6th April, 2011 – HANOI, VIETNAM


First on the agenda today was to get myself a hat.  With more than two months ahead in South East Asia’s hot sun it was an essential item that I hadn’t the chance to buy in my busy last weeks in Japan.  Time to stretch those long unused, out-of-practise bargaining muscles.

Hat bought – check.  Bargain had – well, I saved a few dong, but hardly a bargain.  Still, happy with my purchase, complete with phoney brand labels, Brendan and I decided to treat ourselves to a snack of deep fried doughnut type treats.  The lovely lady selling them let us pose for a few photos in her hat before well and truly ripping us off, charging us about five times the normal price.  I think it’s going to take me a few days to get back in the swing of things with the whole bargaining concept.  I’m out of practise since I left China.

At dinner, a Vietnamese man approached and asked for help with the spelling of a text he was writing.  Upon hearing he had two Australians in his midst he broke into a rendition of Dorothea McKellar’s most famous of poems, ‘My Australia”.  It was so strange to hear, “I love a sunburnt country…” in such a foreign setting, but also quite heart warming.


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