Hanoikids to team with South Australia University during their Global Weeks
Sitting doggedly in front of the computer screen, I received a post from an active TODer, an “up-and-coming Prer”- Miss. Quyen Nguyen Le to Hanoikids’group announcing the upcoming tours had been available in the forum: “Heyy kids, confirm tours asap and do your best to help our guests enjoy their trips in the most Vietnamese way. Those tours seem to be super nice!” Ploughing through the forum to find myself schedule- fitting tours, I was instantly fascinated by a very special one with students from University of South Australia. Thank God, I was assigned that tour, together with Phuong Gaby, Hải Anh, Cong Nguyen Do It was a gloomy day and the weather dimmed my hope of a beautiful afternoon out with those students. Irresistibly, I hopped into the bus to the arranged venue to start the tour. Bus proved itself the most unreliable mode of transportation by taking me nearly an hour to get there. I arrived in time though.
Our guests, as mentioned above, were university students from Australia accompanied by their professor during their Global Weeks program. Vietnam was their second-and-final destination after spending couples of days in Malaysia. I was welcomed at the entrance door by Mr. Philip with a broad smile. He dialed me his namecard and spoke some Vietnamese he picked up before, basically making me feel better. Not until I met the guests head-on did I find out they were all friendly and easygoing, hinted me a thought that every Australian was congenial. I had done many tours with Australian and I cannot deny I love the country and the people. Within a few minutes, we got to know each other and engaged in endless conversations. I chanced upon a Vietnames girl who emigrated to Aus with her family since 6. Behind me was Sachin Kulkarni, a guy bringing along a book which demonstrated some common Vietnamese sentences. Looking at the phonetic symbols, I could hardly understand anything lol.
Reaching the Old Quarter, we got off the car, soaking up the ancient atmosphere and hidden charm preserved until today. We divided into three smaller teams as walking in a large group in the Old Quarter could be a disaster, regarding the frenetic traffic here. My group wandered about some famous streets at our own leisure. I bumped into Trần Thủy Phương and Mai Hạnh Trịnh who were hand in hand pensively striding along the Shoes Street. We rolled into the Dong Xuan market, the biggest market in Hanoi where stuffed with local commodities. We visited Hang Buon, a well-known street for its weasel coffee. The shop owner was probably the most hospitable retailer I ever met. I had been to this stall several times before and she kept smiling all the time, making us “trial coffee” for free. Fabulous ! We pressed on to Hang Ma street and I was totally captivated at the glamorous and dazzling scenery! The street was busy with people sightseeing and preparing for the Mid-Autumn festival. Every store stacked with toys, masks, lanterns and other stuffs. It looked like we had already found our ticket back to the childhood, getting lost in a fairytale land. I reminisced days of yore when I would gather with my family during the festival, tasting the mooncake and mesmerized by TV shows for kids. Those days are gone since I moved to Hanoi for high school. Mainly because I am no longer interested in this festival as well.
We walked by the Silver street where sold countless of jewelries before rounding up at the Sword Lake. We had some nice talks there. I recounted them the beautiful legend behind the name of the lake. Lau Yun Long taught us to dance the Gangnam Style and we crazily “jumped” until there were too many people drawn to the performance. Afterwards,
Bimmie, Gaby and I hanged out at a café while waiting for the students to enjoy the Water Puppet show. There were a lot to gossip about between these two girls lol. To me, listening to good music from my headphone and watching the dusk stretching along The Huc bridge was a miracle moment . One hour whirred by and we together got back to the hotel. On the car, we shot the breeze on everything, ranging from music, films to sport. To add to the level of excitement, we were given tons of little gifts from our guests as a token of their gratitude.
We said goodbye at the hotel lobby with high-fives. People all seemed to be satisfied. Everything went off without a hitch. We did a good job of true little ambassdors of Hanoi. Cheers!
[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://i.imgur.com/2OwQ0Zw.png[/author_image] [author_info]Members in charge: Frankie, Gaby, Bim, Công Sờ Mông
Written by Frankie[/author_info] [/author]