Day 01 (part 3)
22.03.2009 - 22.03.2009
I'm back in my room at around 12 p.m.+. Have to iron shirt, take shower and get ready for meeting, which is 2:30 p.m. I went downstairs at 1:30 p.m. and approached a motor driver. Showed him the address and he seems not sure of where it is. Soon a whole gang of motor driver crowded up and started discussing in Vietnamese where the place is. Either that or they are discussing how they wanna chop me up like a vegetable (Chinese expression). A guy who seems to be the leader offered a ride at 100k Dong. He must be crazy. I said no, so he asked how much, I said USD2. He then offered USD6, then USD4, and I walked away. The initial guy I approached chased after me and agreed on USD2. Throughout the journey he seems unsure of the place we are going, but in less than 30 minutes I am already at the meeting place, without taking even a wrong turn! Riding on the motor is truly an adventure in itself.
One thing that you will definitely notice in Hanoi, or Saigon, or wherever in Vietnam for that matter, is how messy their telephone cables are set up! I wonder what is it that got them into such mess. Could it be that whenever one broke down, they just pull up a new one, and eventually it got so out of hand that they don't bother with it anymore? I mean, how do you expect them to find the cable that is faulty and actually fix it?
In my hurry to get ready, I forgot to bring along my tie. The first person I met at the entrance was Bro. Loi, and I borrowed a tie from him (coincidentally he had an extra tie). Next I was introduced to Bro. Ha, who can speak some English as he used to be in New Zealand. I sat with him during meeting and he interpreted for me what scriptures the speaker is referring to. I can't understand a word! Well, except for the names.
After the meeting I was invited by our friends from Korea to their place for dinner. As the ladies were busy preparing food, we chit-chatted and played jenga. Jenga is the game where wooden blocks are stacked up in a tower formation, each storey being placed perpendicular to the previous. Then we take turns to remove one block out from any storey except for the top, and place the removed block on top. The game ends when the tower collapses. More exciting than imagined. Haha... Soon dinner was ready and what a wonderful Korean spread! We spent the evening talking and laughing.
I left their place at around 8 p.m.+, took a bus with Thoa (a bible student who also stayed around the Old Quarter). The bus fare is 3k Dong and soon I am back in my room. Along the way back I saw these helmets on display. Such helmets are being sold everywhere in Hanoi, I don't know how well they can protect heads but they sure look cute!
The balcony is super windy so I did some writing there, and enjoyed my first day in Hanoi.