Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Tuesday: Rest, Visa, Homesick for Saigon

Tuesday, November 4th
Tuesday we spent most of the day resting in our hotel room. Hung has a cold and he and Alex napped together.

At 2pm we had our appointment at the US Embassy to complete Alex's immigration visa application. It went very quickly and we were done within 15 minutes. Now all our official adoption business here is done and we are free to come home with Alex.

Tuesday evening was a low point for me. Here are some notes I wrote then:
Hung and Alex are both asleep and I'm checking my email. I'm feeling bummed. We went to a restaurant that was recommended by the hotel front desk staff, but it was disappointing. It turned out to be a fancy restaurant and we felt very much on edge the whole time because of the setting and the fact that we had two squirmy babies with us. Alex started out okay and was eating his soup, but when he got squirmy things got difficult because this was NOT the sort of place you could let a kid run up and down the aisle in. I stood up to hold and bounce him to settle him down and the staff swooped in and started clearing the table. But we hadn't finished eating! Hung told them he was still eating so they brought him a new plate and silverware. Alex seemed okay as long as I was standing with him. I was drinking water and he wanted some too so I held the glass up for him to sip. I set it down to take a bite of food, but I saw him reaching for the glass again. I thought I grabbed the glass in time, but even though I had it in my hand he smacked it out of my hand and it crashed against the table and shattered into a million pieces. No one was hurt, but I was thoroughly embarassed. I took Alex out to the street while Hung paid the bill and gathered up our baby gear. Of course Alex was perfectly fine once we were out on the street, smiling and blinking/winking at me and waving at passersby. Finding a place to eat dinner feels hard in Hanoi. We already had our bearings in Saigon and now we're starting all over again. We have some general sense of where things are, but we don't know where to eat. All the restaurants in the guidebook are at least several long blocks away, and most are further. That's why we stayed at the fancy restaurant - if we would have left, we wouldn't have known where else to go. In Saigon there was so much of everything just within two or three blocks of our hotel. I guess we're a little bit homesick for Saigon. Hung says the northern dialect is hard for him to understand too. In Saigon he understood 80%, but here it's more like 10-20% of what people are saying.


  1. Haha--I recognize that shirt! Thanks for all the updates, Siiri. It's like reading a novel and not being able to wait for the next chapter!

  2. What a sweet photo of father and son!
    Siiri, don't worry about the restaurant. We've all been there! You and Hung are doing a fantastic job with Alex. I'm impressed with how well it's going with traveling, eating out, napping with a toddler.