Is it possible to fall in love with a city? I wouldn't have thought so once - but that was before I had been to Hanoi. I suppose I love my home city of Sydney, but that is more like the way you love your parents. It's where you come from, it's always there, and you don't usually have to think about it. Hanoi was more like a passionate affair. After three brief business trips to Hanoi in 1993, Pam Scott became enamoured with the city, Vietnam's intriguing capital. In 1994 she made a more permanent move, and lived and worked there for the next eight years. What she discovered was a far more interesting, challenging and wonderful place than she could have ever imagined. In Hanoi Stories, Pam tells of an unexpected side to this city, and of the people she came to know and love. During her time in Hanoi, Pam moved outside the cloistered expat world and became involved in the lives of everyday Hanoians - cyclo drivers, postal workers, university students, ordinary families. She also opened Hanoi's first English language bookshop and, among other things, took singing lessons, went ballroom dancing, had her fortune told Hanoi style, and ate some of the city's more exotic offerings.
Once you have been seduced by Hanoi's charms it can be hard to escape. For eight years I kept reinventing myself to adapt to whatever job opportunities arose that would keep me there; leaving had been unthinkable.