Confused of Hanoi

Maybe it was the change of weather or a bad wind, but I was utterly foxed the other day when a complete stranger thrust his phone into my hand.

To give a bit of context, I was sitting on a bench with my back to the road talking to my security guard pal when this gentleman seemingly appeared out of nowhere behind us and handed me his phone without a word of explanation.

For some reason I decided in my head that he wanted me to talk to his kid/wife/someone-he-knows-who-speaks-English for a little chat. This has happened to me before with random Vietnamese strangers I have met.

Anyway, I said hello and this woman replied in accented English and then asked me where I was. So I replied Hoang Dao Thuy.

“Where on Hoang Dao Thuy?”
“At Twitter Beans.”
“What are you doing there?”
“I am sitting on the bench.”
“What??? Why are you sitting on the bench?”
“Cos it’s lunchtime!”
“What??? I don’t care it’s lunchtime…unintelligible angry words including the F-word several times. You getta here right now, okay!!!”

Then she abruptly hangs up. I stare at the phone for a second, then give it back to the guy. WTF, was that all about? I look at DC, the bảo vệ, but he doesn’t seem to have a clue either.

Then the guy gives me his phone for a second time. This time I can see it’s the address of an Indian restaurant. Then it clicks; he is a taxi driver. I turn around fully then and notice his car parked behind us but there’s nothing to indicate it’s a taxi. In my broken Vietnamese I manage to establish with DC that the guy is at the right building, but the wrong side. The restaurant is round the back.

Poor guy probably got a mouthful when he rocked up at this woman’s restaurant a minute later. If that was your taxi, sorry. I was a bit dense that day.

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