Published: February 6th 2011January 30th 2011
Traditional yellow flowers for Tet
It seems like these are 'must have' items. They are everywhere!
Tet, tet, tet, tet, tet is coming... well actually it's been and gone now but anyway, I won't let that ruin a good title so
Chuc Mung Nam Moi all the same (Happy New Year!) It's the year of the cat now (I know - it's the year of the rabbit everywhere else, but in Vietnam it's different) and apparently it's a very lucky year if you are a goat(/sheep). Of which I (Lucy) am... excellent. It's also now 12 months and 7 days since we've been in Asia - time flies eh?
So what has January 2011 had in store for us? Hmm let me think.... Actually, we have been pulling our belts in (well trying to) just like the rest of the you. We have been trying to be good and cook at home more often, get into that gym and of course spend a little less too. Consequently, not got too much to report back unless you want to know what we have been eating or how long I can run for on the treadmill now (not that long).
But in true expat style, we have still managed to get out of the city for a
Unwrapping a Tet gift from work.
A pig's trotter, yes indeed. Just what we always wanted. Thanks.
weekend break on the lambretta to a local beach resort which was lots of fun - the pictures will tell that story, and miracle of miracles little lamby nearly made it this time.... Ok not a miracle really because despite getting 2 1/2 hours out of the city on the way there, the clutch cable snapped half an hour from home on the way back. Well, having been in a similar situation once before :/ we told our friends not to worry and to go on ahead without us. Despite us being the only white faces on a very busy street, there were so many garages along the way that we were sure we would get it fixed in no time at all... After walking for about 1km and all the garage owners shaking there hand (vietnamse sign for 'no' or 'maybe-maybe not', and pointing down the road, we were starting to lose hope. We had virtually no battery on our phones and it was looking grim when a very, very kindly Vietnamese man stopped and spoke to us in English. He went and asked where the correct garage was, returned and pushed us (i.e. he drove his bike, propped
Tritterty Trot, oink
his leg on the back of our bike and pushed us along!) Interesting. When we got to our destination he stayed with us until the repairs were done (it took 10 mins and cost the equivalent of £1.50) but he would accept no money from us to say thank you. What a star and we were home half an hour later! Drama over, phew.
So what else? I went to see the local circus as that is my class' topic this half term. Despite being told that there would be a mad elephant who was half crazy because he has to dance to loud techno music all day (sounds almost like uni days!), a brown bear who wears lipstick and rides an actual motorbike, and
monkies playing guitars, thankfully the only animals in the circus were some pet dogs that could do maths. That was pretty impressive in itself, even without the bear wearing lipstick on a motorbike (very funny, although completely politically incorrect).
There was a little drama last week with regards to whether we were going to stay here or go home in July, but in the end, after much talk and discussions all
round both at home and at work, we will still be heading happily homeward bound later this year. We'll have to fill you in on that saga another time...
So even though we have only been back at work 3 weeks it is time for another well deserved break (and lets just say that after last week it really is well deserved!) So off to the Vietnamse but Thai style island of Phu Quoc - go on, how do you think it's pronounced
Howdy, Mr Chris here to finish off the blog with Miss Wucy in a sec. The Mrs did all the above about a week ago but we didn't publish it, since then we've been to Phu Quoc and got out of Saigon for the Tet holiday, the same as most people seem to - it's like a ghost town compared to normal here. Tet is really the Vietnamese equivalent of christmas - frantic busy shopping in the weeks before, then everything shuts down, people are on holiday for 10 days and it's generally a time for family.
Phu Quoc is lovely and only 45 mins on the plane from Saigon. It's quite a
School trip?! Beats working for a living ;-)
big island, infact, bigger than we initially thought as what looked on the map like half an hour on a bike, turned into 2 sweaty hours without tarmac, 'Kick Start' styley (can anyone remember that 80's kids motorbike challenge TV programme?!) The pictures will show you how picturesque it is I'm sure. We spent 4 days, exploring on the bike and going on a boat trip and even a bit of lounging around on the beach. Should really have booked up for longer but, hey ho. At the minute, it's still pretty unspoilt so it was great getting around on the bikes (3 tarmac roads on the island, mostly dirt tracks) and seeing the simple lifestyles there. A highlight was parking up and strolling into the jungle - we saw a monkey, a snake and some very unusual birds. We also found a beautiful stream that we paddled in whilst dozens of little fish nibbled our feet - they do this in spas in Saigon and Bangkok and it's quite a trendy and exclusive foot treatment - completely free in the jungle. The snorkleling was really good fun, swimming amongst wierd and wonderful shaped, pretty coloured corals and all manner
of tropical fish feeling like you're in an aquarium - I can't think of many better ways to spend time, well apart from the sunbathing on the boat afterwards! A sea urchin for lunch was a braver food choice of the holiday but surprisingly very tasty (and lucky apparently too!)
Anyways, that's it for now. Just to say though it's nice that it seems people read this - apparently the last update was viewed 287 times and this website has now had 3420 hits in the last 12 months! Nice to know we're not forgotten because we've not forgotten you all........ (but don't worry - it doesn't show us who views only how many!)
Mr and Mrs Moth
There are more photos below