At 9am I trot off with Tony to the Police station where he asks me loads of questions that I know are going to be useless in finding my gear. Whoever did this would have slipped into the night with enough gear to keep a family going for half a year in Hanoi, I only hope that that’s what it does do.
So the policeman is serious in the beginning but as the interview goes on he loosens up. In fact he loosens up so much that he starts showing me pictures of his daughter suggesting a liaison, he also suggests that now that he has my email address that he might visit me in the UK. Great I say, bring me my laptop and phone and you’ll get a room for the night with potato pancakes for breakfast. He is obviously over the moon about this because he orders me a beer. It’s 9.30 am by this time but I drink it, I’m giving in to fate by now so why struggle.
The hotel manager is looking worried. His hotel has been slated on the web so he doesn’t need this kind of publicity. He looks more broken than me, so we come to a deal. I get a laptop back and we re brand his hotel, build him a new website and get it listed on the web.
It’s actually a week later as I write this, I’m writing it on my new laptop and he has a website here www.hanoicamelothotel.com – I also had free lodging for the week and as much beer as I could drink, For some reason that I can’t fathom Tony thinks that westerners are fuelled by beer, so he makes sure the minibar never runs out and that my batteries are being recharged.
What a week, all grist for the mill.