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Vietnam Adoption

Molly's Adoption Story

7 October 1999 - We're Off!

We get great window seats on the flight to Singapore – at first we can’t get good seats, but we’re lucky once onboard the plane that we see two empty seats (bulkhead plus window) and when we enquire about them, we’re allowed to change seats. Our spirits are high and we have a super flight. During the night I look out the window, and such a star-filled night sky I’ve never seen in my life. I even see a shooting star! When we land in Singapore, the crescent moon shows itself in the light of the dawn. Beautiful. I take it all as good omens.

8 October 1999 - Arrival in Vietnam

We have a stopover in Singapore airport for about 4 hours. It’s morning. There’s a roof-top look-out veranda, and we go there and spend at least an hour just feeling the heat and moisture in the air. We’ve never experienced such a climate before.

On to Hanoi as scheduled. When we land we’re the only airplane in sight! And this is an international airport… When we enter the airport building it really looks like the incarnation of socialist/communist officialdom. Needless to say, no photography is allowed. We get through customs fairly quickly – no problems whatsoever. There is only one baggage belt and all our luggage soon arrives. We grab our things and in excited anticipation go towards the exit. Will Mrs. Ha be there? We see a large crowd of people, but then we spot Mrs. Ha who is standing there with a big sign saying “Lacey Family”. She seems nice. She has a taxi ready for us and together we drive towards Hanoi. We look out the windows all the way and take in the sight of the green rice fields with farmers working in their bare feet, with water buffalos and wearing the traditional cone hats. We feel like we’ve come to a different planet. We’re fascinated.

Green Park HotelWe arrive at Green Park Hotel and are greeted as kings and queens. We even say hello to the owner of the hotel. Our suite is huge! Two large rooms and a very big bathroom with a jacuzzi. The baby cot is there too. They ask us “where baby?” We smile and try to explain “On Monday…”

It’s Friday afternoon, and we haven’t slept a wink since we left Denmark about 30 hours ago. But we’re high on adrenalin and game for experiences. We save the unpacking for later and go down to exchange our money in reception and become Dong millionaires. We enquire about booking a trip to Ha Long Bay but the prices we’re given sound quite high. A friend at home had told me to go to Queen Café but when we ask the hotel they appear not to understand. But we decide to try for ourselves, look up and find the address of Queen Café in a telephone directory, and hail a cyclo outside the hotel.

This is our first cyclo trip through the streets of Hanoi. Wow!!! That’s all we can do – we sit with our mouths open and keep exclaiming “wow! – look at that!” The traffic is incredible. Pedestrians, bicycles, mopeds, motorcycles… and everybody is beeping and shouting. You never look back – only in the direction where you’re going! Fascinating.

We get to Queen Café which proves to be a small, very scruffy-looking internet-café cum restaurant cum travel agency. But no complaints about the service – the people are really friendly and helpful – and we book a two-day trip to Ha Long Bay over the weekend. The price for the bus trip, lunches, sailing trip, hotel in Ha Long Bay, and back again – plus an English-speaking guide, all costs 24 US dollars per person!! If my friend at home hadn’t told me about this beforehand we would not have believed it. The only drawback is that we’ll have to get up at 6 a.m. tomorrow….

We go for a walk around the old streets of Hanoi and discover an incredibly colourful market with meat, fruit, eggs and everything else besides. We arrange with our cyclo driver that he will pick us up at 6.30 a.m. the next morning to be at Queen’s Café at 7. (more...)

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Read the complete travel journal: http://www.laceysenderovitzfamily.dk/Molly%20pages/Molly_main.htm


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