I’m feeling much better. All my body parts ~ nose, head, bladder and bowel ~ seem to be functioning normally. Everyone knock on wood it stays that way. My ears are still popping as the stuffiness leaves me. You know those ear pops that come out of nowhere and are really long and painful. Like nails on a chalkboard.
My first full day in Vietnam I did …. nothing. I stayed in bed all day reading and ventured out in the afternoon to walk the 600m to Starbucks. Thankfully, they make the Chai Tea Lattes right! It took every bit of energy I had to walk the 600m back to my hostel and climb 6 flights of stairs. It felt like 600 flights of stairs.
I’m staying in the Old Quarter and I love it here. My hostel is perfect other than the 6 fights of stairs. I’m comfy, it’s clean and there’s AC. I’m not sure about the iron patio set on the balcony. Too hot to sit on!
The last couple of days I’ve explored Hanoi. It is so hot, my weather app says it feels like 45°. I’ve wilted 🥀 beyond my usual hot, sweaty mess.
I was eating my supper earlier thinking wow this is salty. I’m sweating so much here it was the salt on my lips, not the food.
Dodging traffic is fun. Nobody stops, they just weave around you. At first I’d wait and wait. In the crosswalk, nobody stops. At the lights with a green walk sign, the cars usually stop, but the scooters don’t. I wait until it’s just scooters coming and I just go and hope for the best. Don’t stop once you’re already walking across though! It messes up the person on the scooter who’s weaving around you anticipating that you’re going to continue walking. I recognize the people that just arrived. They’re like I was a few days ago, standing and waiting for traffic to stop!
Vietnamese Women’s Museum
I toured this museum and it was really interesting. It takes you through different aspects of a Vietnamese woman’s life from marriage, childbirth, weaving, fashion to war. There were some bad ass women heroes on all sides of Vietnamese wars.
Temple of Literature
This was a highlight for me. I loved this place. It was built as a university in 1070 dedicated to Confucius, scholars and sages. It is a place of study rather than a religious landmark.
Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum
A key figure in Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh, known as the Great Father or simply Uncle Ho. His embalmed body is in this mausoleum. “Nothing is more precious than independence and freedom.” is a well known quote that Ho Chi Minh often said.
It is guarded and they make it very clear not to cross the yellow line because it is a restricted area. There are signs everywhere. I was dumbfounded at how many people walked over it trying to get a closer picture. The one guard would blow his whistle and indicate to the person to move back.
One Pillar Pagoda
This historic Buddhist temple is designed to resemble a Lotus flower.
The temple was built by Emperor Lý Thái Tông, who ruled from 1028 to 1054. According to the court records, Lý Thái Tông was childless and dreamt that he met the bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, who handed him a baby son while seated on a lotus flower. Lý Thái Tông then married a peasant girl that he had met and she bore him a son. The emperor constructed the temple in gratitude for this in 1049, having been told by a monk named Thiền Tuệ to build the temple, by erecting a pillar in the middle of a lotus pond, similar to the one he saw in the dream. ~ Wikipedia
Out & About
Embassy of Canada to Vietnam
Across from the Mausoleum I saw the Canadian flag in the distance and I was really homesick. It was the Canadian Embassy and I went in for a visit. They checked my passport and I relinquished my camera and iPhone. I could only go as far as the lobby, so I signed the guestbook, looked at the pictures of the Queen and Julie Payette and rolled my eyes at Trudeau.
Stuff In The Stores
Diane, this picture is for you. I only have one sample left of the Oribe and I’m saving it for my flight home. We have a cut and highlights booked for August 1st. I may need hours of treatments! Pickings are slim when you’re looking for toiletries under 100ml. This doubles as my body wash right now and I don’t have coarse hair. But I can carry it on the plane! Every time I wash my hair I feel like I’m washing dishes.
There have been other things I’ve seen that confuse and frighten me. Maybe we have this in Canada and I just don’t notice because I always buy the same products. I’ll stick with my Lancôme and I don’t ever need to know the ingredients.
I’m off to Halong Bay tomorrow for a few days and then back to Hanoi and this same hostel for a couple more nights. I’m sleeping on the water tomorrow night and I can’t wait!!