Napping in Hanoi

I think the heat is making everyone sleepy here in Hanoi. We went to the fabric market and my friend Yossi pointed out this tired vendor:

When we ate dinner at a restaurant, Kate went to the bathroom and discovered a door with an open window. When we looked in, a few people were taking a nap right next to where we were eating!

We were at a temple last weekend, and Anna discovered a sleeping monk!

Taking a nap can happen anywhere.  This guy is parked by a very busy street (although what street in Hanoi isn’t busy?)

Other things happen on the street that are surprising to us…. like getting a haircut or shave:

Mohawks are popular here for the summer:

And if you have lice or gray hairs, that’s something else you can take care of (this is a common sight on the street):

I have seen 2 dishwashers in total since I arrived in January, and they were in the homes of two embassy families (they have very nice places). Mostly people just do it the old fashioned way, right on the sidewalk:

We were so happy this past week to welcome our friend and final visitor to Hanoi, Jackie Acho. Her husband John was a real hero staying at home with their two kids so she could come to Asia for the first time in her life. One of my Vietnamese friends was so surprised that she would come so far and leave her family at home for a week. I told her we American women were very lucky and we had great husbands. Of course we had to take Jackie out to one of our favorite street food restaurants, Bun Bo Nam Bo:

Here is a shot of the kitchen. As is usual with these kind of places, they make one thing only here. The noodles and herbs are so fresh. The food in Vietnam is amazing. We are going to miss it.

We took Jackie to our friend Phuong’s house – it was her daughter’s 1st birthday, so there was a big meal!

Here is the birthday girl, Ming Que:

Phuong took us to an orphanage near her home called Bo De.  We brought rice and milk and Matthew handed out some baseball cards to the boys. It was very sad and difficult to see 150 children without parents.

Sadly, a lot of people who mean well bring the children candy and junk food. They had lots of rotten teeth.

Some of the smallest babies were sleeping in hammocks!!

Later on the way home we had to squish into a taxi, and Kate sat on my lap in the front seat…we’ve gotten lax here!

The next day we were walking around Hanoi and saw a Pentecost celebration outside the Catholic cathedral. The costumes and music were beautiful.

We had dinner at a friend’s house that has a beautiful view of West Lake.

Hanoi is so full of sights. It’s a delight to walk around and take photos. Even after 5 months, I cannot get over seeing children riding on motorbikes without helmets. Many of the infants ride with netting covering their heads – maybe to keep the bugs off?

If you’re pregnant, it’s best to ride side-saddle:

And who says you can’t have an ice cream cone on a motorbike?

Hold on tight!

Even though it’s well into the 90s most days, many of the Vietnamese cover up all their exposed skin so they don’t get a tan:

And some other funny things I saw today… guinea fowl and other wild birds being sold on the side of the road:

Gourds for sale:

And a children’s photographer called Tom and Jerry???

Speaking of wild birds, collecting them and hanging their cages around your house and business is a very popular hobby here in Hanoi:

Some people have 10 or more birds!

Anna found double banana twins!!

While we’re still enjoying our last few weeks here, we are really excited to get home and see family and friends. We are especially eager to meet a new cousin of ours that was born in NYC right before we left, so we have yet to meet little Leo!  Except by Skype, that is.