“How can you be a beggar if you have extra money?”-Santoka TanedaI rode out of Nanning on a posh tourist bus that would ferry me across the border and right on to Hanoi. I had to scourge the town to find this ride for a decent prices. The cost of things are rarely fixed in [...]
I rode out of Nanning on a posh tourist bus that would ferry me across the border and right on to Hanoi. I had to scourge the town to find this ride for a decent prices. The cost of things are rarely fixed in the travel world and if a price sounds like it could be cheaper it probably can be. So not satisfied with paying 200 kuai (24 dollars) for a bus to Hanoi, I sniffed around and found the same bus for 130.
I arrived in Hanoi with and stepped off of the bus into a slew of motorcycles, mopeds, and taxis. A hotel runner attached herself to me and began talking her jazz. I wanted to look at a map and she promised me one so I humored her and pretended to be interested in what she was trying to sell. But, as I walked around to the bus’ luggage compartment I saw my university chum, Dave, walking my way with a smile spread all the way across his face. He met me where I told him to and was on time. We both seemed a little surprised that we met up with each other again. I came down from Mongolia and he is a lunatic. I got the thought that travelling with him may not be so bad after all. So I quickly dispatched myself from the hotel runner and gave my ol‘ buddy a big hug. We then set off into the city.
After sitting at a little roadside beer stall and watched Dave drink down both his and my drinks we battled through the Hanoi traffic and made it to a cheap hotel.
I stayed in Hanoi for a couple of days realizing that my punk rock days provided me with a sound appreciation for madness- and the Hanoi streets are madness. Few traffic rules and streets packed with motorcycles made the city very unsuitable for the walker…but their was something about it that I liked. Or perhaps I was just glad to have left China.
Dave wanted to plan and prepare and set dates and do all of that stuff that the traveller is unaccustomed to doing and I was already beginning to wonder how much of this I could take. He wanted to go on a tour to some bay, I realized that I was going to have to compromise my travel style to acquiesce with my friend’s. He was on vacation and wanted to live it up; I did not want to damper his time with my peculiar way of happenstancially stumbling about the globe. I do not like tours, schedules make me uneasy, I live moments not days, I walk, I travel to be free. But I had to swallow myself a little bit and compromise. I am not very good at this.
About the Author: VBJ
I am the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. I’ve been traveling the world since 1999, through 90 countries. I am the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China and have written for The Guardian, Forbes, Bloomberg, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. VBJ has written 3657 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.
VBJ is currently in: Astoria, New York
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