I went this morning to the Mint Coffee Shop because its filled with really nice people that like to talk to me each morning about my activities. One of the waitresses knows what I want so she always asks me “the same?” She comes over and does the innocent flirtation thing which I really love. She is like so many of the people I have met.
Yesterday after walking and giving my Fuji Camera some exercise, I ended up back at Hoan Kiem Lake. As I sat there, a boy in the 6th grade came up to see if I would talk to him. An amazing exchange then occurred. He spoke just about flawless english, understood the abstract stuff which can be difficult, and teased me about his ability to fly and do magic like a warlock. We talked music, Hanoi, shopping, eating, his favorite things a few times. His mom sat their quietly smiling as we talked. After over an hour we ran out of steam and just sat there quietly. He turned to me and said,
I just got back to the bench. I was sitting up in that tree for awhile
He laughed and told me he again he had magical abilities. Like learning to speak english since the first grade.
Today after coffee I could tell that the weather would turn but I left anyways and got soaked. But happy. The cool rain knocked degrees off the temperatures and the kids reminded me of those children in Chennai when it rained. Suddenly in shorts and t-shirts they would come out and play because it was wet and cool and they were kids. Here people still do their daily chores. Some seek refuge in the million and one coffee shops. I did not. I just got wet and felt good. I walked down streets, turned left and right, got lost and finally ended up at this other lake which has become a landmark of sorts for me. Much like the historic water tank, I know how to get back when I start seeing the buildings around that lake. The sky darkened quite a bit so I headed generally back and took a lot less photographs.
Here’s a few from the day out.
Still an amazing day out! I’ve come to realize in every place I go that the rain brings out a certain mysterious and other worldly character to being out and seeing things. Building lights turn darker and the streets of Hanoi suddenly have tarps and huge umbrellas. The coffee shops are inviting and the people gather. The government buildings look darker and the skyscrapers are brushing the low clouds.
Just yesterday it was a beautiful day to wander. Today was no different. Beauty can be a host of things in Hanoi. Rain and clouds are one element. The beneficial part is the temperatures and humidity go down and the coolness sets in. Rain soon falls most of the times at a gentle but continuous pace that will render you wet. At least me it does.
But I’m happy! Clothes can dry out and having some time in the room to read and consider things is good! I’ll go out later and get a bowl of Pho I think down the street. Its tastes superlative on a rainy day!