Today has been grand. I started off with a round of goodbyes, a passion fruit, pineapple, banana and mango smoothie in a very windy Nature and Sea, a final purchase at Smateria, and then a jaunt in a tuk-tuk to the airport. Then it was time for my final goodbye to Cambodia, which was sad. Cambodia has become pretty homey to me. I get by with my terrible Khmer, I love the food, and I had a couple of really lovely friends here, so it was pretty sad to see the Khmer landscape fall below my airplane as we soared off towards Saigon.
I guess I moved on pretty quickly because there was a person, a very large important person waiting for me in Saigon. After rushing through immigration and an energetic wait at the baggage carousel I managed to do a very excited skiphopshuffle to THE DAVEMAN!!!! After months of imagining what two EDWARDARONs (Eva I know you know just how to pronounce that) would be like in Asia we finally had our answer: loud and entertaining. Food of course was necessary, Dave had already fallen in step with the coffee with sweet milk, there may have been some noodles, and some spring rolls, Dong was disseminated. It was exciting. Then Dave managed to throw his sunglasses to the floor as we tried to pass through security, which resulted in a comedic exchange where the sunglasses tried and failed to pass through the x-ray machine, only to be rescued by the force of a briefcase which managed to part the curtain of rubber strips, all the while Dave was faffing about trying to retrieve them, I may have snorted in laughter.
We managed to board the plane to Hanoi in great style, upon which we were served two types of compressed meats, pickles, tomatoes, salad and a very dense roll. I had a coffee, Dave did too. Upon landing in Hanoi we suited up in our respective hoodies/fleeces and braved the taxi circus only to be matched with a man with a penchant for finding the most ass-backwards way into Hanoi. Whilst driving along, Dave described Hanoi as, Poland meet Puerto Rico meet Hawaii meets England, something about the Soviet-like architecture, the incompleteness of most of the buildings, the palm and banana trees, and the rows of houses. Give the guy a break, he's jet-lagged.
With a bit of trouble we finally arrived at our $28 a night hotel and set off for dinner. David was incredibly impressed with the traffic in Hanoi, and the driving, and the general chaos. It is pretty crazy here and it was funny to have Dave weaving in and out of Vietnamese traffic with me. I steered him to Little Hanoi (which you may remember me mentioning in an early post) and we ate that eggplant and Dave almost lost it. I also introduced him to the wonders of morning glory with garlic. He may never recover. Then I dragged him to the other end of Hoang Kiem lake to sample Fanny's ice cream. It was a pretty full on evening. Now he is in the big bed making snuffling noises, I'm in the small bed typing away. Tomorrow we are off to see the Magical Halong Bay, should be a riot. I'll try to keep up, but somehow I sense that this should be an exciting next ten days.