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The Stench is Hmong Us

Posted by christina_teamaquaphor on Dec 12, 2007 4:52:35 PM

Jeremy entertained himself so much coming up with this title that I wondered whether he wet his pants. That would have done them a favor.


We're standing in the lobby of the Hanoi Elegance Hotel #2, our tiny space of sanctuary, as we wait for our room to become available. We have just spent the last three nights and two days traveling by two overnight trains, enjoying the terraced rice fields of Sapa, and spending time with some of the local tribes (among them the Hmong). The trains make the ~8 hour journey in the middle of the night, so we arrived back to Hanoi at 4:30AM. Jeremy had done a little sniff check last night and concluded that his clothes are potent weapons of mass destruction. I don't know why that would be the case. We only hiked in the direct sun, in 90 degree weather, through dust and mud for 15 km, visiting a few local villages and their pigs and water buffalo before riding in a packed van with others who had done the same, sharing air space with nasty fuel-related fumes along a windy road to the Vietnam-China border before getting on our sleeper train. But, we have a plan. I will shower while he calls in the Hazmat team to contain our clothing. We believe war will be avoided.


I feel like I'm not that bad off. Sure, my clothes feel as if they have a bit of a sticky dried sweat coating on the inside, but my shirt actually doesn't smell too bad. Nonetheless, we're thankful that we splurged on the Hanoi Elegance Hotel #2.


Talk about romance, here's a photo of our overnight train car that we shared with two locals.







Modeling the shirt of mass destruction.





For earlier in the day, we hiked for hours in the sun on our Vietnamese safari.







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