Makassar to Hanoi

Roaming the little alleys of Makassar near the harbor, some little wider than a meter, and as always responding to all calls of “hello misterrr”. At one point there was a bunch of older children in an Internet café, and Google Translate actually let us communicate, after a fashion. The crowd quickly grew to 20 or 30 children of all ages, some carried by their mothers. They wanted photos, and were screaming with laughter at the results.

In the evening, I left Indonesia (my visa was about to expire), and after a night in an airport hotel in Kuala Lumpur that charges extra for a towel, I am now in Hanoi, Vietnam. Hanoi is much bigger and much more busy than Makassar. Little seems to have changed since my last visit in 2008. Spent much of the afternoon chatting with locals, who always seem to be happy to try out their English on the few foreigners around. Most of whom have their eyes glued on the next temple or pagoda and ignore everything else. Their loss.

Vietnamese food is fantastic. Even and especially in the small street kitchens dotting Hanoi’s inner city.