I ran East Coast parkrun in the morning. A torrential downpour just before the start cooled us all down. Despite the humidity the course is pretty fast, helped by being flat. It’s an out-and-back, and even the turn is pretty quick, taking a wide swoop round rather than a 180 degree turn.
Two people from my hostel were there, though it took German Jennifer to point that out and say hello. I’d not noticed, nor would I have recognised them in any case. They asked my pb, which gave a false idea of my speed – pb shmeebee, I need a phrase for current best. CB, then. In the end, young Dave, only recently a sub 20 runner from his own account, was catching me at the end and would have done so with another 500m or so. I was a bit disappointed not to nip under 19, but 19:02 with tired legs and in humid conditions wasn’t bad.
It started at 7.30, so even after chatting at the end to very friendly locals – albeit Mauritz is studying in the UK and the others who passed to talk were ex pats – I had jogged back by 9.30. Time for a change, a sociable breakfast – lots of nice people in the hostel – and a scoot to lovely Changi airport. One tasty pad Thai, two meals on the plane and a three hour flight later and I was in Hanoi. There’s a tourist info spot in the airport, so I quickly found out that the buses leave from the other terminal and hopped on the transfer bus. I failed to find the local bus – all the way over to the far right of the car park – but still felt smug getting a minibus. It was 8 times more expensive. But it’s 33000 VND to the £, 5k for a bus, 40k for a minibus, for an hour’s journey. I’m happy with my choice.
Hanoi. Buzzing motorbikes, light and colour, surrounded by a dark haze given the late hour. I walked to the hostel, learning how to cross streets and remembering others’ stories – I think of crossing in China, but still – as I went.