Vietnamese actress Hai Yen (a.k.a., Do Thi Hai Yen), star of Phillip Noyce’s The Quiet American and more recently Story of Pao (’05), Adrift (’08) and Floating Lives (’10). I joined Hai Yen, her husband Calvin Lam and daughter-in-law Crystal Lam for a chat this afternoon on the outdoor terrace of Hanoi’s Hotel Metropole, a world-class establishment where Graham Greene, Charlie Chaplin, Jane Fonda, George H. W. Bush and Francois Mitterrand have stayed.

Hotel Metropole restaurant/cafe.

(l. to r.) Crystal Lam, Calvin Lam (Hai Yen’s husband), Hai Yen.

Hotel Metropole pool.

Ticket booth for the Hanoi Cinematheque, 22A Hai Ba Trung, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi. A Coen brothers series is currently playing.

I was told a couple of days ago that it might be possible to actually meet General Giap, who is now 101 years old and residing in Hanoi, at least temporarily. I’m not holding my breath but what an earth-shaker that would be, tantamount to meeting George Washington or General George S. Patton.