Off to Bali - taxi at 6am - might as well stay up all night drinking bad scotch except for a power nap on the sofa. Took a walk down to my old house a few blocks south at 3am. Even then, women in conical hats were cycling produce somewhere - the odd motorbike not slowing down at intersections horn blaring into the darkness. A green suited cop glaring at me from his mini-stool on the corner. Nothing happening. The streets at this time are fairly clear - not like the Tet Offensive of the day where the usual traffic chaos has been superseded by traffic suicide. Unless there is a traffic cop trying to collect Tet bribes on the corner - then the traffic lights are now ignored. Two streams of perpendicular traffic somehow merge through each other continuously... I have to walk through in the periods of jam where a bus (the kings of the road and not to be fucked with) breaks the flow. Anyways - get to house - pick up 3 bottles of mosquito repellent and some good Australian literature, drink a can of Beer Lao that has been sitting in the fridge for a while, and then home.
But now at Lucky's Cafe - Hanoi International Airport. Where you can get pho, beer, strong coffee, and can smoke at will - and god bless wifi. Since it is early I have gone for the strong coffee (liberally strengthened with bad scotch from a water bottle - iced tea I calls it). Akiko goes for the pho bo, I for the nem hai san (seafood fried rolls). Downstairs in the airport foyer we bumped into Vanessa. She is leaving Hanoi for the first time since March - for a 24 hour romp in Bangkok. She went to the infamous nightclub Solace in Hanoi last night - on a boat on the Red River. And just like me when I have gone there - lost not only her memory, but her mobile. Unable to contact her friends who she was going to travel to the airport with, she has come assuming they will not wait for her. One night in Bangkok - god speed you well love. Then we bump into Paul and Chung - the intriguingly grumpy English MIT lecturer and the hard-core Vietnamese kindergarten manager. Off to Da Nang to meet Nick, Queenie and others to enjoy the fine food of Hoi An. Paul bitches about the airport, but its kisses and pats on the shoulder and good trip and goodbye.
Lucky's cafe - how I love you and your service with free attitude. Hanoi International - one of my favourite airports in the world (because of the cheap alcohol, the free wifi, the allowed smoking). Goodbye dear Hanoi - who is damp, cold and absorbed in Tet. Hello to Bali with its sweaty hot days and hot sweaty nights. Will I be possessed by an anilmalistic spirit like last time? Or have some American come and dig up a jar of weed from the floor of my bathroom? Who knows? I love Bali too, and am glad for a week off to rest and read. I believe this is my honeymoon!
Here comes the change from the bill - there goes Akiko to challenge it. We must go, we must go. Till we meet again Lucky's...
Underneath and Behind show 19th Nov 2016
3 months ago