Friday, October 14, 2016

part 1: hanoi

okay, so first to dispense with some unpleasantness: i had my phone stolen in hanoi. stolen from my hand.

on sunday afternoon, i was trying to take a picture with my phone of bryan and me in front of the beautiful opera house. while i was angling the camera just so, a motorbike came around the corner, up onto the sidewalk, and the passenger swiped the phone right out of my hand (a point that even now just boggles my mind). leaving me feeling sort of like this.

not one of life's great tragedies, but still, it sucked.

silver lining here: we did get some bonus hanoi experiences courtsey of les voleurs. a ride in the back of a vietnamese police truck! time at the police station filling out a police report! going back to the hotel and eating as much chocolate candy as we wanted!

i will also say, everyone we spoke to about it afterwards was super sad. hanoi has really cracked down on cell phone theft, and in the past year, it's declined dramatically (though still, not altogether uncommon). the vietnamese people were really disappointed that my phone had been stolen and worried i would go home with a dislike for my experience in the country.

we had a great experience! (minus the phone theft :) and loved our time in vietnam. the food. the people. the places. bryan is already scheming to return.

ps - for those who might not know, vietnam has been on our bucket list for awhile because bryan served his church mission in a vietnamese community in sydney, australia. the comment we got most frequently from the viets about bryan's language skills: you speak very clearly.

hanoi was the last city on our journey. here's a look see:

church on sunday:

bryan with tony quach, the son of a viet family who was in the branch he served in on his mission in sydney, and who is now a missionary in hanoi. he was three years old last bryan saw him. 

anh quang, who joined the church in france and went through the temple in japan before returning to vietnam.

delicious bun cha lunch, treated to us by chu duc, after church:

hanoi closes some shopping streets to traffic friday night through sunday night so folks can walk around and enjoy the beautiful weather (and many a street saxophonist!) without quite the same fear for life and limb as usual:

enjoying another refreshing treat (cold coconut milk), courtesy of chu duc and his lovely wife:

hanoi night life:

hoan kiem lake.

the hat district.

the temple of literature, vietnam's first national university, built in 1070:

the night before our plane ride home; the best pho of bryan's life:

**shout out to our amazing hotel, hanoi la siesta diamond. after doing quite a bit of research, we found that their entire hotel chain consistently rated among the best in hanoi. they did not disappoint, and we had a great stay with them!

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