Osmosno in Hanoi

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Arriving in Hanoi late I had no idea how the city worked. Thinking that I had read somewhere that it all gets rather quiet after eleven, I feared that finding food may prove a tad problematic. As it turned out this could not have been further from the truth. Within ten minutes of dropping my bags off at my hotel I had turned down the pleasures of an hour or two of carnal frivolity thinly disguised as massage with a lady on a motor scooter and instead found myself in a most convivial colonial style cafe with a glass of draught beer in hand and a meal on the way.

It was a lively sort of a place, mainly locals with one or two Westeners scattered around. In the corner two drunks were becoming quite animated. Although I am far from fluent in the language (to tell the truth, I don’t know a single word) I am sure that they were at the “you’re the best friend I’ve ever ‘ad” stage of the evening when there was a flurry of back slapping as one of them decided to call it a night. Following an initial and somewhat unsuccessful attempt at rising from his chair he changed his course of action. Whilst sliding from the chair to a point somewhere beneath the table he decided to don his motorcycle helmet, a procedure that caused apparent concern from the waitress as he almost cleared the table of its ample quantity of empty glasses. Once on his head the hat was to him as the cape is Super Man. Full of renewed power he was on his feet and ready to go. He navigated an interesting and less than direct route to the door during which time he overturned no fewer than seven chairs. He did this to a constant accompaniment of encouragement from his friend who by now was puzzling over the intricacies of his Zipo lighter. I can only say that I hope he had more success negotiating the traffic of Hanoi on his motor scooter than he did navigating his way to the door.

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