First Impressions of Hanoi

One of my final posts from Timor foreshadowed an untimely and premature departure from a country that is still very dear to my heart. The doctors that I visited in Singapore thought that I had picked up some pretty serious health problems, which seemed extreme to me, but the healthcare policies this diagnosis triggered were beyond my control. I went to some top-notch doctors in the United States, and my hunch was affirmed – no serious diseases for me. So, after some delay, I am back in Asia, and back at the blog.

Another person arrived to fill my shoes in Timor, and so it was time for a new role. I’ll be working this year in Hanoi, Vietnam (yes, much has changed since the 60s-70s). Looking forward to posting pictures, videos, and stories of meals and adventures.

Until then, a quick list of first impressions:

  1. Driving is hectic, but it’s not too bad. Most people in the city drive very slowly (15-25mph).
  2. Culinary dishes are more varied and complex than I anticipated – widely known VN meals in the US like phở are only a small part of the picture! Will post more about this as I learn.
  3. I went to a place called the Le Mat snake village last night – what do you think I ate?
  4. Hanoi is far more “livable,” than I thought it would be. A wide variety of amenities, from dentist’s offices and delivery services to gluten-free bread, MacBook laptop chargers to well-appointed cocktail bars – all can be found.
  5. The energy of the city varies greatly depending on where you are. The largest lake is very pretty, and has relaxing cafes with great views all the way around.

More to come!