My hostel is located in the center of the old quarter. Despite being central, it is quiet in the rooms.
Downstairs, I met a Swiss 20 year old girl, volunteering in Vietnam to teach a bit of English and will be travelling afterwards until April. Back then, I can’t recall that anyone I knew were already brave enough to travel out to the world on their own.
There are also 2 English guys having their vacation in Vietnam for 2 weeks. The one guy always had a big smile on his face and is quite outgoing and easy to talk to. He and his friends are from Plymouth and are having their vacations here.
There is Maya, a Canadian student exchanging in Singapore. After the water puppet show, we went for some drinks where we found some other hostel people. Particularly the English girl. Even though we talked only for a short time, well, ofc again about the recent problems, there is just something in her eyes, when she seems so concentrated to being listening to you, something mesmerizing that makes you feel that she totally can relate. This gaze gave me a warm feeling and somehow makes you think less about your problems.
And I also met up with the girl on the bus with whom we shared a taxi with, She is 33, (didn’t look like that) and is running now some taobao business with clothing. Now she wants to open up her own brand. (based on what she told me apparently just rip off some designs and put her own logo on it)
We actually ended up talking about different topics. Housing and general pressure within China, vietnam society that does not have housing pressure, business back in her own town with pottery and politics, behavior of the younger generation which is more daring. In general I had a feeling we could talk about anything, and she has a good view of all them. I guess age does matter …
Otherwise despite the crazy streets with mopeds, the museums are quite shitty in Hanoi. I visited the military museum and Ho chi ming museum. Hoping to see more of the history or stories of vietnam war, there were mostly just public displays of old machineries. The one for the founding father also did not explain even a bit where he was when young and how the communism got into his head.
Another thing I noticed is that people are more social here. Street food, cafes, people sit together and actuallt talk to each other without looking just at the phones.
Me, in a wooden house somewhere on the central plateau, with internet, and need to revise this post