Because Tet is a family holiday and all the restaurants are closed, I spent a lot of time eating at chi’s parents’ place. They were lovely despite my constant presence, ability to eat a lot, and zero knowledge of Vietnamese. Chi’s mother offered me thorough safety instructions (none of which I was able to understand, unfortunately) and her father explained a lot about the food and traditions.
Chi seemed pretty surprised to find me at the airport when she came to pick me up.
We took a taxi to my hotel, passing people on motorbikes with enormous bundles of flowers behind them.
The hotel had its shutters closed and didn’t look the least bit open, but Chi rang the door bell and a very accommodating guy opened up the doors immediately, explaining that he has to make the place look closed at night because otherwise he’ll get in trouble with the police. Hmm… Okay. The hotel is really nice though, clean, dark wooden furniture, polished lobby, were wifi. And it’s literally 3 houses over from Chi’s parents’ place.
We dropped off my stuff and went for a walk around. The streets are completely empty except for a crew putting up a happy new year sign on a shopping mall and a few people burning money on the sidewalks.
Someone at work said i’m a world traveler. I think that’s not accurate. I didn’t come to Hanoi to travel the world. If my friend lived in Ohio, I’d have gone to Ohio.