From what we have heard from other travelers Vietnam's capitol, Hanoi, has a lot to offer. There are water puppet shows, historical buildings, museums, Ho Chi Minh's embalmed remains, but we weren't really interested in any of it. We were just interested in seeing an old friend.
Lisa lived in Knoxville for only a couple of years. We spent many a night hanging out together after work in our pizza stained Barley's shirts drinking a milk stout. She was my favorite kind of friend. The kind with a quick witted, dry sense of humor. The kind that makes fun of you, no matter how sensitive the subject, in a way that can only make you laugh at yourself; knowing that humor is the answer to all of life's problems. We would have liked for her to stick around longer, but she moved on to bigger and better things like getting a masters degree and teaching English abroad, which is how she ended up in Vietnam.
We catch up on the missed years of one another's lives, while dining on crickets and pigeon.
We share a couple glasses of fresh draft beer on Bia Hoi Corner with Claude (Lisa's boyfriend) and their friend Chien. We had a few shots of coconut rice liquor at a “closed” Vietnamese bar. Hanoi has an eleven thirty curfew unless you know where to go and which door to knock on.
Lisa and Claude
Pete and Chien
She takes us to a tiny little cafe were we have the best breakfast we have had in Vietnam. We walk with her to her house, snapping a few photos of Hanoi as we go.
For good measure, and only because Ho Chi Minh's mausoleum is closed, we do one touristy thing and go to the Temple of Literature.
Lisa answers several questions we have about the Vietnamese cultural, like the role of women in society, the education system and the traditions that take place during Tet, the Vietnamese new year. More importantly she tells us how dog tastes and why the Vietnamese have not adopted our western convention of standing in line. She tells us a hilarious story of politely elbowing a Vietnamese lady who tries to cut in front of her in the bathroom.
Having Lisa show us around makes us feel like we get a small glimpse of a locals version of Hanoi. Eventually she wears of on me.....
I wish we could have stayed longer, but we feel like our travel time is running out. Thanks for an awesome time Lisa. We miss you already.