We had been travelling together for over a month, had seen three separate countries, had spent countless hours with one another. We had taken meals together, slept in the same rooms, waited for one another to finish hogging the damned bathroom. We had helped carry heavy backpacks, helped each other fill out immigration forms, helped each other recover from hangovers. We had talked constantly: about life, about the world, about teaching, about Korea, about ourselves. I knew Faith and Ty about as closely as I could know anyone, and the only step further I could have taken would have been to begin collecting blood and hair samples for DNA analysis.
We were running low on things to talk about.
Thus when we arrived in Hanoi, Faith suggested we construct a scavenger hunt. Sitting in a café, face deep in bowls of phở, we began coming up with ideas of what strange, bewildering sights we might try to seek in Vietnam. I had been to the country once before and chose some things to make the game more challenging and competitive. But really, we just needed a change of pace. We were going to eat the food, we were going to see the things, we were going to walk the walks. Couldn’t we also be on the hunt for interesting novelty along the way?