Thursday, October 13, 2016

Settling In For The Short Run

It was a breezy and cool morning today. The windows of my apartment in Hanoi were open, and it was the first morning that a cool breeze has blown in through the windows. So I decided to take advantage of the cool weather and go for a walk today, just to check stuff out. I wandered some in the back alleys behind the alley my apartment is on. I've been wandering down these alleys almost every day, there's not a lot of seriously interesting stuff there, but it is cool to check out the little labyrinths that wind their way into the nooks and crannies between the big highway road and the river. I found a place where there were some tennis courts...I wonder what it would take to use those? Of course, I don't know anybody who plays, nor do I have a racquet, so that's not happening right now. Then I turned back to the main part of Tay Ho to check out some parts of the little peninsula jutting into the lake that I hadn't been to yet. Then I stopped by the grocery store to get some supplies. The trip to the store is almost daily, because I just bring home what will fit into my little backpack on my back. I have shopped for groceries with the motorbike a couple of times (once to a bigger store farther away), but mostly I'm still bringing most of my groceries home on foot.

My motorbike is pretty cool, but I haven't used it all that much. It is a Win, it shifts one down and the next three up. I bought it nearly new because I didn't want to chance a breakdown or have to pay for an expensive repair while I am using it to travel. I maybe ride it a couple days a week in town, but more often I walk. I burned the crap out of my right leg, though, on the exhaust pipe. I was maneuvering it into a tight space in the parking garage of the grocery store, then grazed it with my leg while I was exiting through the narrow space. I've also figured out which bus goes to my French and Vietnamese classes, so occasionally I take the bus instead of walking.

Every day I chop a bunch of vegetables and then try to figure out what to put them in. Today I made some udon noodles with a pile of sauteed vegetables simmered down to a broth. I'm already chopping tomorrow's vegetables, though. I'm really settling into a highly temporary domestic bliss here. I love my little apartment, with the windows that open into the courtyard, where I can hear all the noises of the neighborhood. My fridge is stocked with plenty of vegetables to chop. I think I even know what all of them are now. I bought some little knick-knacks for the apartment...things like a mop, buckets for trash and washing and stuff, a few kitchen implements, etc. I figure I can just leave them for the next person who moves in here.

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