Matt finally agreed to use the mei tai carrier Katie made for me, but insisted on strapping it onto himself instead of me, and turning it around so Quinn was in front instead of on the back. That way Matt can meet his every need and doesn’t have to worry about someone taking him out of it. It works well that way for very protective Daddy.
We tried it out by walking to the Intemex to buy more diapers and other supplies. It’s a straight shot from the hotel so no chance of getting lost. Right. Not so lucky on the way back.
The weather was beautiful, so instead of returning the way we went we walked partway around Lake Hoan Kiem. A lovely little lake in the heart of the city, it has the scummiest green water I have ever seen. Not algae green scummy, more like oily green scummy. Still, it is a peaceful setting in the middle of all the traffic, with a beautiful old building on an island in the middle..
It looks all hazy because it is. Scooter exhaust is my guess.
Oh, and the horns. I have mentioned how everyone beeps their horns almost constantly. Yesterday I took a cab with a horn that every time you beep it, it beeps about five or six times and sort of fades out at the end. I have heard those horns many times since then. So, someone makes cars with horns assuming you are always going to want to blow it incessantly. They must have made them specifically for Hanoi.
We found a restaurant near the lake called Mama Rosa’s, advertising Italian and European food. Matt’s eyes lit up. We stopped for lunch and had prosciutto pizza, which actually tasted like real pizza and was very good – and way more than we needed. We thought they were individual pizzas so ordered two. Big mistake. Oh well, we won’t have to go out for supper. With breakfast free at the hotel that makes today’s food allowance go far.
From there we crossed this huge intersection with no pedestrian light; probably the most daring crossing we have done yet. I was pretty sure I knew where we were, but I also know I have a terrible sense of direction. Matt thought we should go a different way and we ended up on an excellent adventure, wandering for a long time, and finally took a pedicab back to the hotel. It was serendipity, as we saw many things we would have missed otherwise.
I have mentioned before that the streets all seem to have themes. Today we found the sunglasses street, stainless steel street, thread street (I want to go back to that one and spend a little time with all the huge spools of silk thread), brass street, doorknob street, cheap import streets (more than one of those, with typical junk from China), bamboo street, auto parts street, paint street, and I don’t remember what all else. It was a real hoot.
No matter where we went, there were the ubiquitous scooters, driving in the streets and parked all over the sidewalks. We had to walk in the streets most of the time and by the time we came back to the hotel we were totally comfortable navigating among all the chaos. The ride in the pedicab was the only scary part of it, since we weren’t in control of our own destiny and the pedicab drivers just go out into the intersections with the cars and scooters zipping in every direction.
Tomorrow it is supposed to be in the high 80s, so we may stay in and enjoy the air conditioning. With the humidity here that may be a bit much for shopping in what I have decided is the world’s largest flea market.