Yesterday: Hoi An, tourist village extraordinaire…Let’s see…where were we? I know…yesterday evening in Hoi An. We are street walkers in a quaint village brimming over with tourists, that nevertheless manages to retain a low-key pleasantness that’s hard to match. Vietnamese people have a dignity about them that’s apparent in stores and restaurants and crowds—it’s something about the upright way they hold themselves and a politeness that’s half friendliness and half maintaining a comfortable distance. It’s a compatible place in which to be out and about.

We had our favorite Vietnamese coffee of course and I had a cotton shirt made in two hours because the things I brought are too hot (or unlaundered) and Hoi An is tailoring-central we are told.

This was followed by a night and morning of wind and steady beautiful rain…beautiful rain…beautiful rain. Lace and I braved the scary elements for a brisk morning walk, soaking ourselves to the bone but feeling all happy and healthy at the same time.

November 1, 2017. 4am. Hanoi. The room and hood I write so glowingly about below are perhaps just the wee-ist of bits imperfect. Here’s the thing. It is an eclectic lively place to be and we did an hour or two ramble last night for food and sights. However motorbikes rule and the sidewalks are their parking lots, interspersed here and there with a vendor, and the streets are their work/play space  so walkers get a narrow noisy 18” wide space woven through all of the above. The fact that the streets aren’t littered with broken people crying out in annoyance and anguish is a testament to the survival instincts of the Vietnamese people who, having defeated the Chinese, French, and Americans aren’t about to be troubled by a few thousand noisy speeding vehicles. But on with the travelogue…

We caught our hour’s flight up here to Hanoi where we are cozily ensconced in hotel and neighborhood we already love. We were ever so charmingly welcomed with orange drinks, a plate of pineapple, watermelon and bananas, a map lesson and area overview, and given a room over a eccentrically-interesting tree-filled shopping street…and the windows even open all the way or we can use air-con. The latter has been true in all of our hotels even though they are budget category…

It’s about 5pm now, our laundry’s already been sent out and Lace is on a reconnoitering for tomorrow.

Hotel life is really pretty ordinary…



  1. I have to tell you the truth that Asia is not on my list of places to visit…I am old and not much time to visit places…however, after reading about Viet Nam from your perspective, well it is now on my list, well, at least it is on the list. Sounds very interesting…culture,food, etc. That is why I like Santa Fe so much…so different from every place else. Sounds like Viet Nam. Your photos and comments are very appreciated.

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