I went and checked out my family’s old home in Hanoi. The address is 49 Bàt Dan street, and right now is home to a small pho restaurant. To the left of this restaurant are various small businesses numbered 51-55 Bàt Dan Street; but back when my family lived here, 49 Bàt Dan covered all of these. In between the pho restaurant and the next business, there was an opening to enter inside the building…so I walked in to take some pictures. I showed my family back home and I can confirm that this is indeed the home in which they lived in! Pretty neat and somewhat surreal experience.
It was here that I ran into a couple looking at the same building, and they asked if I was looking for the pho restaurant as well. They said they were told the restaurant is a popular pho joint so they wanted to try it out but unfortunately the restaurant was closed. I told them this is where my family used to live which was the start to what turned out to be a lengthy conversation.
Meet Heather and Gord. A couple from…Edmonton, Alberta (my hometown). What a coincidence! I don’t recall how it started but Gord was in the middle of saying something and when he said “I’m from a city called Edmonton…” I stopped listening, paused…and said “what a minute! I’m from Edmonton too!” We invited the couple for drinks at our hostels to which Gord replied “is there beautiful women there? I’m married so I can just look!” To which his wife standing next to him just smiled and rolled her eyes.
Meet Malin, a 23 year old veterinarian from Sweden! I met her the morning I arrived in Hanoi the day before as she was taking off to Halong Bay for a day trip. We ran into each other in the morning and she tagged along for lunch before catching her flight to….I can’t remember. Sorry!
After lunch we made our way to one of Hanoi’s many beer corners where you drink fresh beer from the keg on the street.
Meet Chris and Kate from Australia. We met this couple while drinking some beers on the street corner. I told them I’m from Canada and their ears perked up, stating “we want to move to Alberta!”. Kate is an animal scientist and Chris is currently completing his Ph.D. In environmental science. When I told them our plans of going to Halong bay, Chris said “I’m telling Kate to do one thing. And Kate’s telling me to do another thing. Yah don’t go kayaking with someone if you want to remain friends, or married in our case”.
It was time to leave back to the hostel so we waited for the mate to come back outside so we can tell him we want the bill. After 5 mins of waiting around we went inside to pay. And turns out the man is fucking sleeping! Lol…
After catching a quick snooze the night took a turn for the crazy. We were walking to grab some banh mi’s and as we’re waiting there’s a group of locals sitting down who I initiated a conversation with (in Vietnamese of course). Laughing with me and not at me, I’m sure, they asked me and my mates to sit down. And out came the rice wine. I’ve had this before and it can get you messy pretty quick, but who am I to turn down shots of alcohol from lovely locals? We ended up doing enough cheers that next thing I knew – the bottle was empty. We went back to hostel for a bit for more drinks and the partying scene, only to walk back for another banh mi couple hours later. And guess who’s still there drinking rice wine? The same locals! So of course we enjoyed another couple of rice wine shots. Ah…great memories with these group of people…
Oh ya, remember Dom, the perpetual drunk? While I was booking my tour to the islands from our hostel, Dom was walking around trying to convince us to book another tour from another hostel. This lady who works at the hostel I’m at heard this, brought him to the back area with another Vietnamese guy, and Dom came out saying “this is why I’m leaving this hostel. They were yelling at me! They kicked me out”. Can’t say I blame therm!
The way the night ended up for me. I woke up to these clowns laughing hysterically and then made my way up to bedroom and passed out. Aron sent me the PG photos…there’s a couple others they did to me that won’t be shown publicly.