After weeks spent in the serenity of Indonesia's small islands and Myanmar's quiet towns our arrival in Hanoi's downtown was overwhelming. An area reminiscent of the Greek party islands, populated entirely by places offering cheap drinks and playing thumping dance music.
You know the kind of places you need to drink to enjoy, lest you notice all the sweaty drunk people dancing to the same three songs on repeat, asking each the same three questions over and over again.
Now I know I've painted a pretty picture here but having not partied in the best part of three months imaginably I got pretty overexcited. At our hostel they were offering FREE drinks. FREE. How could I say no?
Cut to the next morning: I am violently awoken by my friends, essentially rolling me out of bed. The storm has passed, flights are running, we need to leave NOW.
Oh my god. In a flurry fuelled by adrenaline I stuff my things into my backpack, shoving it all down, no sense, no order, just pushing and shoving. As I clip it up I realise something is missing.
Where is my phone?
Where the fuck is my phone?
My phone with my bank card and ID inside it…. Shit. Shit. Shit.
I don’t know, I don’t understand and we have to leave.
I get surprisingly calming hug from a giant Canadian, and then we’re off.
It felt as though my head was trying to give birth to my brain. In the taxi, having the kind of existential crisis that can only be triggered by an intense hangover, I start to feel nauseous.
My stomach appears to have been replaced with the drum of a washing machine. A top loader that could eject items at any moment : don't worry I'll spare you the grisly details but suffice it to say I was in a bad bad way.
Thankfully my friend is prepared and thrusts a plastic bag into my hands….I sit in the back of the car feeling very sorry for myself.
Somehow we get to the airport. At check in the woman looks me up and down and asks my friends if I am ill: I clearly don’t look fit to fly - I didn’t feel fit to fly to be honest - but I put on my best smile and (amazingly) she gives us the all clear.
I spend the remainder of our time in the airport tooing and froing from the bathroom, questioning what life choices I have made to leave me in this position.
The answer is not good ones …
On the shuttle bus I curl up on the floor trying to soothe myself, unsuccessfully. On the plane I am much the same until blessed sleep relieves me briefly, I wake as we touch down.
Thankfully this story has a happy ending : we arrive at our beach front hostel, I wolf down a plate of cannelloni (with real mozzarella) and fall asleep in a hammock.
And it gets even better!
I wake up to a message saying that my belongings have been found by a beautiful human who returned them to me a week later.
So really alls well that ends well, although there is a moral to this story : 50p mojitos are definitely a false economy.