Friday, 18 December 2009

From the pages of Hanoi Home Beautiful

Having left you waiting outside our house long enough, we've decided to let you inside.

So, welcome.

The ground floor is a huge empty shop space, which we use for our shoes and our bicycles:

The next floor is the guest bedroom:

With a view of some of Hanoi's excellent electricity wiring:

Then we go up another level, so now we're this far up:

And you get to our room. This is where we never sleep in, thanks to the blarings of the community loudspeaker outside the window and the traffic and construction and whatever other torment is inflicted upon us on any given day:

Our room has a beautiful balcony into the trees, where you can sometimes even hear one of Hanoi's few birds:

And then we head across the landing:

On the wall there you can see the Polaroids we took at our goodbye party. Aww, we miss you guys:

And here is our kitchen. The gas for the cooker and the drinking water both get delivered by men on motorbikes. And usually if we eat at home our food gets delivered to us by men on motorbikes also. Poor kitchen:

But we do keep some essential ingredients handy:

Coming off the kitchen is the lounge-room, with a view out onto our patio:

I learnt this camera angle from real estate agents:

And the couch actually took this photo itself:

The patio is beautiful, but is pretty much unusable because of the traffic noise from the street below, which you can probably hear just by looking at this photo:

And there ends the tour, thankfully, because it's already too big for the two of us.

But we absolutely love it. It's quite rare to find an unrenovated place like this in Hanoi, where the beautiful tiles in old houses are everywhere being smashed up and replaced with fake green marble.

These are patterns to be found in our place. I hope they remain intact for many years to come:

(Oh look, there are my toes.)

And yes, it's permanently dirty despite the best efforts of my house husband, and noisy, and drafty, and probably has rats (although we're still telling ourselves that the rustling in the night is just geckos... right?), it is so beautiful, especially in the details:

And it really feels like home.