I Will Not Love You Long Time

…but I do love Hanoi.

Just a quick hello from the capital of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam. I have been busy taking in this magical place that I haven’t even had time to scribble all my random thoughts into a paper journal. And believe me, there are so many thoughts and feelings. I am in love with this city.

I haven’t left and I am already thinking about when and how I will get back here. Maybe staying in an unbelievable house full of warm, interesting, cosmopolitan folk a la “L’auberge espagnole” has unduly influenced me. The work these folks do for cultural organizations, NGOs and the like work my heart and mind into a frenzy. I could see myself spending a year in Hanoi too.

I really feel at home in Alisha’s house. Although English is the universal language, German and French compete as the strongest language overall. I have been happy to hear and use French here with Francophones from France and Switzerland. Really love how the Germans and a Spaniard (actually, Catalan) also speak French fluently.

I have taken many of the quintessential sights, but (un)fortunately did not get to see Uncle Ho as he is in Mother Russia for body maintenance. Personally, I think Madame Tussaud is on the case if my viewings of Mao and Lenin can serve as a benchmark. Two out of three ain’t bad.

Tonight, I am off to Sapa for the weekend with my darling hostess, Alisha, and her 2 friends. I am looking forward to the night train ride as I think the journey will be much like that between Moscow and St. Petersburg only with better company.

Of course, I am keen about hiking around Sapa and environs too! Ready to be the tent in the minority villages. (Hi, fellow geeks! ;) )

Alison is coming to Hanoi tomorrow and I will meet her on Monday. I have to book our Halong Bay tickets; but if everything goes as planned, we will be sailing on a luxurious junk in the Guilin/Krabi-esque UNESCO World Heritage site on Tuesday and Wednesday.

In fashion news, I had two jackets made–one corduroy, one silk, that I am about to go pick up. They were more expensive than they should’ve been but I don’t have time to go to the fabric market and then to a separate tailor before I leave.

Speaking of expensive fashion gear, I bought a crazy Ipa Nima bag from the Tina Sparkle store on super gentrified Nha Tho street. I feel decadent, but not guilty.

Must run. Or rather, stroll around with a big silly grin on my face in this chaotic wonderland. Hope that you are all doing well!

I leave you with this tiny bit of advice: Come to Vietnam. You won’t regret it.



6 Responses:


  1. Uncle Ho Says:

    Look both ways before you swim across the street!


  2. Matthias Ripp Says:

    Nice article! Can you report about the state of conservaqtion of this UNESCO World Heritage Site?


  3. gee noh Says:

    I am soooo jealous. I want to travel in East Asia. I think after I am liberated from debt I will do so. Graves to visit and tend to, friends to visit, things to eat and buy.


  4. kooletz Says:

    must be really nice to do all the things you get to do. like the previous comment, i’m as jealous as a nut! as soon as i get my american citizenship, travel will be much easier. hopefully i could even come close to visit the places you’ve been to… right now, we’re on a “waiting period”…(trying to prove that we’re not criminals so we deserve the citizenship) …so i’m waitin ;-)

    i also love your entry about your haircut…it must not be that bad…i actually had an awesomely bad haircut in my junior year, that it inspired me to write a short article about haircuts. part of it is a list of “top 10 things you don’t want to hear after you get a new haircut.” i can’t remember the other 9 (i’m sure it was lame) …but one thing i actually heard said to me that made this list was …[upon seeing me & my mortified self] “Don’t worry, it will grow back.” and so i pass on these words that has the potential to comfort…sassy bamboo star, it will grow back :) ….and i’m sure you’ll be more assertive when someone chops off your rebellious wavy hair…. (it’s just like mine) ;-)


  5. Adrienne Says:

    Ok, I will love YOU long time! Thanks for commenting, peeps! :) Hurray! I am back in S’pore now but as busy as the tacky Christmas lights lining Orchard Rd. Trust me, that’s really busy! Packing and scrambling before I leave for HK on Sunday. Will post soon with pics from ‘Nam.


  6. Barbara Says:

    Adrienne!! wow…you seasoned traveller you! i’m just taking a quick peek at your page but i’m already floored by all your stories! thanks for the link to the Virgin pic! it was driving me mad! anyways, i guess you won’t be in North America anytime soon but we’re missing you here…welll I’M missing you!!! Cheers darling!
    ps. you can find sweet fashion stuff there in Vietnam eh? hm….note to self…..