Friday, May 27, 2016

Vietnam: Week 8 (in which, well nothing happens)

Of all the weeks I have written about so far, this is easily the most boring. I've done nothing but go to the gym, teach English, and work on a 925 piece puzzle (which I finished today, and the cats promptly wrecked it). So here's a couple pictures.

I ordered a $1 sandwich and they also gave me these two coffee drinks for some reason I couldn't understand. Truly a good day.

A mural in a cafe.

Getting two for one cocktails on our day off.

Really fancy cocktails.

This guy is still around. His name is Kenny now.

Vietnamese tidbits of knowledge:

  • Obama is here and it's making traffic insane.
  • Thanks Obama.
  • There are frequent protests, and when they happen social media gets shut down.
  • The rainy season is just barely beginning.
  • Really I got nothing this week

Friday, May 20, 2016

Vietnam: Week 7 (in which we celebrate TWO birthdays)

So not only did we have three roommate birthdays in two weeks, we had two back to back birthdays this week.

On Sunday it was Cailla's birthday. So after work all ten roommates went out for Mexican food and drinks. And then we out for live music and drinks. And then for dancing. And drinks.

But more interestingly, our Vietnamese roommate Jojo's birthday was on Monday. In Vietnam birthdays are really not a big deal. Kids don't really have parties or presents or cake or anything, so Jojo had never had a birthday party. And Cailla had the idea to throw her her first surprise party. And I had the suggestion to do a traditional American children's party. And luckily they went with it!

So we bought all the supplies and wrapped presents and blew up balloons in our rooms, and when Jojo went to work the rest of us started cooking and decorating. We had veggies and fruit kabobs and barbecue weenies and deviled eggs and all this delicious food (and also snails because Jojo loves snails).

And we blew up hundreds of balloons and had party hats and noise makers.

When roommate Jeremy picked Jojo up from work he called from downstairs to "ask about picking up drinks" and roommate Cailla told him "we all went out to eat". That was our cue to turn off all the lights and hide.

We totally surprised her ;)

She was so happy she started crying and things got really emotional for a minute, and then we proceeded to celebrate Jojo's very first birthday party. At age 26.

We ate food and she opened presents.

And we played Circle of Death (which is my favorite game, and an important tradition for me and I am so glad I was able to bring it to Vietnam)

And we ate the cake. We don't even cut cakes around here we just all grab a fork and demolish it in 2 minutes.

And then we played Pin the Tail on the Donkey.

It was so much fun, this was easily one of my favorite nights in Vietnam thus far.

Otherwise, all I have done this week is go to the gym and teach english..

Friday, May 13, 2016

Vietnam: Week 6 (in which I join a fancy gym)

 This has been my first full week of teaching English. I teach all morning and all afternoon on weekends (which was very stressful this week, but probably just because I was brand new. I know I'll get used to it) and just a couple hours an evening during the week. Which I like. Especially because I have been at the same school all week, which makes it easier.

Other than teaching I haven't done much. Although my roommates and I played a very intense impromptu game of Pictionary on Sunday. And again on Wednesday. I think it's a tradition now.

They are all so great.

Speaking of roommates, we are all members of this fancy, expensive gym. Which I just joined this week.

Where we have been for hours every single day.

Little kitten (who is still unnamed) has been here for one week now.

He has already put on so much weight and grown so much fur. He is looking 100% better!

All in all, it's been a pretty unimportant week.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Vietnam: Week 5 (in which Meagan finds a cat)

So in addition to going on our beach trip, we've had some other wacky adventures this week, including:

Finding out where the termites in our house were coming from.

There was an entire colony inside our bathroom mirror.

And my roommate Meagan picking up this teeny, tiny stray kitten. He is extremely skinny and missing lots of hair.

So he's living with us for now, but we don't know yet if he's staying permanently or not.

Also Thursday was Meagan's birthday, which is also Cinco de Mayo. So we of course celebrated with tacos and margaritas.

All ten roommates at one table!

And we had cake. Of course.

Also, after having to go in three separate times for interviews (this week) I have finally signed a contract at an English school. I am officially employed. And then had to go back a fourth time (this week!) for training.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Our trip to Mũi Né

April 30th is a national holiday in Vietnam known as Reunification Day, Victory Day or Liberation Day. It marks the day when the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese troops captured Saigon in 1975, and the Resistance War Against America ended. Or as we Americans know it, The Vietnam War. 

And so, all of my roommates had the weekend off and we traveled to the beach city of Mũi Né.

Me and 7 of my roommates (unfortunately 2 of us couldn't make it with!) left the house around 10 p.m. on Thursday night and waited around for the bus.

The bus is a "sleeper bus" which is essentially like a ton of bunk beds shoved together. Your legs fit into the space underneath the person sitting in front of you. It's probably the most comfortable bus I've ever been on, except the aisles are extremely narrow and it is difficult to pull yourself up to the top seats.

We arrived on the beach around 3 a.m. The hotel didn't open until 7 a.m. so we made our way to the beach and napped until the sun came up.

Which was unfortunately not much to see, because it was a very cloudy day.

We made our way to the hotel at 7 and got breakfast. It started pouring rain, for the first time since I arrived here. But the rain stopped and within the hour it cleared up and the rest of the day was gorgeous.

Our room was not ready until around noon, so we hung out poolside and started drinking. It's normal here for drinks to be served in buckets with lots of straws. They're around 5 dollars per buckets.

Shoe got into a bike accident right before we left for our trip and she is all scrapped up. So she had a rough weekend.

Very sweet stray dogs around town.

Views from the hotel balcony.

 Views from inside the hotel.

We had to visit a doctor while in town to treat Shoe's scrapped up arm.

Overall, she had her wound cleaned and bandaged. They gave her antibiotics and sent her on her way for about 30 dollars.

We spent lots of time at the hotel pool. Although the city is on the beach, there is pollution from mining in the town and the hotel staff recommended to stay out of the ocean.

We hung out at lots of beach bars, went dancing, saw some live music and ate lots of food. 

 The way home took an insanely long time, but we got the back row of the bus which is 5 seats/beds across which was nice.