We woke up excited to check on the election results, but the polls were still open at home.
This morning we (Hung, Siiri, Karin, Rosemary & kiddos) decided to explore on foot in a new direction. We walked to the West Lake and along the shore for a little bit. Then we headed south past the presidential palace and the Ho Chi Minh Memorial and Mausoleum. What a contrast from the Old Quarter where we explored on Monday! The streets are very broad, the sidewalks are wide and empty of motorbikes and vendors. Everything looks so vast and open. We wanted to sit at a cafe to rest, but couldn't see anyplace in view so we asked a guard for directions. We walked three blocks to a cafe, then retraced our steps to visit the One Pillar Pagoda (pictured). Hung is still feeling under the weather so took a cab back to the hotel.
The cab dropped us at the corner where we procured bread and sandwich meat and Rosemary picked up a kohlrabi. We all ate together in our room while the kids played on the floor. How much easier and happier a mealtime than last night! We checked the election results together. Hung and I are very pleased and relieved that our school district's operating referendum passed by a healthy margin this time around. That's good news for Alex's school.
We retired to nap the afternoon away again. We planned to rendezvous with Karin & Co. to go to the water puppet show after naptime. Alex was playful and reluctant to nap, but he did eventually. After naptime we fed him instant porridge. He happily ate it. Maybe this is what we should be doing every night. By the time we took a taxi to the water puppet theater, all but the late show was sold out. We opted to buy early matinee tickets for tomorrow instead. So we walked through the Old Quarter back in the direction of our hotel again. The streets really are alive at night in Vietnam. It's as though everyone's living room is the sidewalk in front of their shop. Lots of kids and babies were out, most of them wanting to wave and chat with our kids. We ate dinner at Little Hanoi since we'd enjoyed our lunch there on Monday. Little Hanoi even had a fan on. (Most restaurants have been stuffy - I guess the locals find the weather cold so they aren't using fans or airconditioning now). Alex wasn't hungry since we'd already fed him, but I managed to keep him pretty well entertained through constant interaction. It was a successful dinner out!