Flirting with heat stroke... Rich claims even his eyeballs are hot, and I swear every drink of water I take leaks straight out of the pores on my face. We were so delusional that we thought we saw English footballer Wayne Rooney on the back of the Tiger Beer bottle [update: It really was! He's a "brand ambassador"]. The combined effects of heat, jet lag, and the airlines losing our bags did not make for an encouraging initial outlook for Hanoi. There is a lot of great shopping in the Old Quarter - housewares, fabric, and art - that we could take a fancy to if we did not want to lug it around, and we do not want to get started on that slippery slope less than a week into our trip. Also, walking everywhere in Hanoi means nearly getting run over at every intersection.
Interesting odds and ends:
-Old ladies still wear the woven triangular hat while gardening and hauling buckets on a yoke on their shoulders.
-Young ladies dressed to the nines speed by on their mopeds wearing Burberry knock-off helmets, pumps, and that all-too-overlooked-accessory... face masks.
-A German guy at the local fried fish place told me proudly he had lived in America... in Indiana... and played varsity basketball for his high school outside of Fort Wayne.
-The lady who tried to hawk fans to us by Hoan Kiem Lake got the smackdown from a group of local policemen, and the bystanders were unabashedly staring.