We spent the morning visiting bà T’s house – the newly renovated one. Of course, the house was full of cats, but it is way cleaner and more well-organized now. Mostly because bà moved the stairs from the side to the middle, eliminating the unused space to add another bedroom. This bedroom means that bà and cô M will have two separate rooms for privacy, which I am so happy about given their drastically different lifestyles. I took a fat nap on bà’s mattress and woke up feeling fresher than ever. I think I have been way too active that I just need some moments of pure rest recently!
In the afternoon, I ran some errands with Minh. Specifically, we ate lunch @ our favorite bánh cuốn place (Đầu ngõ 67 Đỗ Quang); I took him to pick new glasses, and I renewed my Vietnamese ID. Among all activities, my favorite moment was when Minh and I went to Soya Garden because we were craving some tau hu (a tofu dessert). We had trouble finding a location, though I remember there were plenty last year and the map didn’t really indicate permanent closure. Turn out, they have closed 80% of their business and are on the edge of bankruptcy. Minh and I researched about them and read out loud the brutal facts while enjoying their tofu, laughing our a** off. Not like it’s super funny, just that it was so ironic if you really think about it haha!
In the evening, I had a reunion with the whole 9a5 gang. We met our moms first @ Paris Baguette so we could update them about our lives. I love 9a5’s moms because they are the strongest, most independent, and most talented women I have ever met. Their life = a happy well-paid job + a happy family, which I think is quite rare to come across in this society. I admire them and love hearing their stories about us when we were younger, or even stories that happened recently.
After that, together we then headed to Lẩu Cua Minh Anh (8 Nguyễn Biểu). Here, I finally met LH (this time with her plus one) and QAB after a long time. I feel like they have changed a lot, in a positive way – more mature and more career-focused. I would like to chat more with them and keep them around in my life because they are great people.
At Nighttime, VL and I hung out with LH and BP; partly because we were hungry, but mostly because we wanted to maximize our experiences in Hanoi. We inhaled the bread from Bánh Mì Dân Tổ and walked along Hồ Hoàn Kiếm. We also joined a singing group and checked out some tò he as we talked about a zillion random things on the way. The night was young, fun, beautiful, and hot. Would love to do this all over again… Hopefully, another day soon…!