monday february 15
happy family day to all you ontarians.
we started the day off bright and early here in hanoi. cool but fortunately the rain held off. the guest house provided big bowls of pho for breakfast. yum. not gerry's favourite but good for his system. he is feeling much better today, though not 100%. then it was off to the train station to figure out a way to leave. that was a production let me tell you. you start to understand why people take tours, particularly when there is such a language barrier. we did finally manage to get an overnight train to hue on wednesday. a six berth hard sleeper...we'll see. then it was off to continue our exploration. the city was very quiet in the morning but got busier as the day went on. we wandered over to the "hanoi hilton" to see when it would be open, and lo and behold it was. it was very interesting. the french treatment of the vietnamese prisoners was depicted as worse than living for sure. the depictment of the american prisoners shows them playing soccer and volleyball, decorating a christmas tree and receiving souvenirs. i am sure the truth lies somewhere in the middle.
dinner was at a cute italian restaurant recommended in frommers, but anytime they quote the price in US dollars you know that you are being ripped off, because the price in dong seems so outrageous. today we took 8,000,000.00 out of the bank. that has never happened before.
tomorrow we have made an appointment with hanoi kids. they come and spend a few hours with us to practise their english. should be fun and we will get to see some new parts of hanoi.
i'll get back to you.