On May 3rd, I arrived in beautiful Hanoi at 7 pm. Despite the overcast appearance and the lateness in the evening, it was 31 degrees celsius!! Incomprehensible to anyone from temperate Ireland. A pre-arranged taxi driver picked me up straight off the plane and brought me to a car right outside the main door to bring me to my Air BnB. The road seemed calm to begin with, but as we neared the city the traffic became more hectic. Suddenly there were cars and scooters on all sides, everyone beeping and appeared to be breaking every road law I had ever learned. Luckily my un-phased driver manoeuvred our way through the madness to my beautiful apartment, where as soon as I closed the door, the madness of the city was instantly drowned out by tranquil silence.
After I quickly got my bearings it was time to explore my new surroundings and begin sampling the delicious local food I had been looking forward to. Despite the lateness in hour, the temperature had not even fallen slightly, 9 o clock at night and it was still 31 degrees!! The locals looked at me with amusement, and despite us being in the middle of a large city, many of them smiled and said hello to me, delighted to welcome a new visitor to their lovely city. After a quick stroll (and a life threatening crossing of a road), I found a lovely looking restaurant with a lovely waitress delighted at the opportunity to practice her english. With the help of my lovely waitress I tried a meat noodle soup that was delicious. I had forgotten that they use chop sticks here so I realised if I want to eat here, my chop stick skills are going to have to dramatically improve. After my lovely first sampling of the local cuisine I returned to my apartment for a well needed rest excited for the next day and for my new life in Hanoi to begin.