Sunday, 20 December 2015

HAN to HKG (20 hours in Hanoi on the way home)

I wake up at 5 again, full of excitement. But about what?  I just got here late last night, and in a few hours I have to check out again, kill 6 hours, and fly to Hong Kong

My mornings in Ha Noi are routine. Walk to Hoan Kiem Lake,  drop some postcards in the mailbox, eat some ice-cream (NOT this time, at 17 degrees the Vietnamese are wearing padded jackets and I'm wearing my hoodie), and look at some stuff in stores. I can't resist this bracelet. US$ 3 doesn't seem too much for a colour that accentuates my tan ;-)

Still no fabulous receptionist in one hotel, and when I ask in my hotel, I find out that she no longer works reception but in an office now. Darn.

11:30, I might as well check out after I have checked the room a few times for stuff I might forget otherwise.  What I find is one of those fold-up cards that another guest before me forgot on top of the safe.  Fabulous Card !  Grandma likes it too.

I eat at Chuon Chuon (Dragonfly, because I don't want to be roughed-up by limited food choices at the airport again.  Stir-fried chicken in curry, my usual in this place.

Today I have lots of time to kill, so it will be the city bus instead of a taxi for me. The price of 9000 Dong doesn't hurt either. That should get me to the airport at about 2pm with another 4 hours to kill and I'm thinking of trying out one of those Sleep boxes they rent by the hour in the terminal.  After schlepping my backpacks crammed full of stuff I didn't need but bought anyway all the way to the bus stop and from Terminal 1 to Terminal 2, I will definitely need a rest.

I nod off on the bus repeatedly and one time somehow save myself from tumbling sideways into the aisle.

I get to T2 at Noi Bai at 2:15 and march straight to the sleep pods. I have to wake the attendant because she fell asleep on her chair behind her desk. 

There are probably very few people using this service, so it doesn't hurt if she catches a few zzzs.  Good omen anyway ;-)

367,000  Dong gets me a sleep pod for two hours and I ask her to wake me at 4 pm.   

I sleep for 40 minutes and have the weirdest dreams (must be all the chemicals they use in  these cubicles). Then I have an idea.  If you rent the pod for 3 hours, you get the 4th free. DONE.  Being at an airport never has been this relaxed.  I go to the check-in counter with only my day pack, leaving the heavy backpack in the pod.  NICE. When  I have my  boarding pass, I get my notebook from the pod and head up to the restaurant inside the airport that has ashtrays on the tables. Time for a glass of Vangh Trang! Talk about wine for breakfast LOL.  Don't believe me?

Almost awake, slightly tipsy, and smoking in an inside airport restaurant. Imagine the UPROAR in Nanny-Town
Au  revoir, warm evening sun

Boarding time is 5:15, so I  grab my stuff out of the pod (Wow,  this  is heavy) and head to security at 4:45.

Not exactly sure what it means, but I can think of something suitable ;-)

What is it with evening planes ?  It's like BC Ferries accumulating delays all day long.  My plane ends up taking off more than 1/2 hour late.

The first thing I see of HK during my first out-of-plane cigarette

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