One of my favorite people – EVER!
You never know who may walk into your life and what role they will play. I’ve met tons of people while traveling and some merely remain an acquaintance or a facebook friend who I chat with once in awhile. Others have become more significant in my life, like Annette, who I took the Thai cooking classes with and who will visit Hanoi this year. Darrin already made a visit to Hanoi and is someone I will most likely see again in some part of Asia.
Of course since I’ve been here in Hanoi, I’ve met a good handful of new friends. Sarah and Shane, Anton and all the handsome French boys. I always enjoy meeting new people and enriching my life with more friends. Kurt and Anna, Dean and MJ are simply a regular part of my life. They are like family to me, I have grown so comfortable in their presence. I cannot imagine Hanoi or vietnam without them.
And then there is Pete. Pete and I met last year when I was traveling in Vietnam. I made the journey on an overnight train to Sapa. I didn’t make a room reservation, as I figured I could just book one when I got there. I had e-mailed Pete to see about room rates and what not, but never confirmed.
I arrived in Sapa during an absolute downpour. Getting a bus to town was a task in itself. I paid twice for the ride because I unnecessarily bought a ticket, boarded a bus and was told I had to pay the driver. Once I got off the bus, I had a swarm of people around trying to take me to their hotel. It was Calgon moment for sure. Without a cell phone, and with no map of Sapa on hand (I was just planning on walking around at leisure and discovering the place), I was at a loss as to where to go and what to do. So I sat in a cafe and ordered a coffee and soup.
I felt that buying a meal entitled me to ask to make a phone call. I did, at least, bring the Sapa Rooms hotel number and convinced the staff that I must make the call. About 20 minutes later, a cute little gal came to pick me up. It was still pouring rain outside and even with an umbrella, we were both drenched by the time we made it up the hill and to the front door of Sapa Rooms.
Pete opened the door and said, “Welcome! You look like you need a cup of coffee and some fresh towels. Want to have a seat?” And with that, Pete graciously stepped into my life and became a person who will be with me until we are old and wrinkled.
He still lives in Sapa. I am due for a visit. But he often comes to Hanoi and we have enjoyed some very fun nights out. We usually start with dinner, a few drinks somewhere and then depending on the weekend and such, at an after-hours bar which lends its own separate blog post. It is quite the scene.
I am nearly convinced that Pete and I are twins separated at birth. We are kindred spirits. And we cannot stop talking! He is one of those friends that after a night together, my cheeks and sides hurt form laughing so much.
I’m also incredibly proud to call him my friend, as he is an amazing soul. He does A TON of community and charity work up in Sapa, making a better world for so many villagers up there. He teaches, provides clothes, food, and even works to get showers installed at schools in some of the most remote areas. He does so much for others. He is so full of love and generosity. I just adore and admire him with the most genuine affection.
My life is good in Vietnam, but Pete makes my life way, way brighter. It’s good to have such friends.
On the Bright Side,