When my parents decided to make the long journey to the other side of the world to visit me, the logic in my head said: They have come all this way, we must visit another country! We went to Singapore for the weekend when they first came, but that did not seem like enough. My father has a back injury so places where he would have to do a lot of walking were off the table. We decided to split the difference and go to Hanoi! Part of our trip would be a cruise on Halong Bay. More to come on that later.
I do not want to make this blog too serious, but obviously for a lot of Americans Vietnam has deep meaning. For me, not much. I was not alive during the American involvement in the war. But my home town is very very very small and at the time of the war was even smaller, like under a thousand people. 6 men died in the war, which is a lot. Even more were injured or served in the war. I remember as a kid during the Fireman’s parade on the fourth of July it was always a very somber moment when the Vietnam vets would march by our house. Our house, being on the parade route and my father being the principal, was always packed with people. So typically they would stop in front of our house and everyone of course clapped.
I also remember going to the Vietnam War Memorial in DC with a bus full of foreign exchange students, and an Australian student breaking down in tears. It never occurred to me or maybe anyone, that since he was originally from Vietnam, there were some deep feelings for him about the war. I will never forget that. We decided before going to avoid any war spots. We almost stumbled upon the Hanoi Hilton. (after we avoided it, my mom asked if we could go to it 45 minutes later. Traveling with parents is fun!) We did accidentally end up in front of the lake John McCain crashed into. There was a small little statue of him there for some reason. But of course, all that is to come later!
We got up super early to go to the airport. Like 3am early.
Our hotel was right in the middle of the Old Quarter. It is well known for it’s 36 streets. Basically one street, one type of shop. There was a bamboo street, a silver street, a packaging tape street (or at least it looked like it) and since this is NOT a Christian country, there was a Christmas decoration street.
And there is the first glace of Hanoi traffic. It is insane. I have never experienced anything like it. At most of the intersections in the city there were traffic lights that were not working or none at all. My co-worker Zack told me that when you are crossing the street in Hanoi, you have to make a personal relationship with every driver you see. That is no exaggeration. You have to start, and not stop. All the scooter drivers expect you to keep walking, so you can not stop walking. You end up being like a tiny little island in the middle of a heaving river. The waters just part around you.
This does not do it any justice. I recorded a lot of video while my parents were here so I could make a little video or two of my parent’s Malaysian adventure. There are more than a few traffic videos in that mix so more to come on this later.
Our time in the Old Quarter on the first day was spent walking around and shopping, something I am very good at!
That’s it for now
Tidak Bahasa Malaysian kelas hari ini kebab dua dia tidak boleh pergi.