Vietnam Info

« | Main | »


By Dan | June 24, 2007

Back from shopping at the “mall.” This one is actually a more western-style shopping mall, with mostly enclosed stores and a couple cart kiosks. It covers the first floor of the Hanoi Towers, which is kind of an extended hotel arrangement used by many foreigners that are in for long stays, including adoptive families. It’s expensive (about 200USD / day) but apparently worth it for extended stays. I’m guessing the majority of guests are from the US, as the shops all take USD (not uncommon) but most handle enough of it that they gave change in USD (only place we have seen that). We got some souvenirs, but were kind of disappointed as the souvenir type shopping was much better at the tax center in HCMC. If things continue to get better, we may ask at the desk if there is another place to shop as we are in a touristy area I think.

Earlier while I was catching up this journal, Shannon had a burst of energy and completely cleaned the hotel room. Between our hasty packing, our late arrival, and the poor schedule, the entire room was a disorganized mess. We didn’t just dump any luggage out on the floor, but in some cases we might as well have. Now luggage is at least tucked into corners and a bit better organized, and we have found homes for things like strollers. This room is bigger than the one in HCMC, but we have no more wall space with the way things are. Of course, if we were staying more than 3 days we probably would have actually unpacked, since this room has a closet with actual clothing storage (HCMC just basically had a hanging wardroom). Bottles are all washed (not washed as needed), and everything is much more homey. A good feeling.

After we got back from shopping we tried to put the twins down for a nap, as while they were great shopping, the were starting to act tired and a bit cranky at the end. We figured that between being tired and overdue for anti-histamine, it would be relatively easy. WRONG! We think we tried to put them down too fast and they were suffering from over stimulation from actually being out in public, possibly combined with the relative silence of this room (both compared with the orphanage and the shopping trip) and other things. Thanh went straight to sleep for all of 5 minutes, and then was up and almost inconsolable. Vinh was just inconsolable… didn’t want to be held (very unusual for him) but screamed all the louder when he was put down. Bottles (water, dilute juice, or electrolytic powder) usually will slow both of them down at least, but neither would take one for more than a second or two. After almost an hour of me holding Thanh he finally settled down and crashed on the bed. I still have no idea what Shannon did to get Vinh in his crib, as it has been impossible for me to do so. (Shannon never succeeded in getting him in his crib in HCMC, I was the only one who could get him there, and it often took several tries.) Anyway, hopefully that was a lesson learned, and we will let them settle down before trying to put them down after being out.

Once we finally had them down we ordered room service. When it arrived they set up the card next to a bedside light that is on a dimmer. I commented to Shannon that it was our romantic candle light meal of the trip… :) Not quite, but probably going to have to do.

Called Fred (Shannon’s father) yesterday and asked him to handle re-booking our plane tickets for us. Apparently, it took quite a while to find something, and according to Anne (Shannon’s mother) he spent quite a while patiently telling our story and that we really needed to get home. From Anne’s two sentence account, I’m guessing Delta followed the same trail we did to find the tickets in the first place and checked their own flight last, which is a little interesting. It is significantly less convenient, taking 30 hours instead of 26 or so and only operating 4 days a week, but that is where most of the availability is. (Actually, when I called originally Delta did not check this flight first either, even though I let the rep know I was expecting we would need to take it.) Regardless, the punch line is that we are now re-booked to leave at 1:30 Wednesday morning, with the same almost 8 hour layover in Seoul. The only difference is that we now only have a 2 hour layover in Atlanta to clear immigration, claim luggage, clear customs, and recheck luggage. Therefore, there is a non-trivial chance we may not make the connection. We are not concerned about it tho. Between having business class tickets, my platinum status, and the fact that we are traveling on a Wednesday night with two later flights, I’m not worried about getting home still that evening even if we miss it.

Overall, my read is that Thanh is adjusting well, especially considering the miserable schedule that has even wrecked havoc with my travel-tested bio-and psycho-systems. He seems to get happier and more playful every day. Vinh has further to go, but there are signs of improvement there as well. Unfortunately, our sleep deprivation is not letting us enjoy it much, but it does give us hope that someday we will fall into a routine and be able to be a family rather than a traveling circus. While we still have a long way to go, we hope that they have somewhat turned the corner, and will benefit from the regularity of getting into a routine, is all that is really keeping us going right now. I think that brings me almost current, other than some other topics that I will probably add after we get home. Kids are still asleep, so going to try to catch a nap as well.

Topics: Uncategorized | No Comments »


You must be logged in to post a comment.