Our First Guests

by aengelson | October 28th, 2009

Fiona and Matilda lead Katy and Ralph along the lake in Hanoi.

Fiona and Matilda lead Katy and Ralph along the lake in Hanoi.

During Fiona and Matilda’s autumn break, we welcomed our first guests to Hanoi! Joanie’s sister Katy and her friend Ralph flew in from Istanbul (after sailing around the Mediterranean, of course). They’re our first house guests.

It’s fun to show off the little things we’ve learned about Hanoi in the two and a half months we’ve been here so far. We cooked up some tasty Vietnamese food, recommended a couple great restaurants, and took them to a water puppets show. We wandered through the streets and found a fantastic covered market with live chickens, buckets of writhing eels and a rainbow palette of fruits and vegetables. They paddled swan boats on the lake with the kids.

Katie and Ralph even hopped on some motorcycle taxis and discovered it’s fun to zip and zoom through the hectic streets here. Now they’re off to Halong Bay, and then they’ll be back for more nights at Chez Engelson-Robertson before setting out to explore more of Vietnam.

Markets in Hanoi are an explosion of sights and smells.

Markets in Hanoi are an explosion of sights and smells.

We really enjoy having visitors, and we have a guest room that awaits family and friends! Send us a note at andyengelson–AT–gmail.com (spelled out to avoid spam). We’re booked up with visitors between Christmas and New Year and the first three weeks of February, but other than that, we’re free. Come see us, it’s great fun!

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About This Site

Andy Engelson is a writer and editor who lives in Hanoi, Vietnam. He's currently working on a historical novel set in the Northwest United States during World War II. He's also a freelance writer, essayist and member of the Hanoi Writer's Collective. In a former life, he edited Washington Trails magazine for six years and before that was freelance journalist. He likes to hike, travel, and play with his family.

Quotable

I have seen it over and over, the same sea, the same,
slightly, indifferently swinging above the stones,
icily free above the stones,
above the stones and then the world.
If you should dip your hand in,
your wrist would ache immediately,
your bones would begin to ache and your hand would burn
as if the water were a transmutation of fire
that feeds on stones and burns with a dark gray flame.
If you tasted it, it would first taste bitter,
then briny, then surely burn your tongue.
It is like what we imagine knowledge to be:
dark, salt, clear, moving, utterly free,
drawn from the cold hard mouth
of the world, derived from the rocky breasts
forever, flowing and drawn, and since
our knowledge is historical, flowing, and flown.
— Elizabeth Bishop, “At the Fishhouses”

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