I got into Hanoi late last night and most things at the airport were closed. I was hoping to just convert my Chinese renminbi, but I had to get money out of an ATM. I used the wrong conversion rate, so I only took out 200,000 VND. Then I got into a cab and realized that I only withdrew about $10. I went back to the ATM and got some more money and ran into a girl that I rode on the plane with. She was meeting her friend who is a local, so I shared a cab with them.
After arriving to the hostel, it was about 12:30am and everyone in my dorm was already sleeping. I was relatively quiet, but it was my coughing that kept me (and probably everyone around me) awake. I woke up at 2am, 5am, 6am, 8am, 10am, and eventually got up at 11am. I’m tempted to get my own room so that other people don’t have to hear me coughing so much.
Today, I did a lot of walking around with no agenda. I went to the Women’s Museum, an old prison where prisoners of the Vietnamese War were kept (John McCain was kept there), a temple on a big lake, and a store where they had original propaganda posters from the war (that they call the American War). In the prison, there were pictures of American prisoners decorating Christmas trees, playing basketball, volleyball, chess, etc. It was like Vietnam’s way of saying “look! We treat the Americans well!” I guess that the American prisoners said that they were forced to do that, and it was only for one day so that Vietnam could have proof that they are treated well.
Now it’s about 7pm and I think I’m ready to call it a day. I’ll probably just hang out at the hostel and do some research for my upcoming trip with Jason.