Well we're here, in Hanoi! We survived our flights (really, they weren't that bad) and we had no problems getting our visa or going through customs. We got a ride to our guest house (Tung Trang I), which was a good first taste of the city's haphazard traffic and crazy honking. The guest house is run by a lovely woman who has already been very helpful. Our room is also quite lovely.
After settling in we had our first taste of street food. I wasn't too hungry so I thought I'd just go for a drink. Erik pointed at a few things on the menu (which was actually just heaps of food sitting out, ready to be dished onto plates) - shrimp, pork, tofu - and then we sat down. They brought us TWO plates of what he pointed at... so I passed the pork on to Erik and ate my rice and tofu and some shrimp too. Oh the good old language barrier - I'm sure this kind of miscommunication will happen many times over :) Also we must remember that $1 = 18,000 Vietnam Dong (because we think we were overcharged just a bit). Anyhow, it was tasty! And we got to eat sitting out on the street with the locals.
Our meal at the Hong Kong airport (Ramen noodles with pork/with Veggies) was our first non-airplane meal. It was a fast food type of thing, but delicious! Just for fun, here's what my almost fully eaten meal looked like:
It really is nice here. Loud, humid and a bit dirty - but beautiful and somehow calm despite the noise and traffic. I'm sure we'll get a better idea of the city over the next few days... and now it's time to relax.
BIG P.S. Just realized there is no facebook in Vietnam. Communism = facebook blackout.