Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Hello, My Name is "Table for One"

Fresh from our celebration of Halliday's birthday last night (including shrimp and sweet potato pancakes, grilled shrimp with lemongrass, pork and mushroom rice pancake, pork with noodles, snail soup, and a little tofu thrown in -- all with matching Halida t-shirts), Team Asia called it splitsville again. I (Jon), sent Halliday and Amy on their way to Hoi An, HCM City, and the beaches of Thailand. Meanwhile began my 72 hour solo journey back to the U States with a full, and final, day in Hanoi.

Finally free from the restraint of co-travellers, I let loose and broke all the rules. Here's a photo essay of my free-wheeling ways:

Off to an early start, I began the day as usual with a stroll around Ho Hoan Kiem Lake. No sign of tortoises . . . or scammers.

Onward to St. Joseph's church for morning Mass.

Craving a salad for lunch . . . lucky for me leafy vegetables are the treat of choice at Bun Bo Nam Bo.

Who says Americans can't pull off the half-shirt bellyroll?

Missing DC, Potomac Restaurant on the shores of Ho Tay Lake makes me feel at home.

At the seat of power -- the Presidential Palace -- but namedropping Bob Shrum and John Kerry doesn't get me in the door.

Feeling like Tom Cruise, they pulled out all the stops for me and cleared out the plaza in front of Ho Chi Minh's masoleum ala Times Square in Vanilla Sky.

Ngac Ho Market for Slunch (second lunch).

To tired to walk on my little legs all the way to Nha Tho? No problem. I'll just motorscooter across town for only 10,000 dong. That's me in the rearview mirror wondering if I could have put that US$00.75 to better use.

Look mom, no hands!

Holy hell I'm sweaty. Cool down with some iced Vietnamese coffee.

Sleepy after my busy afternoon, I'll take a short nap under my fancy 'ella.

What better way to wrap up my stay in Hanoi than with a Bia Hoi (or three).

A little tipsy from my beer break and eager to extend my stay in Vietnam, I inquire about a position as a Summer Associate.

Learning from the best, the Socialists sure know how to stage an election!

Dinner time. I could really get into a yakburger about now . . . but I suppose I can make do with pork patties in broth.

Night falls the same way morning begins at Ho Hoan Kiem Lake . . . still no tortoises or offers to sing karoake for US$100.


Ron said...

Jon, Was it Ho Chi, JF, Shrum, Kerry or some other revolutionary who said, "Free, free at last!" And was the photoed red shirt an expression of on-going sympathy? Good job!!!

Alexandra said...

Best thing you've ever done. Hands down.

EB/Josh/Jon/Amy said...

Ummm...had we known that you were capable of making decisions and getting around using your wits and ingenuity, you totally would have been allowed to participate in an "adult" role during China trip. Who knew? Also, your stomach looks amazing. Have you been spray tanning? And working out?

Bates said...

This is incredible. Simply incredible.

fishwatch said...

you should def link to this post from your friendster profile...