On Saturday, it rained at lunch time. It wasn't a sudden stormy downpour which floods the roads and is gone, leaving little evidence of its existence a mere 30 minutes later. It was steady and I was forced inside without having had my coffee.
I slept. A headache ensued.
Later, from the wrong side of the bed, the situation outside the window had improved. An abating spit accompanied me to one of Hanoi's cafe strips in Trieu Viet Vuong, south of the old quarter. Here, neon-lit, television punctuated, ostentatiously decked out coffee shop monstrosities are side by side with the classic Hanoi style cafe. I zipped up and down, checking ambience, weighing up my options.
It was too much. There are too many.
I shot around the block into Bui Thi Xuan, which runs parallel. A place I'd spied on previous ride-bys beckoned. On past occasions, when not one stool was vacant, I'd cursed and pressed on to old favourites. This day, post rain, I was in luck. One group of forty-something blokes were puffing and sipping. At another table, a father and his young son shared the caffeine addiction, one with coffee, the other with coca-cola. But for them, it was me and my brew.
The fans whirred. The rain had stopped. All was well.
45a Bui Thi Xuan