Friday, June 24, 2016

Vietnam: Week 12

It's been another plain week, where I didn't do anything special or exciting. So uh. Here's pictures.

Getting pho  

Lucy got fixed, poor baby.

This is garage cat.

He lives in the parking garage of our apartment.

One of my schools' weird Hawaii themed decorations 

My grandma sent me some Flamin Hot Cheetos and I've already eaten most of them.

More cat pictures, who would have guessed.

Chillin in the VIP section at our movie theater. (We saw Finding Dory. It was obviously great)

Checking out cute stores (This is Pompompurin. He is my favorite Sanrio character. I want everything here)

Asian candy store.

Featuring plastic candy filled toilets.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Vietnam: Week 11 (in which we dine in the dark)

Last Friday was our visitor's last night in Vietnam, so we spent most of the day exploring around.

This is the Saigon Notre-Dame Cathedral. We didn't go in, we just walked past and I thought it looked cool.

We went to our favorite brewery.

And we went out for a really cool dinner at Noir, a really unique restaurant where you eat in complete darkness and all of the wait staff is blind or sight impaired.

When you first walk in they greet you and bring you cocktails. You get a menu that is printed normally and in braille, but really all your options are the "Eastern menu" (Asian based) and the "Western menu" (European based). The food is all a mystery. We chose the Eastern menu. You also have the option to order mystery cocktails or wines to pair with any of the courses. We all got one mystery wine to pair with the main course. You can also tell them at this point if you have any allergies or anything. (Our visitor is pregnant, so she had food limitations but the rest of us got the same thing).

Before your table is prepared they give you this game, where you are blindfolded and you have to fit the shapes into the board.

It's supposed to prepare you on how to use your hands in the dark, and give you some insight on what it is like to be vision impaired.

Then when your table is prepared, you turn in all your phones and watches and anything else that can create light and they lock them up (so sorry, no pictures from here on out). Your waiter/waitress leads you to your table through complete darkness where everyone has to hold onto the person in front of you. They seat you at a table and explain where all your glasses and forks and things are. It is 100% complete darkness so you really can't see anything around you. Through the meal you are served 4 small appetizers, 4 main courses, and 3 deserts. You can really focus on the textures and the tastes, and it's very cool to try and guess what you're eating. Some of my roommates were really thrown off by the darkness at first, or were uncomfortable but I thought it was super comfortable and I loved it. At the end of the meal they lead you back out to the lounge area and a staff has you guess all the things you ate. He went through each dish and showed pictures and explained what was in each. (Even between all of us we only guessed about 3 things. There was chicken that every one of us swore was steak. Crazy). 

It was such a cool experience really, the food was delicious and I tried a lot of things I probably wouldn't have tried on my own. Plus we only broke one glass in the whole ordeal (my roommate thought he was setting it on the table. He dropped it on the ground). And the menu changes every couple months, so I think we will definitely go back next time we have a visitor.

On Saturday we had another really good dinner out too that I didn't take any pictures of. We went out to Blanchy Street for my roommate Jeremy's actual birthday, which was a fancy Japanese-Peruvian Fusion restaurant. Also amazing.  

Sorry that was a lot of writing so here's a picture of me getting super American Starbucks with super Vietnamese Styrofoam boxes of bánh baos. 

And here's a picture of Kenny wearing a little tshirt.

Just because.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Vietnam: Week 10 (in which we celebrate TWO birthdays...AGAIN)

Like I mentioned last week, my roommates have a friend visiting from the U.S. who was here just in time for Shoe's birthday which was last Monday.

Because she doesn't like getting older, she requested a "pity party" and we did our best. Shoe is notorious for wearing her robe 24/7 when she is at home, so the week before we all secretly bought robes and as we all got home one by one we went to our rooms and changed into robes.

6/10 roommates, wearing robes and drinking beer out of coffee mugs.

Shoe is also notorious for eating everyone's leftovers, and "You gonna eat that?" is one of our favorite inside jokes.  So I painted this shirt for her.

Her cake has grumpy cat on it, and says "Happy 16th Birthday JK YOU'RE OLD!" And it is a CORN cake. Which is a thing here. Kinda like a carrot cake? But it has entire corn kernels in it and Shoe loves it. It's actually super good.

So we had drinks and listened to music and ate corn cake.

And had Mexican food delivered which we promptly demolished.

ALSO my roommate Jeremy's birthday is on Saturday, but because of our work schedules we decided to celebrate on Thursday night instead.

We prepared buckets of drinks (this is also a thing here and I think it's ridiculous and great).

He gets a bear cake because he also gets called "Bear-emy"

 How we do cakes around here. Everyone gets a fork and it's gone in minutes.

And we just hung out and played drinking games.

So basically I've been here less than 3 months and we've already celebrated half of my roommate's birthdays. We're getting really good at it.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Vietnam: Week 9

So again this has been a pretty calm week. Same as last week, all I do is go to the gym and teach English. Although my roommates have a friend visiting so next week's post should be a little more exciting. We picked her up from the airport last night and today has been her first day in Vietnam.

So here's pictures.

Doing yoga at our gym.

My finished 925 piece puzzle! 

Blurry picture from walking home.

The street in front of our apartment.

Noodles, broth, and pineapple/sugarcane juice.


Fun Vietnamese knowledge: Last Wednesday was Children's Day here in Vietnam, which always falls on June 1st. The day also falls around the last day of school for children as they follow the same summer break schedule as the U.S. The day is generally celebrated by families, as parents might take their kids for a special outing or buy them gifts. However, parties and events are also sometimes held by schools or other  institutions. 

For me this day didn't mean anything though, as our school didn't do anything to celebrate. But the mall where our gym is was completely packed with children haha.