Late afternoon in Hanoi in July. Although it’s still incredibly hot, there are a lot of people out exercising. I suppose it’s good to sweat your brains out like this, but personally. . . on days like today, I prefer to exercise like this gentleman. . . [image of sleeping man].

In any case, I’m not here to exercise. I’m looking for information about the Trưng sisters [be]cause I need them to make it rain. And that information is not at this park, but I know where it is, and that’s where I’m going. . . a bia hơi.

[at a bia hơi]

What exactly is “bia hơi”? Well, it’s both a place and a product. It’s a place where people go to drink beer, and it’s also the name of the beer that they drink there.

Bia hơi is a draft beer, and it has a lower alcohol content than most other beers. But don’t let that deceive you. Because as the evening wears on, and the waiter brings one glass after another, eventually it creeps up on you, and by the end of the evening you realize that you might have taken on a bit more than you bargained for.

[toast scene]

– “This is the best cure for hot weather. Cheers!”

– “Yea, [I] couldn’t agree more.”

The evening started out well. My friend told me that there is a place where I can learn more about the Trưng sisters outside of Hanoi. I was happy to hear that.

Then things started to spin out of control.


Ok, enough already! Having had much more bia hơi than I should have, I finally decided that it was time to go home. I need to rest up for a big trip tomorrow.

But then something totally unexpected happened.

[Vietnamese dialog]

Who the hell was that?

Was it the Jade Emperor? Or was it the vacuum man from the History Museum? It certainly wasn’t one of the Trưng sisters.

In the end, I decided to sleep it off. I’ve got a big day tomorrow. I’m heading out of Hanoi, and I’m going to go find the Trưng sisters.