offered to pay and dropped his credit card! Did you know that even when the credit card company says you can replace the card, you can only do it in the USA? So the new cards had to be sent to my efficient brother who overnight end them to us in care of Yote. Of course, “overnight” is nearly a week half way around the world. So Yote and his dad sent us to Hua Hin to their fabulous condo on a magnificent beach…poor us! We were 5 kilometers outside the town on a part of the beach near the queens summer palace…poor us! Where we spent a delightful week until the cards and my daughter’s generous wire of cash came in. Did you know that certain banks, like ours, block their ATM s in certain countries? They never told us when I sat with them and made a complete list of our itinerary before we left the states. Oh, the things one learns while traveling. Imagine, Thailand is a blocked country, while I can use the ATM in Vietnam, go figure!
Anyway, when we finally left Yote’s house, he had done everything imaginable for us, lent us cash, driven us to the station, we finally left. To said you could hear the sigh of relief, but Yote was far too generous and gentlemanly to show anything but kindness. We boarded a plane for Hanoi. Flying is the only way to fly, forget trying to overland when you have wasted a week. I will try to add photos. At 8am we leave for Halong Bay boat trip.