Best day of my first day in Hanoi!

Best day of my first day in Hanoi!

Hanoi Day 1! The beginning of a new adventure

Today is Saturday! I decided to meet up with Thoan, whom I met on Hello Talk! I couldn’t believe that after such a short time, and not having talked much since we exchanged Messenger, we had only said to each other that we would meet up when we arrived in Vietnam. I still don’t know anything about her. All I know is that she had lived in Japan for 5 years. That’s all. I also know that her favorite food is fruit. That’s all I really knew about her, and to meet her at 11:00 a.m. the day after I arrived in Vietnam. How interesting!

Before meeting with Thoan, I wandered around the old city of Vietnam to buy water!


People in the Old Town

And I was very excited and thrilled. I had not communicated with a foreigner since January 31st, so it had been almost 3.5 months since my last time. I was nervous because I had been away for a long period of time, and above all, this was my first time in Southeast Asia and my first time to communicate properly with a foreigner. So I was really nervous. My heart was pounding and I waited in my room for the time to come. 11:30 a.m. She pick me up by motorcycle below where I was. By bike. I don’t think I’ve ever ridden a motorcycle before, so this would probably be my first time.

I thought how interesting it was to ride a motorcycle in a country where traffic is so bad. I thought it was really interesting.


Thoan will pick me up at my place of stay.

Then the time came! Thoan messaged me that she had arrived, and I said, OK! and decided to go outside. And I found someone who looked like Thoan. The place where I am staying is really in the center of the city, but it is a very dirty place. I thought, “This place is so bad. And there are not many pedestrians. So I could find Thoan easily. I am not so nervous when I speak in English, but I am nervous when I speak in Japanese, because I usually don’t get involved with Japanese people, so I don’t know how to greet them.

And today was a big experience for me because we were spending time together in Japanese. I don’t think I have had the experience of going somewhere with a Japanese girl for about three years now. Of course, I have gone out with friends, but never on a date. Thoan is a friend of mine, but since it was our first meeting, of course, it was probably more like a date. So I was very nervous about that too. I was very worried about my ability to use Japanese well.

When I approached Thoan, she spoke to me in Japanese! I was very nervous at that time. I was very nervous at the time, so I don’t remember much, but I got the impression that she was easy to communicate with. But she didn’t make eye contact with me. I think she was probably nervous too. Then, I wanted to withdraw money at an ATM called AgriBank, so we went there first.


Riding a motorcycle for the first time

I was given a red helmet and ride in the back. There is a place to put your feet on it. But it was my first time on a motorcycle and I was very scared that I might fall off the back, so for the time being, I fixed my hands on the place where I hold the back of the bike and rode all the way. Riding a motorcycle was very new to me. Riding through the bad traffic in Vietnam. It was very difficult to find an ATM, and I finally found a different one. So I withdrew 10,00,000 dong from the ATM. In Japanese yen, it was about 6000 yen. After I successfully withdrew the money, we decided to go out to eat Vietnamese food called “Bun Cha” together. When we were riding on the motorcycle, she was looking at a map on her iPhone the whole time we were driving. I thought to myself, “She must be really professional to drive in such a bad traffic place with a map in one hand. It was too amazing.” This was amazing. I’m sure that once I get used to it, I too will be able to ride while taking pictures with my iPhone.


Riding a motorcycle through the center of Hanoi

Hanoi really feels like Southeast Asia and is very Vietnamese. Garbage is on the ground, and chicken and shrimp are on the table. In the sunlight, fish are usually sold in baskets. I wondered if the fish had been landed from the dirty, smelly lake. There are many people sitting on the streets. Restaurants have tables outside like in France. Or rather, almost all of them were outside. Restaurants don’t have doors. It was like the market opens the moment the shutters are lifted and there are no doors or windows. Everyone seemed to be enjoying their meals.

There were families, and rarely a single person. There were many couples. I felt something appealing. Of course, the environment is dirty and the traffic is terrible. Motorcycles come from all directions and people don’t care if there is a traffic light. But there is something human about them. Everyone is putting it out there. I found that fascinating.

Compared to Japan, which has many rules, I think this is a place where it is easier to let out human emotions. I don’t even feel defined by the “eyes of the people around me” one bit. I wonder how mentally free it is. Everyone crosses the street at red lights and still no accidents occur. It’s all your own fault if you get into an accident. I hear a horn honking once every two seconds. In Japan, you only hear it once every 10 days or so. That’s how interesting Vietnamese people are. I felt that way. I thought that the rule of “Never cross a red light” is too strict in Japan. There are many weird Japanese who wait at a red light when there is no one else in the car. This is a really big difference.


Arrive at the restaurant for bun cha

When we arrived at the restaurant, I made eye contact with Thoan again. When we were on the motorcycle, we were facing the same direction, so we could only talk about things like, “How’s Vietnam? But once again we turned to face both directions and talked. The store looked like a food stall, and since it had a second floor, she took me there.


Famous for Bun Cha

It is really hot and very humid today. People say they don’t like summer in Japan, but no. I thought Southeast Asia was even worse. This was worse than the scorching heat.


Bun Cha, famous in Hanoi

My body temperature is 36 degrees Celsius, so I sweat easily. But when I look at Vietnamese people, I have never seen anyone sweating. When we arrived at the second floor, she ordered me a Bun Cha and a Coke. I had been rushed to the ambulance yesterday and vomited several times, so I wasn’t in the best of shape. But the bun cha looked delicious.

First, they brought the grass. I thought, “What?. It was not grass, but herbs. I laughed at the pile of herbs. And there were bun cha and some kind of spring rolls. Thoan ordered it for me. Then she wiped the plates and chopsticks with a dish towel and handed them to me. It reminded me of Saizeriya. I thought the dishes were dirty because they were not washed properly. But I liked it because it was very Vietnamese. I guess, depending on where you put yourself in an environment, your personality can change like this very quickly. In Japan, if I found dirty chopsticks, I would call the waiter and ask them to replace them, but in Vietnam, if I find a dirty plate, I just wipe it off. I don’t feel anything. So, I think again that the environment is really important.


So this is Rice Noodle.

Next to the cumin (maybe) was rice noodle. This was the rice noodle. I chose Vietnam because it was the closest to Japan in Southeast Asia and I wanted to eat rice noodle and pho. That was the reason. So, I had already fulfilled my dream. The taste was good. But I couldn’t eat all of it because it was a very large amount. Thoan was also surprised that she had never had such a large amount of food.


Bunchers eat the day after being rushed to the emergency room, which seems like a lot of food.

She laughs a lot and smiles a lot, probably because she has lived in Japan for five years. I thought this was very nice. I knew that if she always smiles and laughs, I will smile and laugh, too. I thought it was really wonderful. I heard that during the five years she lived in Japan, she studied at a Japanese language school for two years and studied business the rest of the time. And now she wants to be a trimmer in the future. That’s what she told me.

Because of Corona, she decided to return home and it has been 1.5 years since she went back to Vietnam, but she is able to communicate with me in Japanese normally. This was really incredible. I thought she was very fluent and her Japanese was too good. I asked her if she wanted to study or work in Japan again with some kind of visa, but she said it would be mentally demanding and there are a lot of rules.

She has been living in Japan for 5 years, so she seems to understand the fundamentals of Japan. She is right, Japan is good environmentally and physically, but the “mentality” is devastating. There are many rules and you have to lie (tatemae).

Then I told her about the salaryman on the train. I told her that no one would want to work in Japan if they saw that lol. I really understood her feelings immeasurably. After that, I couldn’t eat any more, so I decided to leave the restaurant.


The rice noodles and the leaves seemed to be reused, and only the bun cha and spring rolls seemed to be eaten by the guests themselves. But I couldn’t eat all of them because of what happened yesterday. I was wondering how much it would cost, but Toan paid the bill and said, “It’s fine. So I said, “Thank you!

This is my weak point. I feel sorry to have the other person pay the bill, which is something I haven’t gotten over yet. So I want to change it somehow. Japanese style’s splitting the bill is really rare. If she pay, I pay next time. I think this is the mainstream. So I don’t have to say thank you. It’s easier that way. In the first place, saying that it is wrong if a woman pays is a sign that you look down on women, and you should never think this. We are all equal.

By the way, my hair is doing very well. The humidity here is so great that it doesn’t dry out at all. So my hair usually explodes when I dry it, but here it is so smooth. It’s nice.


We decided to go to the lake where Hanoi’s famous turtle house is located.

She said to have no sense of direction, so she always forgets where everything is lol. So it was a challenge to find a parking lot. We moved from the restaurant in Bun Cha and parked the motorcycle in a parking lot near the lake. I thought that since the traffic in Vietnam is so random, parking would also be random, but it turned out to be very organized, with security guards under tents, and you have to pay for proper parking. 30,000 dong, or 360 Japanese yen. That’s cheap.


A parking lot in Vietnam. Traffic police are there.

After parking there, we headed on foot in the direction of the lake. On the way there, I was telling her about my yesterday’s events. I was taken to the ambulance and told that I had alkalosis and tetany. I told her that I had to cut back on alcohol. She was very surprised. She also told me that Vietnamese people drink beer for lunch. She said that beer tastes very good when it is very hot. But she prefers wine, and she likes white wine as much as I do. We were the same. But I couldn’t imagine wine in Vietnam at all.


We were talking about it and before we knew it, we arrived at the lake. After arriving at the lake, we took a few pictures together and started walking around the lake. I heard that many young people gather here on Saturdays and Sundays. Also, there are also events here. She told me about such things. Besides, Vietnam has four seasons, including winter. In winter, the temperature is around 5 degrees Celsius. I couldn’t imagine that it gets that cold in Vietnam. I couldn’t imagine it at all.

I found a Haagen-Dazs nearby and decided to go with her because I was in the mood for some ice cream. It was the first time in my life that I could order Haagen-Dazs. In Japan, they only sell it in cups, but here you can order it like Baskin-Robbins. That was a big surprise. And you can also do tastings and sample what you are interested in. I really felt freedom here as well.


Häagen-Dazs store.

In Japan, you are given a predetermined set of icecream, and with a “hmm” you put your spoon in the “spoon container” and order what you want to eat. When you ask for a sample of this and that, the robot-like staff says, “Only one tasting is allowed per person.” I don’t like that. But when I ask for a sample of this and this, they just say, “OK,” and give it to me. This kind of freedom is nice. The people here don’t have robots. Everyone is different. I have never seen a person with dead eyes. In Japan, there are so many dead-eyed people who have had their dreams crushed by the company and brainwashed by the rules.


Haagen-Dazs has the best matcha!

Well, at Haagen-Dazs, I ordered matcha green tea. I asked for some kind of coconut topping on top of it. Thoan also ordered mango. She seems to love mangoes and bananas. She loves the color yellow. So we walked around the lake with ice cream. It was quite big, smaller than Lake Biwa of course, but we enjoyed it very much. She has only lived in Hanoi for five months, and there are many places she has never been before. That made me happy too. There was a red bridge in the middle, which seemed to be a Buddhist shrine. So we decided to go there.


To a Buddhist shrine in the middle of the lake.

The entrance fee was about 300 yen, which was really cheap. There was a Buddhist god there, and offerings of beer and dragon fruit were available. Some people were praying hard there. Everything was written in Chinese characters. I thought that the colors were red and gold, which really symbolize Vietnam, or rather, communism.


Buy an admission ticket, and voila!

But it was nice. I think Hanoi is quite a tourist attraction because there are foreigners from Europe really everywhere in the city. For me, I really understand that the person whose dream is to come to japan. Because the environment and order are of the highest rank. Except for the “mentality and people”.

However, When I asked “Do you wanna live in Japan?” and most of the people say, “・・・”


Now, besides a place to pray, there was also a display of turtles, which are treated as sacred in Vietnam. Apparently, there were turtles in the lake here that were legendary for living 1000 years, and one died in 1964 and another in 2016. It was on display right in front of me. It weighed 250 kilograms and was 2 meters long, so it must have been pretty big.


The Legendary Turtle



Legendary Turtle 2

Then it was really hot, so the two of us stood at the cooler at the entrance like security commissioners the whole time. It was so cool. Thoan was still very energetic and curious. She, too, was very adventurous and manly. Really doesn’t care about the details, just like a man. Nice.


Go to the street where there is a bazaar like food stalls.

I saw all kinds of things. Some were selling Japanese figurines, some were playing Vietnamese cultural instruments, and some were making some kind of handmade sticks.


Vietnamese Bazaar

We decided to buy a fan because it was so hot there. They were really cheap fans, the appropriateness of them was interesting. Japan is accustomed to high quality and perfection, and for me, as a Japanese person, the sloppiness of the fans is very appealing. That’s how I feel.


We both forget where we parked our bikes.

Then we walk down the street on foot. It was time to go to the bike place! But to our surprise, neither of us could remember where it was lol. That was a bad thing. We had completely forgotten. I knew it was near Hagen Dazs, but I couldn’t remember where we went from there. There were no cars allowed around the lake, so the roads were filled with people. Kids playing badminton in the middle of the road. They are really cute. So I walked from the parking lot to the lake, but I don’t remember that. It was too hot lol. So we went back the way we came.


Durian was never my thing.

On the way there, I saw an ice cream shop, so I decided to buy ice cream there. I heard that this ice cream shop is very famous in Vietnam. She said she was going to buy the durian flavor, so I tried the same durian.


Photo shoot with famous ice cream store

I’m a curious guy, so I’m willing to try things I’ve never had before. And since it was bad, I found out that I don’t like durian. But Thoan seems to love it very much.


Durian is not my favorite.

The smell is really tough. The smell is something stinky. And since it’s so hot here, it melts right away and falls down. So I threw them in the trash on the way to the restaurant.


Watch a fashion show that lacks chic.

In one section around the lake, there was an event where fashion club kids from elementary to junior high school were performing and posing on the runway. It was totally different from France. Really. It was more, CHEESY. No chic at all. There was zero classiness or chicness. Instead, it was more entertainment, and the kids were posing with a lot of confidence, even though they were in elementary school. And mothers proudly recording with their cameras.


Fashion show lacking in chic

Gosh, I found it strangely interesting and kept watching. Thoan was also looking at me in an amused way.


At the drawing corner, we get our portraits painted.

Then, as I was walking around, I saw a group of people who looked like a group of professionals painting around the lake. It reminded me of Busan, Korea. People sketching people’s faces. I was so impressed by their work that I decided to join them! I was so touted that when I was looking at the pictures comparing which one I wanted to do, they asked me if I wanted to do it or not. I was very touted, and they kept asking me which one I wanted to do. But I was not fooled by them and went with the one I thought was good. And then I asked him to draw me a picture.

We sat there for the whole half hour or so. It was hot, so we took a break to look at the scenery and rely on the faint, clear breeze. Thoan was talking to the painter in Vietnamese. The painter was about our age, and he told us that he was in the business of importing Japanese furniture because he loved it so much.

I was just feeling Vietnam. People crossing the street. A couple talking happily. I observed the atmosphere and fashion of Vietnamese people. As I knew it was Southeast Asia, everyone was wearing tank tops and other revealing clothes. I felt that Japan was a little different. It has its own unique feeling, which is not like any other country. They are closely and intricately intertwined. That is the charm of Japan, the hassle, and the unpleasantness.

When we are depicted, many people are interested and come to see our work. We were surrounded by many tourists and locals as if we were already famous, and many of them were comparing how similar our paintings were to theirs. So I kept looking at them with a smile on my face. It’s nice that they don’t care about anything and just look at us like this. Unlike people who are kind of obnoxious or just look at you from a distance and then walk away, they look at you in a casual manner, and that’s good. So I asked the person to take a picture of me. She took a nice picture.


In the process of having a picture drawn.

So we had the painting done successfully and had it laminated as well. I was really happy that they took such good care of it. Then we paid the money and we left. We had a hard time finding our bikes. We started walking the way we came before we parked it in the parking lot and finally arrived. It was really nice. I was worried that I had lost my parking ticket, but I found it. Then we headed to a big church.


Watching other people’s weddings in a large church

We arrived at the church and parked our bikes nearby. The church was quite large and Christian in appearance. Since we were there, we decided to go inside, so we took some pictures outside and then went inside.


A large church in Hanoi

The inside is really a church, and to my surprise, they were having a wedding today. We ran into a photographer just as he was taking family photos. Although they were renting the place for a wedding, ordinary people were sitting there and we were also watching from the far seats. It was interesting how exquisite this was as well.

Even though there was a sign that said “No Photography”, people were taking pictures of other people’s weddings. Including me, of course lol. So that was really interesting too. I talked with Thoan about the differences between Vietnamese and Japanese weddings. I thought it was really complicated and hard for the bride and groom, in Vietnam where they even bring their nieces of relatives and such complicated, never-before-seen people.


Strangers watching other people’s weddings

Usually, Japan now has only family members, some invite their relatives, and some even have just the two of them in Hawaii or a different country. Vietnam is the same, and I heard that some people rent a wedding hall in Japan and get married there. So, I thought that Japan has more diversity.

So I said, “In the future, I would like to have my wedding in Antarctica. Me and my partner, with a priest, penguins and seals behind us…” I told her about my wedding dream, and she laughed. I was happy that she accepted me. Some people would say that it is impossible or something like that, but I am glad that Thoan accepted it properly lol. So I need to develop a cold-resistant wedding dress… and we both laughed about it.

The wedding shoot never ends. Just when you think the family is done, some stranger comes and shoots there again. The bride and groom stood there forever and ever. We were talking about how really hard it must be. But it was a once-in-a-lifetime wedding (I hope so), so I thought, well, that’s fine. Still, there were too many photographers.

There were six photographers. Why? lol. We laughed the whole time. Usually there is only one cameraman or something, but there were six. And the cameraman was giving them instructions, telling them to face each other and smile, and things like that. We were talking about how this would be best if it looked natural. The wedding was over, so we decided to go outside. It was as if we were at a total stranger’s wedding. We were talking about something like that.


Stop by a fruity rich café in Vietnam

When we went outside, it was very hot. There was a store next door that sold coconuts, but it was quite expensive, so we decided to take a break at a different place. I ordered an umbrella guava juice. Thoan is blueberry ice cream with juice. And she ordered some fruit, which is only available in Vietnam. It was quite hot outside, but the view was very nice.


White fruits were bad.

As it was approaching 5 o’clock, I could see that the traffic jam was getting more and more serious. The world of Vietnam was different from what I saw from TV. I eat the fruit that Thoan ordered for me. But it smelled green. It smelled like a pear or had the texture of a pear. But it smelled like grass. It was not very tasty. I wondered if it had salt on it originally, so I decided to eat it with it. It was still good. Thoan also said that this was not very tasty, giving it a 6 out of 10. That was interesting.


The motorcycle that was supposed to be parked near the church is not there!

And so, we spent some time just dawdling with each other, as if it were the twilight of dusk. As we were doing so, we noticed to our surprise that there were no motorcycles where we had stopped. I know there were a lot of police and they were probably doing traffic maintenance, but the bike had disappeared. So we thought, “Oh no!” So we hurriedly finished our drinks and went to look for the bike. We got close and looked around and the bike was there. Thank goodness. I was relieved. And so we headed to our next destination.


Realize that the most fun thing to do in Vietnam is to drive a motorcycle.

As usual, the bike ride was a real treat. We were riding down the road with a gentle breeze. Thoan was riding quickly amidst the throngs of motorcycles around us. She has only been riding a motorcycle for four months, so she is a beginner, but I really admire her for being able to ride a motorcycle like this.


Motorcycle drive! The best!

I was looking at the buildings around me and feeling Vietnam. Our destination was a lake. There is a large lake at the top, so we decided to go there. She told me that it is very delicious to eat ice cream with a gentle breeze at night, and she wanted to do that. I really want to do that too. So we headed for the lake.


Enjoy the night view on a kind of water boat.

As we passed by the lake, there was a water duck ride on the right. I thought it looked like a really fun ride, so we decided to go! It was great to be on the water for an hour and a half. It was just as the sun was going down, so I thought the night view would be beautiful. We parked the motorcycle and bought tickets for 600 yen (100,000 dong)!


Boat ticket! 600 yen is cheap!

So the attendant put us on the boat and we rowed and rowed and rowed! It went better than I expected, but I was really tired and sweating a lot because I was rowing so hard at first. I talked about how it had been a long time since I had sweated like this. Thoan told me about her memories of Japan there. I told her how amazing it was that I knew how difficult it was to speak Japanese, and that she was able to study it and speak it fluently now. Relying on the occasional gentle breeze, we spent a pleasant time on the water.


The sun is setting and there is light all around!

While she was in Japan, she went to the spot where Mt. Fuji, which is depicted on the back of the old 5000 yen bill. She showed it to me. Fuji where it is reflected in the picture. It was really, really beautiful.


She also told me about her time studying abroad. She had worked at Lawson, Ministop, and Yamato. However, she said that it was difficult and stressful in Japan because she only had a break at 12:00 noon and had to work all the rest of the day. In Vietnam, the work hours are from 8:00 to 17:00, but it seems that everyone eats breakfast from 8:00 to 8:15, and they don’t do their work perfectly. So, I heard that it is really good mentally. I really agreed with her. I don’t think you need to be that perfect at all.

When I was working at 7-Eleven, I was once told that “you should more cleaner!!” when there was a little white stain on the corner of the door of a deep fryer and I was wiping it with a rag. This is really too fine. Too fine. I felt the same way. It was getting dark and we were a little tired, so we decided to stop paddling and let the wind do the work.

I was leading like the Titanic, communicating with the wind all the way to the very edge of the water. Thoan was also standing up and taking pictures. I said, “It would have been great if we had beer,” and Thoan seemed to feel the same way. She really felt the same way. She also said that it was a great discovery for her and that it would be nice to spend time with her friends at least twice a month in a place like this, since she usually only goes around her living place. I’m glad it was a great discovery.

So we let the wind carry us along, and before we knew it, we were off to the side by about 100 meters, and this really surprised us. The wind was carrying us along. We were talking about how we should just keep going to the stop. The buildings were glowing and the food stalls surrounding the lake were glowing orange. It was really beautiful. I thought to myself, “Ah, I’m glad I came to Vietnam. I’m glad I came to Hanoi after spending an afternoon in an ambulance and an IV in the hospital and buy a new flight at a very high price.

This is what it means to spend money on “experience”: things, feelings, and discoveries that can only be experienced at this time when I was 23 years old. It is really important to experience a lot when you are physically strong and when your senses are sensitive. You can only do this when you are young. You will never come back to this time in your life. It will be deeply etched in my memory. That’s how I felt as I thought about it and as I thanked Thoan for sharing the same time with me. And I felt the best, enjoyed the best, and decided to head back to the stop since an hour and a half had passed. And we left there.


Dinner in the old town. Eating my first spring rolls.

We was hungry, so we decided to have dinner in the old town near where I was staying. She parked her bikes near a shopping street and started walking around. Some of them had meat on the desk, and Thoan said, “I’m probably going to get a stomach ache. Among them, I wanted to try spring rolls, so I asked Thoan to help me find a restaurant that served spring rolls.

Just as I was about to do that, I received a phone call from someone at the accommodation, saying that I had two keys and that they wanted one of them back. So we went back to the accommodation and handed over the key to the person. I had mistakenly taken two keys. Then we went back to the market in the old town.

And to our surprise, frogs were sold there. I could not hide my surprise. It was indeed disgusting. I heard that this is food. Moreover, Thoan seems to be able to eat that frog, which I thought was amazing.


Frogs for sale.

We finally found a restaurant that served spring rolls and went there. It was in a corner of a shopping street. We ordered some spring rolls, some with kikurage mushrooms, some with a clear spring roll on the outside, some with meat and noodles, and some Hanoi beer. Finally! So we were a little tired. Looking around, we toasted each other, thinking back on how intense and fun our first day in Vietnam had been. Hanoi beer. I can’t eat much or drink much alcohol because I was rushed to the emergency room yesterday after vomiting so much.


Drinking Hanoi Beer

So I had a little bit of a drink and got a little flustered, so I decided to leave it to Thoan. I was totally drunk. It was really bad to get drunk after such a little bit. Thoan also said, “It’s terrible that a person who drinks six or seven drinks can get drunk with just this much. It was really true. And I was full right away.


Super tasty spring rolls!

The spring rolls had meat and cumin-like herbs inside. They were dipped in some kind of sauce with papaya in it. It was also very tasty. But the wood ear mushroom was much better. The sauce was the best. Then we talked about world cuisines. I told Thoan that I love French food the most and that the plate I had in Paris, French is unforgettably delicious. I heard that Thoan likes both Japanese and Western food. We talked about such things.


The DUI ban seems to be a Texan thing. The cops never saw it in the first place.

We sat there for about an hour and I got drunk in the middle of it and kept looking at one point and Thoan was laughing about it and filming me being drunk. But Thoan was also red in the face and said that if she drove the bike and the police found us like this, she would be fined, so I told her “why don’t you just wear a mask?” We got to talking about traffic in Vietnam, and I asked her if it was okay to drink and drive and she said that it was normal for everyone, but that the police did not have the time to monitor every single thing. I also heard that the police don’t care that much.


Toan is red in the face lol.

But I heard that it is usually drunk drivers who cause accidents. So, with Thoan’s face red, we finished our meal and walked out together. We started walking toward the lake.


Go to the lake at night and tell stories.

Since it was Saturday, there were so many people that I had a hard time just going along the street because I was afraid I would run into a motorcycle. However, I kept walking, feeling Vietnam and the vibrancy of the many young people. I came back to the place where I had been this afternoon, and there were so many young couples, friends, and families. But mostly couples.

There were a large number of couples sitting all around the lake, about 75 centimeters apart. The amount of couples was really amazing. It was there that Thoan and I got into a conversation about love. In Vietnam, it seems that university is the place where people meet, and many people get married there. I heard that one of Thoan’s friends already has a child. I was surprised to learn that Vietnamese people get married so early.

In Japan, probably 28 or 30 or something like that. I, too, can’t imagine being a father now at all, and I’m not confident about it. I thought, “How can I protect others when I haven’t established myself yet? “ Thoan said the same thing, “You have to establish yourself first,” and that she couldn’t imagine having a child! I can’t imagine having a child too! But I told her, “Maybe when you actually have a child, you will become stronger, and when you have something to protect, your determination and way of thinking will change. I really think that’s true.

But after you get married, you have to take care of your children, and it’s hard to do this kind of thing, so I really felt that it’s important to enjoy the best you can right now. We found a place to sit amidst the many couples, and there we were, looking at the lake reflected in the light of the beautifully shining buildings, and talking about such things. We also talked about my desire to travel the world, the difficulties of Japan, and why I am here.

I told him that I was bullied, that I didn’t want to be in Japan anymore, and that I was frustrated about Japanese labor at my part-time job in college, and that I am now going around and finding my place in Japan one by one. Toan is always saying, “Great! I like it! with a smile on his face, which was really wonderful and comforting. I have an image that Japanese people don’t often say such things. First of all, they get jealous. That’s why it’s hard to talk about this kind of thing. It makes enemies. However, since Vietnamese affirm things like this and don’t tell lies (tatemae), I really felt comfortable talking with them.

I was asked what I thought about Vietnamese women, and I answered, “They are more mentally solid and have their own axis than Japanese women. I told him that Vietnamese women are mentally stronger than Japanese women and have their own axis, and that they are not peaceful. While many Japanese women are indecisive, slow, and reserved, and peaceful, Vietnamese women are strong and firm. They don’t care. I shared that this is how I really felt. I was right. However, she also said that when Vietnamese people fight, they don’t care or think about the other person’s feelings, so things get very heated.

I think that is the true essence of human being. It is only when we fight with each other that energy comes out of it, and that is what makes us human. Therefore, I think it’s not good idea that people should be not so angry because they are concerned about other people. That is why I said that many Vietnamese women are very energetic and full of energy. And Vietnam is a vibrant country. There are many young people, and many buildings and hotels are under construction.

So, I shared with her that I thought it would develop very much in the future. This is what I wanted to feel, and I am glad that I could really feel it.


We talked about our encounters.

It seems that in Vietnam it is common for people to meet at universities and a whopping 1 in 2 couples. This was too much. I told her that in my department, it was about one in 20, and she said that was too bad. We talked about such things. We were talking about how many Japanese people are shy and reserved, so it is hard for them to be proactive. Being talked to on the street is not a problem at all in Vietnam, and it is quite normal, apparently. So it seems that there is no definition of “picking up girls” or anything like that, and talking to people on the street and asking them out on a date is also a normal part of the culture. So I thought that was wonderful.

We also talked about that in Japan, there is a rapid increase in people using online dating, and that is not good. It’s not fun to be romantically involved with someone and have to look at them as a potential love interest from the beginning. For a one-night stand or a friendship, it’s fine because looks are important, but for a date or a relationship, we both agreed that it’s definitely better to have a romantic, chance (or inevitable) encounter and fall in love with each other.

I talked about Thoan. I told her that I felt she is always smiling, which made me wonder if she was taking care of me all the time, and that I was worried if she was taking care of herself because she was too kind, and she said, “I love myself, so I’m fine. It was really great. That’s how it should be! Because you love yourself, you can love others. That’s what it’s all about. That’s really it. Love yourself first. It’s very important.


And I shared my dreams.

I was talking about how I wanted to move abroad in the future and was looking for a country to do so, or how I wanted to become a pilot and fly. And Thoan would always say, “I like it! I think it’s great!” with a smile. She herself is a masculine, detail-oriented, curious, and risk-taking type of person, so I felt like she was encouraging me in these areas, which made me really happy. It made me want to do my best, too.

We were having this conversation by the lake at 11pm (there were still tons of people there). It was a really good memory. I will never forget the atmosphere. We sat cross-legged, looking into each other’s eyes from time to time and smiling as we communicated. I will never forget this moment. This time is an unforgettable memory for my life. I am so glad that I was able to make memories.

She seems to be living with someone else and calls her “sister”, and she seems that she is her roommate and she had to leave soon, so we walked to the parking lot. I had been exhausted from the scorching heat and humidity for the first time in a long time, so I was glad to be going home. So Thoan drove me back to where we were staying. I thanked her and said bye-bye.

Thoan was really manly on Messenger, and only used stamps, “O-okay! or “Good night” or something like that, so I thought she was really manly. This is really just right. Girls who are too girly are a pain in the ass.