Hanoi. What can I say? Loud, honking, mysterious, exhausting. On our first day, I wander the maze of the old quarter, transfixed. One street sells t-shirts and one sells shoes. Another for soft drink syrup and one for beach party gear. Still another for paper and one for party supplies. Above all this, the din of motorbikes honking and people yelling. A sense of intrigue, like anything could happen here. By the end it’s exhausting and hot and I don’t want to go outside, but in the beginning, pure excitement.

And then we go see the Conjuring 2. We’re in Vietnam watching an American movie about British people, based on the real life wackos from the town I grew up in. Globalism? The mall itself spans several blocks. More luxurious than any American mall. Vietnam’s aspirations on display — Japanese store after Japanese store, Korean gadgets, and good old American Yankee Candle & Dairy Queen. We eat at Cowboy Jack’s American Food. Burgers & fries. This is what you do after 6 weeks of travel in the summer heat of Asia. A movie, then burgers and fries.

The restaurant has America down pretty well- from the lettering on the sign (burgers & cold drinks) to the “county fair” mason jar containing my lemonade. The lemonade is far better than any I’ve had in the US – sparkling blueberry. The burger is also better than most. Now we just need some surfing and dark beer and we’ll be back home.