Friday, June 26, 2009


ah well, that's life...

...ah well, luang prabang has to be put on a back burner for a while though ironically i may have to go there in the near future on 'official business visit' . but in the mean time i have to make do with sitting here in a small but quite nice room in Maison D'Hanoi , a boutique hotel on Hang Trong st right in the heart of hanoi's old quarter. at usd70 nett per night this place is relatively 'cheap' at least compared to the rather grubby hilton hanoi opera which as the name suggests is just next to the hanoi opera which is priced at usd130++ for the cheapest room. i was there for a couple of nights and the hotel was full of fat americans, thin ethiopians and other africans from countries like mozambique and gabon attending seminars and conferences .

and incidentally, i read a fine but unusual obituary of omar bongo the late president of gabon in the economist on the singapore airline flight to hanoi. i've never heard of this guy and never realised what a right bloody bastard he was. he plundered gabon for 40 years and treated the country as his personal property. he reminded me somewhat of our local hero tun Mahathir who is still living and still messing about with malaysian politics.

maison d'hanoi is just a few minutes away from hoan kiem lake and it is always fun to walk around the lake at night and watch groups of middle aged hanoi ladies doing aerobic to the outdated crappy dance music on old fashioned portable 'boom box' and even better still watching all the young and shapely vietnamese girls just lolling about sucking on ice creams.... and if you look a bit like a foreigner you can't walk two steps without being waved at by motorcyclists who are everywhere offering to bring you to massage parlours... not that i have the slightest urge to take their offer. it's quite possible that they may bring you to some dark alley and rob you instead of presenting you with those luscious young viet girls. but still, i thank god that i am born a man.

and in these days of facebook and instant friendship i just sent a note to one of my girl vietnamese cyber friends saying that i'll be in hanoi and may be you would like to have coffee or someting with me?. and she came back asking how old i am which prompted me to check her profile and found out that she was born in 1994. hmmmm....i'm now feeling slightly worried that she may think that i'm a damned pedophile.


saw her latest facebook 'what's on your mind' post which simply said woohoo!!! she did an IQ test and seemed to be elated with her result. and this is how her score is stated... i quote...your IQ is above 85!! she either had a very fine sense of humor or it's just that english isn't her strong point and she's only fifteen anyway.

not to be unkind or anything but somehow that reminds me of the hardtalk program on bbc last night with jane goodall talking about gorillas.....

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