Thursday, July 12, 2012

Return to the Old Quarters

This was my first trip back to Hanoi since 2010 when I visited for the fourth time and finally fell in love with the colors and bustle and noise. I remember the first time I ever went, it must have been 2008 or 2009. I hated it! The weather was too muggy and hot, the streets so dirty, and the cacophony of cars and oh my god, scooters everywhere. It took four trips and a deeper understanding of the city's history and culture to get me to truly appreciate everything about it. Now I love crossing the road into a herd of motorcycles without looking left or right (the locals advise to walk slowly and steadily so the vehicles will swarm around you instead); I love eating at run-down eateries hawking pho or bun cha, spilling out onto the streets with make shift tables and chairs; I love wandering the labyrinth that is the Old Quarters with only the only landmark in my mind being Hoan Kiem Lake (lost? just point me to the lake please); I love the quaint cafes and French-style bistros, I even love counting wads of dong since I'm a millionaire there. Most of all, I really love the amazing people I've met there, who continue to serve God fervently and passionately, who are changing lives and winning new souls for the kingdom of God every single day.  

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