First Night in Hanoi
So far, I like it here! When our plane touched down, it was 5pm and the sky was black as pitch from a combination of dark clouds and thick haze. The area surrounding the airport is largely farmlands, so there was not a flicker of light on either side of the highway, and the land seemed rather lonely. But we're now happily settled in the Old Quarter and the place is positively boiling with life. The streets in this neighborhood are closely crowded by two and three-storey buildings on all sides and clotted with pedestrians, scooters, motorcycles, and the odd car.
What we instantly noticed is that honking your car or motorcyle horn in Hanoi seems more the result of restlessly twitching fingers than any truly useful purpose. Garbage is casually and liberally tossed into the gutters lining the roads and other people actually come along to sweep it all up... occasionally.
One thing about walking in Hanoi--or in the Old Quarter, at least--is that you have to remain alert at all times. No dreamy meandering or gawking about like a tourist when you've got garbage and murky gutters to sidestep and motorcycles to dodge. I already have an (invisible) battle wound from a passing scooter whose handle bashed me in the arm as he squeezed/sped past along a particularly narrow road. I'm afraid my ability to yell profanities in Vietnamese is still a little nonexistent. And I get the feeling that cursing every bad driver in this city is going to be a waste of breath.
We were starving after we arrived at our hotel, so we instantly headed out in search of our first meal.
And I'm afraid my tale must come to a halt because Front Desk Guy seems ready to call it a night. Okay, more to come later!