Let’s see if I manage to keep a diary of my stay in Ha Noi this time. It is the very first time I am here and will not do work for the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences. It seems to me a sign of the passing of time, as well as the new route that the taxi took frorm Noi Bai airport to the hotel where I stay, the Horison. It took a narrow road along the West Lake which looked like a shortcut but was very congested with motorbike traffic.
My luggage is still in Honk Kong and it was funny to fill three different forms at the Lost&Found desk and the be approached by a staff who took a thick pile of green 100.000 Dong notes from his the inner pocket of his jacket and told me in a almost conspirator whisper: ‘Vietnam Airlines give you 600.000Dong and very sorry for making you trouble.’
I asked him if the money was his or from the company and he assured me that was the company money.
I have now been in this hotel maybe 10 times. So I get always a nice welcome form the staff who recognizes me (and vice versa). I am at the 8th floor, have a nice view of the night over Ha Noi, listen music of Adrien Aubrun.
At dinner read of the measures take by the government for securing the safety of the boats in Halong Bay, read that inflation is at a worring 12.5%, devaluation has made life more expensive, a new and very criticised tourism slogan and log have been selected: Vietnam the Different Orient. Different how? From what? Orient or Asia?