After a second visit Hanoi is slightly less bewildering. The old quarter has a lot of appeal, especially in the grand specialisation that has occurred. If You want shoes you can go the shoe street, you want toys you can visit the toy street and so on. Hanoi is close to a thousand years old and this is very humbling.

Ever the practicing optimist I have managed to turn my worryingly continuous loss of clothing into instant respect. Since purchasing and wearing a Vietnamese flag shirt I have noticed not only are the people friendlier I also feel safer crossing the road. I suspect that flag damage has a stiffer penality than pedestrian damage. Wearing a bright yellow star appeals to my sensibilities. Maybe you are what you wear. I certainly feel more self assured wearing a bright yellow star.

Last night we travelled by sleeper bus to the city of Hue. The sleeper buses in Vietnam are excellent. For about $65 dollars you can purchase an open ticket from the top to the bottom of Vietnam. The seat beds are well appointed with air conditioning, blankets and pillows. In fact if they had a restractable perspex cover you could be mistaken for feeling like you are on an intergalactic space colony ship. A point of interest for my ever well informed readership; the seats on the outsides of the bus are longer thus more accommodating for western bodies.

Today is Vietnam independence day. We are celebrating it in our own way(doing as little as possible). Even imagined intergalactic space travel has a huge body load. Thankfully my mind and fingers are operating at full capacity.

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