so we spent the past two days stuck in hanoi.
our train got into town at 5am on monday morning (6/20). later in the day we went to pick up our supposedly reserved tickets for a train that night going to Hue. we found the travel agency, paid for the tickets, went to pick them up around 5pm, and got a complete run around about how the machine was broken and the couldn't get the tickets, blah, blah, but we could just take their bus service tommorow. this left us pretty pissed. we went somewhere else and eventually booked a train for Hue on wed night (6/22).
so we spent a couple more days that planned in hanoi. but this time around it was much nicer than before. it wasn't quite as hot, and i don't know why, but on wed the traffic seemed much more sane. we went back to our favorite places to eat, and even bought a bunch of bamboo plates, bowls, and serving dishes which we shipped back to the states. we'll have to have some dinner parties when we get back to use them.