Imagine my son Tom said to his wife, “I know, let’s go out into Birmingham City Centre for the day. We’ll take baby Phoebe on a scooter between us. We’ll wear Bob the builder hats, she can just wear her little woolly hat, and Oh, why don’t we strap a wheelie bin on, and a Christmas tree for good measure. We’ll put everything on sideways to make the scooter three times the width and very unstable. It’ll be dark on the way back, but we won’t bother with lights. We can just weave in and out with all the traffic on the Aston Expressway, maybe cross the lanes without any signals.”
I kid you not, this is exactly how it feels to be here. I am now holed up in my large and spacious bedroom, having consumed a huge bag of cheap bright orange Whotsits and Mr P is drinking Hanoi canned beer after a 45 minute ‘initiation to Hanoi’ cab ride from the airport.
This hotel room costs not much more than my bunk in the 8 bed dorm in Hong Kong, but here there’s a huge bigger than king sized bed, a tele, tea and coffee making facilities, and a massive bath. And all the enticing but bad for the planet little packets of toiletries and toothbrushes and shower caps and cotton buds. In a flash I’ve put on the complimentary robe ad the slippers and it’s only 7.21pm. I know I know. There’s a whole world out there waiting for me to explore. But right now I’m not sure I dare set foot outside for fear of being run over. I’m not very good at crossing the road at the best of times, and it will take some working up to. Right now, a five quid room service pizza and a long hot bath has never seemed so appealing.