Well I have moved into the new house...
I really like it here. Living with Clio and Julien is easy and fun. The wireless internet works well, the cable TV is great and the bath (one of four bathrooms in the house) off my room is huge, altho we don't have a plug for it yet. This area is a great place to live, with almost everything you could possibly need available in the plethora of small shops, stalls and restaurants located on and around Doi Can. It is very central, yet there are no tourists, it is easy to get to most places in Hanoi. It is five minutes from where I work, by motorbike and Clio walks to work. The Big C supermarket is enormous and about 10 or 15 minutes away by motorbike, so all is good.
The party on Saturday night went really well. I cooked Thai curry, which was quite difficult because I couldn't find curry paste of any description, so ended up putting in a jar of garlic and chilli, some cucumin powder (which I have no idea what it is but looked a little like curry powder), a whole head of garlic, along with the potato, two tins of coconut milk and chicken breast. I cooked it on Monday to see if it would be alright and then froze it. I did intend to cook a second batch but in the end just the one lot was enough.
Everyone seemed to enjoy it so that is the important thing... I also did a salad with a bottle of bought salad dressing which was really good and crackers with hard boiled egg and mayonnaise with half a stuffed olive on each one. Clio cooked crepes (which were delicious and Julien did fish on crackers and ham on crackers, which also went down very well. We bought some cakes with fruit on from the bakery on Hang Bo, which is the best bakery in Hanoi in my opinion.
At the end of our street is a Bia Hoi place which sold cardboard crates of half litre, French/Vietnamese beer at about 40 cents/20 pence a bottle, so I bought 60 bottles, and loaded them on the motorbike.. Julien, who works in a vodka factory! brought home bottles of vodka, triple sec, scotch, blue curacao, so nearly everyone was well pickled by the end of the night. The last guest left at 2.30, so not a bad night...
We held the party on the roof terrace, which is a great place for a party, altho was a bit hard on the legs as it is on the 4th floor and letting people in and out and taking food and drink up meant a lot of trips up too many steps, but a minor point.
There were many Vietnamese, some French, Australian, the odd Brit, a good selection of people... Our guests brought us presents of beautiful flowers, delicious fruit and all seemed to enjoy themselves.
We are now looking for a fourth person to share the house so we have put up notices in local cafes, Puku, Mocha, Bia Minh, and one or two others I cannot remember the name of. Already had a couple of replies and met one girl today, so it is looking good.