After more than 23 hour we have arrived at our hotel in Hanoi, Vietnam. I will be the first to admit I am very naive about other cultures and how they live their everyday lives.
Culture shock is a good term I can use now. It is quite amazing the drastic differences there are. I really can understand why the world considers us a privileged culture, and yes I am full aware there are the same types of cultural "elitists", but really the way of life compared to North America is very eye opening.
The flights were surprisingly comfortable for someone 6'3". Our first plane out of Portland to Seattle was a smaller prop commuter so not much to expect from that trip. 3 hours later we boarded an EVA 777 to Taipei, Taiwan which flew us over the pacific for 14 hours. Very nice plane and good roomy seats, even with individual monitors!
Entertainment for the whole trip!
I would recommend EVA for international trips (I fully realize that I have no other experience to compare but my sister feels the same way and shes logged 100's of thousand miles!) After yet another 3 hour layover we boarded and headed for Hanoi.
Well that about covers the flying as the next adventure was getting to the hotel. Let's just say that it is poetry in motion, scooter vs car vs bike vs pedestrian. Traffic lights? why bother. Crosswalks? Another unnecessary inconvenience. Traffic lanes? Hah! Another when it fits to do so kind of thing. Really 1000s of scooters zigzagging in and out and really the only actual use of any type of traffic control was ones own horn. In your way? Pound the horn. Need to warn someone not to get in your way? Pound the horn. Someone going to slow? Pound the horn. Coming up to actual traffic crossings is quite amazing, it all just flows even though no one bothers to stop.
I have to say I am a bit overwhelmed by what I saw on the drive to the hotel. Just a really amazing experience. Emotional and sensory overload. I think I may sleep well tonight.
Well its the first day (or 2nd or 3rd, cant really get a straight answer) of the Chinese New Year, so I am sure we will be able to partake in the celebration tonight. Something I am very much looking forward too. Report on that tomorrow.
Well more later, going to go walk the streets for awhile.