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.

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“I’ve been reading Whitman, know what he says, Cheer up slaves, and horrify foreign despots, he means that’s the attitude for the Bard, the Zen Lunacy bard of old desert paths, see the whole thing is a world full of rucksack wanderers, Dharma Bums refusing to subscribe to the general demand that they consume production and therefore have to work for the privilege of consuming, all that crap they didn’t really want anyway such as refrigerators, TV sets, cars, at least new fancy cars, certain hair oils and deodorants and general junk you finally always see a week later in the garbage anyway, all of them imprisoned in a system of work, produce, consume, work, produce, consume, I see a vision of a great rucksack revolution thousands or even millions of young Americans wandering around with rucksacks, going up to mountains to pray, making children laugh and old men glad, making young girls happy and old girls happier, all of ’em Zen Lunatics who go about writing poems that happen to appear in their heads for no reason and also being kind and also by strange unexpected acts keep giving visions of eternal freedom to everybody and to all living creatures…” — Jack Kerouac, The Dharma Bums

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