Waking up this morning, I couldn’t hear the rain. I put my hand on the door handle and it starts. Hunger is a powerful thing, and I thought I would be okay outside. I stumble out the front door of the hotel; the rain is coming down consistently, not heavy.. Just enough to get soaked through.
I walk around the block, searching the streets for a cafe. The rain is gathering momentum. I take a side street, maybe there is food down there?
It just keeps raining.
More fucking rain
The streets are now flooding, it starts very quickly. One second there is just water a little water on the road, next thing it’s up to my ankles. Just moments later the water is calf high, then knee high.
I take refuge in a guest house. No one speaks English. I took too many turns, and I’m completely lost.
“Fuck” stupid fucking rain.
The skies hear me and thunder rolls, it’s getting heavier. I have nowhere to go.
“Taxi?” I ask the hotel staff
They shake their heads; they have no idea what I am asking.
Twenty minutes pass. It’s not just raining cats and dogs; this is raining horses and goats. All the water that Australia needs to break the drought is here, in Hanoi. On my street.
I brave the flooding to find the next hotel. I have to find transport. I have to get to my hotel. Still, I haven’t found food and my stomach rumbles as loud as the thunder in the streets.
Strangely, when it rains in Hanoi, the taxis stop operating. I must find out why.
I come to the steps of another guest house, they have a map. I take a copy and locate my hotel on it. A lady outside is selling raincoats made of the same strength plastic as a plastic shopping bag. I pay 5000 dong, about 50c, and pull it over my head. It rips instantly. But at least I’m mostly covered.
My head is pounding from the cheap alcohol of last night, not only have I not found food, I haven’t found water either. Luckily I took a panadol before going to sleep and I am at least partially functioning. Clearly my sense of reason isn’t back or I would never have left the hotel in this rain. It looks innocuous enough, but is actually an evil rain, that just never ever stops. It seems to, for just a second, just long enough for a false sense of security, and then it comes back twice as hard and for hours at a time. It’s been 3 days now, and it hasn’t been sunny enough to wear my sunglasses yet. But I don’t want to complain. I came here for adventure, right? Well, here it is. Lost, wet, hungry. Did I mention really really lost? And really hungover?
My head is thumping. I need to get back. God, I need a coffee.
Finally, a motorbike driver sees me and I offer him the equivalent of $2 to take me back to my hotel. He accepts, it’s more money than he will probably make all day, and we set off.
Back in my hotel, I’m warm, safe and dry. And bored. I can’t hear the rain from my room, and besides, it doesn’t look so bad out there….besides, I still need that coffee.