2/21/18: Getting Hit On At A Park

I really didn’t want to wake up for my run this morning.

But I did.

I ran to West Lake, a HUGE lake in Hanoi. There’s a neighborhood called Tay Ho near the lake, which is where a lot of the expats live.

I accidentally ended up running around a smaller lake next to West Lake. I ran by Foodshop 45, a restaurant that had just been recommended to me by someone on Instagram. It’s always so funny and bizarre when things like that happen in life.

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Really foggy morning

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One of the breakfast options at my hostel was cornflakes with fruit, which I ordered sans milk. I had bought my own soy milk the day before so I was prepared. I felt a little self-conscious as I cut open my single-serving carton of soy milk and poured it into the bowl. I was “that girl”: that high-maintenance, weird girl who brings her own shit to meals.

I went to Tranquil Cafe, a really nice and chill cafe near my hostel, for a coffee.

For lunch, I went to a TINY place that’s called Vegan Banh Mi. It’s something in between a restaurant and a food stall. It’s in a tiny alley and has no real kitchen. There’s a small room (with chairs and tables meant for children that make you feel like a giant) for sitting, and then an area with a stove/toaster/counter for cooking.

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Such small seats/tables!

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The cooking area

I got the seitan banh mi and spring rolls. Altogether it was 20,000 dong, which is $1. They even gave me a few thousand dong for TET, aka Vietnamese New Year. It’s customary to gift money to friends/family. It felt weird to be given money when I’m the one buying food from them (especially when the meal was already so cheap), but it was really sweet of them.

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Banh mi and spring rolls

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My TET money!! About 75 cents. Lol so sweet

I went back to the hostel and recorded the intro/outro for the podcast. I did it in the bathroom because it was the only quiet space I could think of. It was pretty funny and also a bit sad. But mostly funny.

I went to Hoan Kiem Lake to read a bit of Murakami before sunset.

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On the way to the lake
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These kids were literally kicking around a can. It was so cute.

I was sitting on a bench, reading peacefully, when a guy came and asked if he could sit next to me.

He was a Vietnamese guy with really limited English abilities. He asked where I’m staying, what my name is, and how old I am.

He kept telling me how he wanted to take me out, but then kept saying how poor he was. I’m not exactly sure about his tactics here– why would you tell a girl you’re trying to take out that you are too poor to take her out?

He then wanted to add me on Facebook. I didn’t want to add him, so I pretended I didn’t have internet. I jotted down his name in my notes and told him I’d add him on Facebook once I had WiFi.

I think he just wanted to practice English, but also hit on me a little bit. It was annoying because I was very obvious about how I just wanted to read. Every time there was a lull in conversation (which was often), I would immediately go back to reading my book. But he wouldn’t get the hint and kept coming up with more questions.

After about 10 minutes of this cycle– he asks a question, I give a short answer, turn back to my book, and he asks another question– I was fed up and firmly told him that I wanted to read my book. Thankfully, he understood and walked away.

I continued to read for another half an hour. I was looking at my phone to research places for dinner when he suddenly appeared again. He offered to show me around Hanoi. I politely declined, and he went home.

I wonder where he was lurking and if he was watching me read the entire time…

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Hoan Kiem Lake

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I read until I was hungry and then went to Jalus Kitchen for dinner. I got the mushroom and rice hot pot. It was ok– the rice was hard and the soup was nothing memorable.

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I went back to the hostel to pack a small bag for trekking in Sapa. I then waited for about 2 hours to get picked up and taken to the bus.

A guy on a scooter came for me. He took me to a bigger road where the bus was leaving from.

It was a sleeper bus, where instead of seats you have beds. It was my first one and I was pretty excited about it. However, everyone was talking SUPER loud for first hour or so. It was about 10 pm, and there were children on the bus, so I don’t know why people were being so lively.

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Sleeper bus

After everyone calmed down, I pretty much slept the rest of the way. I woke up a few times in between, but I got a good amount of rest. We got to Sapa around 4 am.

To be continued!


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