(This entry was posted on June 1, 2008 at 9:47 am)
Havenít been updating because thereís no internet where I am staying. But have been enjoying myself a lot staying with Aunty Beeyong!
Hue to Hanoi
So I spent very little time in Hue. After the first day on the tour with Cafť on Thu Wheel, I decided I wanted to get to Hanoi quickly. I donít know why, but like I told Ian, I got bad vibes in Hue. It feels unsafe, I canít seem to get around with much ease.
I had wanted to take the first train the next morning to get to Hanoi, and the lovely receptionist and possibly boss rode to the train station to see if he could get a ticket for me at 2000h in the evening. Alas, the train is only mine to dream of. There was no ticket left for any of the trains the next day, so I settled for a bus ticket.
I went to the Citadel that afternoon since I have time. Went into the Imperial City. It was so-so, perhaps because I have no guide, perhaps I should have studied harder when we were studying Chinese influence in Vietnam then, anyhow, I saw Allan Wu. Then I realized that they were filming a leg of the Amazing Race Asia there. Haha. I walked past him nonchalantly. Heís no Takeshi Kaneshiro.A team asked me for direction. I told them a very general direction. I hope they didnít get lost, otherwise I would always be that cursed Asian tourist. Haha.
I went back to the hotel for lunch. The hotel has lovely lovely staff. I reckon they are family/friends. I ate a lot, because I know I would get motion sickness if I didnít. I brought my half-eaten Oreo onboard too.
Since the journey to Hanoi should be twelve hours, I was rather worried that I would reach Hanoi early in the morn. What a nuisance/annoyance that would be if I were to knock at Uncle Mike and Aunty Bís house at 6am in the morn. So I devised my breakfast plans in order not to reach too early.
The bus has to be the worse I have taken throughout my entire journey. They switched off the a/c during the trip. It became really hot and stuffy. The Caucasian couple in the seats in front of me opened the window. What a relief. However, even when the a/c was switched on again, they didnít close the window. There were parts of the journey where it stank quite badly.
This time the sleeper bus was quite different from the previous one I took. This one doesnít have individual Ďbedí, but the beds were like normal seats extended. Though I had plenty of legroom this time round, I hate the fact that someone was sleeping so close to me by my side. Despite the heat, I slept in my sleeping bag to avoid being touched or touching people. I had prayed so hard that it would either be a good-looking guy or a lady whoís next to me, but it was the back-up bus driver instead.
The bus stopped a lot, either for pee-break or for people to alight or to board. There were times where the bus moved at a snailís pace because of the heavy traffic before dawn. What a surprise!
By 9am we werenít in Hanoi yet. And when we finally reached, they dropped us at the outskirts. I didnít want to enter just any cars, so I asked this German gentleman and his Indonesian companion if I could hop into the same car and head for the same destination as they were. The German gentleman is a very pleasant man, knowing that I was traveling alone, he came by to check on me once in a while. The lady, less friendly, studied German linguistics and is now lecturing in that subject in a university in Germany.
Reached the Old Quarters, well, itís familiar territory since the first hostel I stayed was in that area, I heaved a sigh of relief. Bid farewell, went to get stuff for Uncle Mike and Aunty B since I didnít want to go to their house empty handed. Enquired about my destination with the tourist office, and they called a taxi for me. The muffins were expensive, $2.50 each, and I donít think they were that tasty. Uncle Mike said they tasted like cookies.
Reached their place but they werenít around. Their helpers led me to the place I was going to stay. I was to stay at their friendís house while sheís not around. The houseís lovely, and guess what, their friend is unaware that someone is staying. Quite cool right? You leave your house keys with your neighbour and you allow them to host their friends there. I suppose they are really good friends.
Seeing Uncle Mike, Aunty B, Peace and Daniel was great! While it signified the end of my traveling, it felt like going home.
Talking to Aunty B is inspiring.