Remnants of Vietnam

On my first night at Hanoi’s Intercontinental I slept very poorly. I woke up in the middle of the night and started worrying about… terrorists. I remembered having an exceptionally clear logical train of thoughts despite that time of the night.

I remembered thinking – We were staying in a luxurious international hotel chain. A lot of white people were staying here. Quite a lot of them were very rich and have high-flying jobs. The hotel’s layout was unique and perfect for ambush and kidnap. The buildings were spread out across the lake and security was pretty lax.

Anyone could walk around the hotel grounds without being checked or having to go through electronically locked access points. I laid on the bed while R slept, thinking about the horrible incidences in Indonesia, India and Egypt, how terrorists stormed 5-star hotels and held the tourists hostage. I was overcome by fear. I was tempted to wake R and tell him how scared I was. But I didn’t and slowly drifted to sleep.

I don’t think I ever want to stay at a prestigious hotel chain again.


We stumbled across Dong Xuan Market on our first day of sightseeing. It was a large indoor market on several floors, selling clothes, accessories, trinkets, you name it.

It was something like People’s Park Complex but on a larger, busier scale. Stalls jam-packed with a million different products, girls hauling piles of stock across the building, people bustling about in a small confined space.

It was simply too overwhelming to do any real shopping, we were there just to look for the loo. We did find it, on the top floor, squat toilets with no doors.

In the midst of all this chaos and clutter, I spotted a brown freckled hen. Not running about but sitting quietly or rather resignedly on the floor. Its entire body was contained in a blue plastic bag, with only its head sticking out from a cut-out hole.

At the end of a busy, tiring day, someone was gonna take it home and have it, for his dinner.

Explore posts in the same categories: Books, Life, Travel

One Comment on “Remnants of Vietnam”

  1. thelastsparerib Says:

    THAT IS AWFUL. The poor chicken!

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