I'd forgotten how much I disliked Hanoi. It's loud and perpetually busy, nearly 7 million buzzing scooters, a honking, beeping cacophony. But it has been a few years and the past always looks good through rose-colored glasses, so I agreed to spend another few days here. Surprisingly, August isn't any hotter than May. It's still ball-drippingly hot, just not worse than in the spring. If anything, as the rainy season winds down there are lots of cloudy days and short showers that suggest a pleasant day here is possible. Not today, of course, but maybe tomorrow. Always tomorrow. Something else to remember, if you decide to come, is that there are really only about 7 words in the Vietnamese language. They are each pronounced in a couple hundred ways, with inflections imperceptible to the non-native speaker, however, so whatever you say will be misunderstood. Unlike French though, nobody really cares if you butcher the language, and the taxi driver was going to take you the long way anyway.