We were very sad to leave the comforts of our regal hotel only to find ourselves at another resplendent hotel, this time it was the Hotel Metropole (Sofitel) in Hanoi, Vietnam. I have always found Vietnam to be very special as it gives us glimpses of Asia at the turn of the century. Staying at the Metropole, I felt like I had stepped back in time. There were two times that severely marked this hotel, the year it was built, and the years it was bombed (when the singer Joan Baez stayed and wrote a song to commemorate it).
In Hanoi we were met by the honorable and gracious gentleman, Alvaro Guzman who affectionately became my “cousin” given our common last name. Alvaro introduced us to the luscious Vietnamese coffee drink, No Da coffee. YUM!!! I’m not a fan of coffee, but when the Vietnamese make it and drown it in condensed milk, it becomes quite a tasty concoction indeed. I never have felt have had enough time in Vietnam. I always leave craving more. This time was no exception.
I presented a Masterclass at the Vietnam Conservatory of Music in Hanoi graciously presented by the beautiful Huong Thu Le. She had lined up about 15 students who performed for me. I was so endearing to present the elements of Beatbox to all these countries. And to see the smiling faces of all the students was priceless. Our concert was held at the Metropole Hotel where several of the students attended including a young and very beautiful young lady, Giang Nguyen Hoang Hien who has since become my Facebook friend. She is lovely and I look forward to visiting with her again on my next trip to Hanoi. Our last day in Hanoi, the Ambassador of Chile in Hanoi took us around to the Turtle Temple where at the bottom of the lake legend states there lives an ancient and wise turtle. Mahani and I had dresses custom made at one of the tailors. The traditional Vietnamese dress is so elegant and flattering to wear. It was so nice when Alvaro took us to the Temple of Literature where we saw all the recent high school graduates wearing their traditional dress. They looked spectacular. Thanks to Facebook, again, I am now friends with several of these lovely young ladies as we ended up taking a few Flying Shots together. What a memorable day this was for all of us!