Day 20 - Hanoi
There has been a side story going on since we've been here that we haven't blogged about yet. A few days before we left we found out that Tylers cousin and wife (Travis and Karen) were going to be touring around southeast asia at the same time as us. Our schedules didn't appear to match at all except for one day in Hoi'an (pay attention to the spelling). Over the last few weeks Tyler and Travis have been emailing each other about hotels and what time our flights land at. A few days ago, we realized (when I saw we, I mean me) that Tyler was talking about Hoi'an while Travis was talking about Hanoi (spelled similarly, but an hour plane ride from each other). Could you imagine if we hadnt figured it out? it would have been very funny. Anyways, Travis switched a few things around and we were able to meet up in Hanoi today. It was very nice to see familiar faces and share and compare all of our experiences so far. In the morning we met up with 2 Vietnamese students who volunteer to take tourists around the city (for free) so that they can practice their English skills. They were cute and wanted to learn some slang. I tried to teach them to say "I'm chillin", Tyler taught them "you gotta do what you gotta do" and "yo, what's up." Hanoi has very narrow streets again filled with motorbikes and no stoplights. To walk across the street you haw to just start and not look back hoping the scooters maneuver around you..very scary. Anyways, they took the four of us to the Ho Chi Minh masoleum where you can walk past the body of the former president (died in the 60's). The lineup was way to long so we just toured around the complex a bit. They had a temple where people go to pray for a son (not a daughter). I didn't really agree with this but we went up to the temple anyways (mum and Helen don't get any ideas). A Vietnamese woman stopped me at one point because she wanted to take a
picture of me with her daughter..kinda wierd but I did it. I think it's safe to say that I haven't really tanned very much since the white skin is still a marvel to be seen. We then made our way to the temple of literature which was the first university in Vietnam but now it is place students go to pray to do well in exams (why did I not come here years ago..too late now). It was scorching outside, Vietnam is by far hotter than Cambodia or Thailand. We saw a famous "Water puppet show" in the afternoon. I can't lie, it was wierd and I was basically in a puppet coma, half way between sleep and awake. I would wake up every few seconds to see puppets dancing in a pool of water on stage. Tyler, Karen and Travis actually stayed awake and wondered what kind of drugs people were doing when they invented this. It was so hot that we just spent the rest of the afternoon in their hotel room basking in the A/C. We said our goodbyes and tonight Tyler and I boarded an overnight train to go on a trekking trip in the northern mountains called Sapa. We'll let u know how that went tomorrow. Night night!