Monday, January 28, 2008


We returned earlier than expected from the beautiful capital city last night. Initial reservations had us scheduled to depart at six thirty-five in the evening. But then Sunshine caught a little cold, check-out was at noon, and we could only take so much of the admittedly pretty waiting lounge. If healthy, we'd have had roughly three hours to kill before waiting in the taxi stand crowd, before taking the long, expensive ride forty minutes north to Nội Bài Airport, before then waiting with a similar crowd at the national departures windows. But, blah, we'd explored a day-and-a-half already--Sunshine's conference ended Friday mid-afternoon--and though I'm in love with that northern town (where some trees weren't even evergreens), the constant gray autumn temperature wasn't helping Sunshine any. So we hopped in that long, expensive cab ride at one-thirty, but then stood in the ticket agent's line where Sunshine miraculously negotiated a trade for side-by-side seats on a three twenty flight instead. We were rushed through the national departures desks, through concourse security, and onward to lonely gate two. An agent advised us our new flight was delayed. This was expected: I think national flights are systematically delayed. I could see the blue Vietnam Air seven-something-seven parked there already. They have golden lotuses painted on their tailfins. But by three fifty, when we walked the boarding plank, what waited for us was a white Saudi jet with Vietnamese antimacassars and a Turkish cabin crew. My knees were more unfortunately jammed into the next seat than usual, and the plane made a buzzing noise like a toy chainsaw when it launched sportingly into the air. But we finally touched home just ten minutes before we were even supposed to leave, assuming that six thirty-five from Hà Nội ran on time. [Cavin]

Then, a 0 sided conversation ensued...

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