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Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City » District 1
September 25th 2011
Published: September 25th 2011EDIT THIS ENTRY

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Ian's guest house room where he lived for 3 months, staying in pining for Lisa every night as you can imagine...
Just over 1 month in and I’m over the culture shock which was surprisingly worse than I imagined it would be. I think 3 months back in England and I had reverted back into the comfort zone, as well as missing my life and friends in South America. Los extrano chicos!!

But pastures new...I’ve started work and am discovering what it is like to teach classes of shy, reserved Vietnamese adults – the polar opposite to my South American students who held no fear of speaking up and making mistakes. I’ve been trying to coax them out of their shells and some of the classes are starting to warm up with laughter ringing around the classroom (although it has to be said mainly due to my inability to pronounce some of their names!) I guess it’ll just take a bit of time to work the Sood magic ;) Ian only teaches little ones which he is loving - they hang off him like he's a tree and all want to constantly hold his hand, which massages his ego no end!! Well someone's got to do it!!

We’ve moved into our apartment as well which has helped massively in feeling
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Ian after the ILA Fancy Dress Dodgeball Championship. They were Funny Business and they didn't win :(
more settled. It’s on the 17th floor of a block (the highest either of us has ever lived) between 2 of the central districts, with almost 180 degree views over the city and the river. I don’t think we will ever get bored of just gazing out across the city, soaking in the sights and sounds of Saigon. It’s a big flat, with 2 bedrooms (1 which is ready and waiting for guests please!) and an extra room that we have christened the fun room, that is, so far, without anything fun in it. Need to go on a games-finding mission – thinking dartboard, poker table and disco lights!

I’ve been out and about wandering around and taking it all in, trying to get my bearings, but it’s a big old place and you can’t really walk it, not in this heat/rain anyway, so I’ll have to get a bike soon. But I am truly enjoying been driven around on the back of either Ian’s bike or Van’s, my local “xe om” (literal meaning "hugging car"!) guy, who takes me to work and back and wherever I need to go. And all for about $1.50 a time. Maybe I’ll
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How can you choose from 708 menu items??
let them deal with the crazy traffic a little bit longer actually...

We’ve been eating really well (of course!) – there’s such an amazing variety of food here and we’ve sampled Vietnamese of course, but also Indian, Italian, French, Mexican, you name it, you can probably find it in Saigon. Some of the menu’s here are hugemungous though so takes me about 3 hours to decide what to have. And they cater for veggies well too which was a nice surprise as some of the meat looks a bit suspicious. But Ian assures me this is just the ex-vegetarian in me talking....this coming from the man who will pretty much eat anything – does anyone recall the hairy floor sweets?! But now we have a kitchen we can start cooking for ourselves more and saving some cash (although eating out costs peanuts and Ian says we shouldn’t bother cooking. I beg to differ so let’s see who wins the battle of to cook or not to cook).

Beer is super dooper cheap too and so nights out are pretty raucous, with Sunday night being the new Friday. Most people work the weekends and so Sunday is the night
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Ding Dong!! 40 million dong ready to pay for our rent and deposit
to go out and get your drink on. We’ve also gone for a casting to be extras in an Ozzie war film being made over here – Ian had to dress up as solider while I was given a traditional Vietnamese outfit and asked to dance in front of the camera while they filmed me for about 5 minutes. Mortifying!! Luckily, my dancing was so atrocious they want me to be a hotel guest instead. Phew!! And Ian is gonna be a good ol’US marine. Ooooooraaaaah!

So all in all, life here is good. I still miss everyone heaps, as always, but have settled into Saigon living and am on the happy train! Now to discover more of this crazy city...

Love as always

SoodPav
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PS - Hope you’re all planning your trip to come see us!! x



Additional photos below
Photos: 34, Displayed: 24


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Taking in the night time view on the first night in our place
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River view from apartment
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City sheep farm next to our building
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Cityscape
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Our neighbours
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Local Pagoda
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The river machinery caught the attention of the passing traffic. They've been dredging the same spot in the river for 2 weeks now and we have no idea why....
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Our living room
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Check out the massive old skool telly! Ian is not impressed with it
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Games room - needs to be fun-i-fied
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Guest room people!! It's waiting for you....
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Moon Cake - got given this by school to celebrate the beginning of autumn. It was grim - like a sweet meat/egg-filled pastry pie
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Saigon's Shard
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People's Committee Hall
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The Opera House


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