Flat-hunting, food and storms of Hanoi

I thought I would post a little  update on our first week in Hanoi – I’ll keep it brief and mostly a smattering photos I’ve snapped along the way.

The really short version is that we have mostly been recovering from the hectic times we had before we left London getting packed up, moving most of our things into storage (shouts to Kieran and Jen!) and of course the small matter of travelling across 7 time zones from London to Hanoi via Helsinki!

The day before we left London was predictably mental but thanks to the help of some good friends (Jimmy, Jez, Kieran, Jen and James), we got the rest of our stuff packed up and moved away.

Bags packed and our old flat is empty!

This allowed us the opportunity for a last supper of sorts with our friends in Hackney at our favourite haunt and spiritual home – Kino – on Morning Lane.

From our last night in Hackney at @KinoHackney

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Once we’d had pizza and a few jars, it was time to say goodbye for a while…although most people were relieved / wondering what all the fuss was about when we both said we would be back visiting in July and August!

So long! Farewell! Auf wiedersehen, goodbye!

So, it was goodbye to the green fields of England (because there’s lots of that in London…)

Annie in melancholy whilst looking out at the green fields of Surrey…probably.

…and hello to sticky, mental, chaotic Hanoi and, more importantly, the land of amusing shop names.

Hanoi Scenes #vietnam #hung

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The first days were really spent suffering from near-exhaustion. We had 3 hours sleep the night before we left thanks to last minute packing and cleaning of our flat and of course didn’t sleep much on the 14 hour plane journey.

Once we’d recovered, Annie had to start work and I started the task of finding apartments.

After a fairly frustrating week or so and having seen around 20-30 different places, I’m happy to say that we have found a place and we move in on Thursday next week.

In between all that house-hunting, we have both taken every opportunity to sample the gastronomic delights of Vietnam.

Tofu, fried noodles with morning glory and garlic, BBQ grilled squid with chilli salt…erm…more morning glory, steamed rice and beer.

Lunch in #Hanoi #VietNOM #Vietnam

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It hasn’t all been Vietnamese food, though. We figure being expats allows us to eat a variety of cuisines, guilt free…and boy does Hanoi step up to the plate (ahem) in that regard. We’ve had some the best South Indian food I’ve ever tasted and went to a great diner-type bar/restaurant that could have just as easily been extracted right out of Hackney, right down to the moustachioed, drain-pipe-jeaned waiting staff.

The place even had GoldMalt craft beer with which to wash down our burgers:

Craft beer in #Hanoi - who knew? Drinking a GoldenMalt Golden Lager

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Aside from food and flat-hunting, we have experienced some incredible storms with ear-piercing thunder.

Here’s a video (skip to 0:14) – the images aren’t great but you should be able to experience a taste of the thunder and lightning…and that wasn’t even the worst of it!

Thunder and lightning in Hanoi

Sadly, a number of people were killed and injured as a result.

The wreckage after a taxi driver was killed instantly by a falling tree. Source: saigoneer.com

That’s about it for now but, not wanting to finish on a sad note, here’s a picture of my on-street barber whose name I can neither pronounce nor remember:

What better way to follow lunch than a haircut and a shave in the park! #Hanoi #Vietnam

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We move into our place next week, I’ll stick up some photos and maybe even a video tour. I’ll also attempt to continue to get to grips with the lingo…

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