Morning coffee and thoughts

It’s Saturday here. I did some breakfast down the street. Some pho bo and quay which always tastes good. Now up is coffee on a Saturday. Just a short walk from the pho place is a cafe I frequent. They serve lots of coffee and tea drinks but my preference is for Vietnamese iced coffee with milk. A glass costs less than $1. I can sit by the lake, almost the same spot I drink beer in some evenings, and have the required Saturday thoughts. There’s not many people here now so social distancing myself is easy. Usually by early evening lots of Vietnamese people will come for beer and evening coffee.

It’s warm today. Probably gonna get up to mid 30s. Sitting in the shade by the lake I can still feel cooler breezes running the lake. The water in some spots is mirror like. It heightens the feelings I always have that time does not exist.

So for some disjointed Hanoi thoughts.

  1. Life in Hanoi is pretty good for retired people. Living here is easy. Shopping, food, coffee, beer is next door basically for me. Nothing really costs a lot compared to the US. The bowl of pho this morning was a little over $1.50. The coffee is under $1. Beer on draft or in bottles is usually less than $1. At nicer places for international food choices like Italian, Korean bbq, Mexican I pay more. I kinda expect to so nothing is really shocking for me on how good Hanoi is.
  2. I’m happy here. It would be difficult to not be. We don’t have shelter in place and restaurants, coffee shops and pubs are open. Day by day life here is not stressful. I can go as I please here. Hanoi is a vibrant, sensuous and fun city to live in.
  3. I feel safe here. It’s important to me to feel safe and able to go walking and take photographs. Most cities in Vietnam I do feel safe in except for Saigon. Down in Can Tho I wandered alleys at night often. Hanoi just feels accepting and there is a noticeable army and police presence where I live. It’s the seat of government and the military so I never see much out of the ordinary.
  4. I want to leave. Yeah. I want to go. I’d like to be in Cambodia now. No matter how all feels in Vietnam I always have the wanderlust.

Meanwhile though life goes on this Saturday. People say hello. Kids wave and smile. Coffee shops invite me in with a Xin Chao. It’s a good thing I like coffee so much.

So that’s a Saturday for you. Nothing to do and all day to get it done. Perhaps some writing later. Maybe some reading. Now I just hear the distant thrum of conversation and bikes going by. The lake seems to beat with its pulse.

So long from Hanoi on some Saturday.

August 28, 2020