this is gonna be quick. i've got a few minutes before i have to catch a bus to Halong Bay for a couple nights. we've book an organized tour with one night on a boat, one night in a hut on one of the smaller islands, and some kayaking in between.
so far i've had two full days in hanoi. it's HOT. 90 F with 100% humidity. i've got what ronda says is a heat rash on my chest where my shirt has been rubbing me...
aside from that it's been pretty good. we managed to see some water puppets and walk all around town. yesterday we went to the temple of literature, the one pillar pagado, the womens museum, and the Hao Lo Prison Museum. we saw the madness that is all of hanois youth going on their motor bikes to get ice cream and night.
i got a local cell phone account here. $10 USD for a vidaphone sim chip. my local number here is 091.278.4964. (to call you need to prefix with the viet nam country code, 84.) i tried sending txt messages to a few people back home but i'm not sure if they got through.
so far meals have been a debate about how much risk i'm willing to take. stick to guide book recommended places (been to a few.) or try the local joints. i haven't eaten from any of the street vendors yet. i did try a couple random joints that turned out to be pretty good. the bai tuoi (a stronger type of beer that bai hoi) place we went to yesterday was really good. cold beers in this weather are essential to survival.
when we first arrived into town, late and night, we took a cab on from the airport along a highway that ronda said was the best maintained road in the country. it was raining and we passed two accidents. the second one was particularly bad. there was a cab that looked like an accordian, and a cab driver that looked like a ghost. our cabbie pulled over to talk to him. so there were at least three cars involved. (since the cab was smashed from both front and back.) also there were a couple bikes and a couple dead people on the road. (at least i'm assuming they were dead, because i don't think live people can be in positions like that.) the cabbie got back in the car and told us 3 something. i never found out if he said three cars or three people dead.