Hanoi Days 87-95

The last week or two has been good. 3 of my classes have finished their semester which means I now have plenty of time to plan for next year. I’m still teaching a couple of classes for the next two weeks but I’ve been enjoying the rest from teaching. Here’s some pics of what I’ve been up to:

Finally exploring my local area (like, a day before moving house…)

Although the room was booked, my extra class wasn’t informed that they needed to actually ATTEND the lesson. Balls.

This doesn’t look appetising in this photo, I know. BUT, it’s fried taro with an egg inside and it is GERT LUSH.

My Vietnamese teachers’ kitten called ZiZi-Day (that’s how it’s pronounced – not correct VN spelling)

This kitten could turn me into a cat person…..too cute!

I took this pic after walking back from my VN lesson, it’s not so great but I just loved the silhouette at the end of my lane

The new house has a running machine and I’ve been trying to get fit. This picture seems very relevant to me as I’ve lead a sedentary life since I’ve been in Hanoi.

Father’s Day came and went while I was here – Happy Father’s Day, Dad! xxx

Hanging out with Chi at a street food place

View from the stall

Another view from the stall, mere feet away from us. These blokes just came up, moved our bikes out the way, drove this bad boy across the street and just started digging. Don’t mind us, lads! 😀 It’s so carefree here. The guy operating the machine was wearing flip flops and everyone was just standing around watching as he seemingly tore up the pavement until water started gushing out. Then he stopped, got off, and they all walked off. Hmmmmm.

My dessert. The black stuff isn’t jam but a sort of sweetened bean. Yummers! The rest is fruit and creme caramel.

The front door of the new house. Loving the lanterns!

Watching the England/Uruguay match in an elusive little bar called ‘Alley Pub 2’. I rock up in the taxi and find a dead street, and the address of this place was a closed hairdressers. Crap. Google Maps has failed me! Then, a lady from a food stall pops her head out and asks ‘Alley Pub 2?’ in broken English. I nod, she gets her phone out and we stand in front of the closed hairdressers. She makes a call and waves at a camera above our heads. The shutters rise and I’m in! The bar is on the second and third floors, just have to walk through the hairdressers to get there. This is all in place to avoid detection from the police I assume. A good evening, didn’t watch all the match as kick-off was at 2am for us and I had work the next day.

Down our alley

You can see the gate to my house on the left

Ready to explore Hanoi!

We didn’t get far as there was word on the street of some pretty damn good bagels being sold locally. Impressed. Sometimes it’s nice to have a ‘western break’ where we give the VN meals a miss.

This just in – I have a cold. Boooo!

So that’s my life at the mo. I’m looking forward to the summer break to explore some more of what Vietnam has to offer and to take some more photos! Wooooo!

Hanoi Days 63-86

Hello, hello, hello!

I’ve had SO much fun over the last few weeks, and have been equally busy at work too. Lots has happened!

P and I visited Ha Long Bay and Cat Ba Island (including a quick trip to Monkey Island) a couple of weeks ago. We went with my friend Noelle who I met here when I first got to Hanoi and a couple of other French girls too.

We took a bus from the centre of Hanoi, and it took a few hours to get to Ha Long. We stopped halfway for a drink and a toilet stop at a touristy place.

Once at Ha Long Bay we got on the hotel boat, had some LOVELY food, cruised around Ha Long bay, stopping to see some dry caves (with the rest of the tourists – SUPER touristy) and then we went kayaking. Now, didn’t take camera kayaking, but it was breathtaking. Absolutely breathtaking. How do I describe it? We got into our kayaks from a floating pontoon next to one of the small islands. We were told of a cave we could kayak under to reach a lake inside one of the islands, so off we went, kayaking through the cool cave to the other side. Coming out the other side was just fantastic. The island was steep and the walls high, covered with trees and bushes, we could no longer hear the motor of the boats on the outside of the island, just thousands of cicadas. It literally took my breath away, I felt so secluded and in the wild – it was just amazing. We spent a good hour or so kayaking round checking out the edge of the lake, looking up into the foliage before returning.

We stopped off for a swim at a local island before sleeping on the boat for the night. In the morning we went to Cat Ba Island and headed straight for the National Park where we climbed one of their mountains/hills, steep thing anyhow! Then in the afternoon cruised to Monkey Island (totally saw some monkeys) before returning for a look around Cat Ba, dinner and then I went out clubbing with the French girls (it was the day before my birthday too so we celebrated a little). The next day we returned home after lunch on the boat. It was a lovely weekend excursion!

Pics!

Ha Long Bay at sunset. Taken from the boat.

Floating village

Top of the mountain!

Cat Ba National Park

Cat Ba National Park

Cat Ba National Park

Still not the most people I’ve seen on a bike though….

Our tour guide, Peter.

Monkey Island

Monkey Island

Monkey Island

Monkey Island

The Rose Club

Start them young 🙂

Noelle and I

Yep. It was a good thing I was drunk when I found this bad boy. A LOT of Dutch Courage!!!

The eyes!

It was amazing to finally travel and see a bit of the beauty Vietnam has to offer! I look forward to summer break which will equal my next set of excursions!

Since then I’ve been very busy with work, planning end of semester tests and wrapping up some lessons. I’ve just taught my last busy week (after taking on an extra class a few weeks ago – argh! Too much for me). I’ve  been continuing my Vietnamese lessons too and am actually getting on pretty well! I’m now able to buy things from the market and haggle the price down in VN, name a few animals, name fruits, talk about how I’m feeling etc. My pronunciation is going well too, and waiters/waitresses are responding to me in VN thinking I know more of the language. Must keep practising – it’s making living here sooo much easier!

I’ve also moved house! Have been here a few days now. Am living with Blake (and American guy), Gabby (fellow UK girl) and Hien (Vietnamese). It’s a lovely house and I will have to take some snaps to show you!

Here are some pics of what I’ve been up to over the last few weeks too:

What’s this…..?

Cake for my birthday! Wooo!

Birthday flowers from my Ma. Thanks, Ma!

I went on a trip to the Ethnology Museum then for dinner and drinks with some of my students from my English Major class who kindly showed P and I around!

Ethnology Museum. This tree is created to give thanks to (someone) if a person who was ill starts to get better or who has gotten better. Very pretty!

Intricate shadow puppets. V cool.

An old koran.

One of the many ethnic minorities in VN have these massive structures, this one in particular is where the boys live before they get married and move in with their wife and mother-in-law. In this particular minority the women are considered the superior sex.

My students, P and I.

Interesting wooden carvings!

“Would a little privacy go a miss??”

Pretty bridge over water at sunset

Night Market at the Old Quarter

Drinks at the Bia Hoi. I caught this guy laughing his head off in this shot and I LOVE IT.

P and my students, English names: Rain, Cherry and Harry!

Cheers!

Final drinks at Puku Cafe. Love the colour combo here…

They see me rollin’, they hatin’!

Yogurt coffee. Oh. Em. Gee. Americano with ice and a pot of natural yog chucked on the top. It’s the BEST.

So yes! That has been my last few weeks – pretty fun!

 

Hanoi Days 49-62

Hello! I’ve been massively absent. Bad Katy. So here’s some updates of my last two weeks.

Notable stuff

  • Collected Paul
  • Received a surprise from my family
  • Working v hard
  • Fell off motorbike (we’re both fine)
  • Signed contract for new house
  • Dropped mobile down toilet after getting feet tangled in a pair of boxer-shorts
  • Have a house guest
  • Have an infection

So yes. I collected my hubs from the airport a week and a half ago, and I think he’s just getting over his jet-lag. I’ve set him up with a local sim card, and a key to our apartment. So far I think he’s okay with VN. I imagined he would find it a bit too hot and noisy, but he says it’s not as bad as Delhi. I think he’s a bit bored of the food here (soups and noodles and rice and soups and noodles and rice) which probably means I haven’t taken him to enough places!!

With Paul came a gift from my Ma, Pa and Stepdad containing very much needed summer clothing that FITS. Well. It will fit better once I get rid of my VN belly. I have put on a third of a stone which is BAD. Mainly from getting no exercise, and eating larger portions of unhealthy food. Something I need to change. Thank you famileeeeee!!! 🙂 🙂

It’s coming up to the end of the semester so I’ve been working hard, and I have realised how many hours I do actually put in because I feel like I never have any time to spend with Paul and that I’m too tired to take him anywhere in the evenings. Boo! I finish two courses next week which will give me my weekends to myself so I’m really excited about that.

About a week ago, I fell off my bike. Woops! I drove round a car at an intersection (I was going quite slowly) and another bike came out of nowhere, and my bike skidded a bit as I tried to avoid him and basically fell on it’s side. I landed on my hands and knees while Paul leap-frogged over me and landed on his feet. I suspect I was ‘pushed’ to my knees in this action but hey-ho nobody was hurt. We picked up the bike, which was fine, and drove on our way. No bother! Will be a bit more careful when overtaking stuff from now on!

Over the last couple of weeks my friend Blake and I saw a couple of houses and acquired 2 room mates to move in with us. We found a lush house in an area called Ba Dinh which over 4 floors has nice big, modern rooms, a sun terrace, a running machine and lots of other cool stuff. I’m moving in two weeks and it will be me, Blake, Gabby (from Manchester) and Hien (a local guy). It’s going to be fun! There is a Bia Hoi (pub to you and me) a ten-second walk from our front door, and lots of shops, street food places, bars and restaurants in the area as well, not to mention local markets to buy lots of fresh food from. It’s going to be fun. It will be a little further from work (I’ll be driving 20 minutes to get there rather than ten) however I’ll be closer to the centre and more importantly will be sharing with people!!

Which brings me on to having a house-mate. George has been crashing on my sofa for a few days so it’s weird to suddenly have both my hubs and another person in my place. It’s all good though – not lonely any more! 😀

I haven’t done much in terms of ‘new things’ over the last few weeks, however I did take Paul to a Bia Hoi meetup where I got rather drunk (photographs below) and I may have dropped my phone down someone’s toilet after getting my feet tangled in their boxers that they’d left on the floor. Booo! My phone has been sitting in these little gel balls for nearly a week now and although my speaker works again, my microphone has yet to work when it’s not on speaker phone. Nooooo! 😦

And finally over the last few days I’ve developed a stonking bladder infection. I’ve actually had it for a few weeks but it seems to have cranked up massively over the last couple of days so I’m on the antibiotics and haven’t been into work for a day and a half. 😦 I hate being off sick! I feel so lethargic and have no energy, plus I’ve been forgetting EVERYTHING. Not good.

In better news I have now finished my round of rabies jabs which is awesome. Here are some photos of my last two weeks!!!

Cute baby who was interested in us ‘foreigners’

Attempting to create some new and fun games for my students…

West Lake at night

West Lake at night

The plant in our office has flowered! Note to self: name the plant

Casually walking past a classroom at uni…WTF!? (Reminded me of when I was studying to be a nurse and walking past cupboards full of arms….)

Helpful.

More pho

Street food – egg bap! Awww yisssss

Friday cocktails with D. The YUMMIEST pina coladas a stumbling distance away from my apartment 😀

Sampling a bar with Blake a 5 minute walk from our new place, right on West Lake. Lush.

Not so lush – realising they were literally just knocking down a wall. Like, one of the 4 walls….the WAITERS had sledgehammers and were just knocking a wall down while we were inside. I was SLIGHTLY concerned the whole building would collapse…..

A dead spider outside of our new place

A million ‘nopes’

Fairy lights!

Went on a mini microbrewery-crawl with D, Mike and an Australian guy called Jason. Witness the funky glass!

The end of our bar-crawl

I’d been washing up with a flannel for the last 6 weeks and though Paul would be more satisfied living in a place with PROPER equipment. I introduce – bear sponges. Or it could be a dog….

Attempting to get a good shot of something on the way to the airport to collect Paul. Thanks a lot MaiLinh taxis. It’s lucky you have cheap, cheap rates.

Clothes!! Yay! Thank youuuuu!

Aww yiss.

Walking around Hoan Kiem Lake, stopped to watch a bit of propaganda performance

Pagoda on the lake

Went for a late-night beer on the grass by the lake. Sadly they were pumping out electro music, but apart from that there was a nice ambience.

He’s not spitting it out – it’s just a dodgy photograph 😀

Here’s a cool story. Just sat in my class, waiting for all my students to arrive when a student comes in with the most annoying ring tone of a cat. She pops her lunch bag on the desk and asks if ‘it’s okay?’. It transpires she had literally brought a cat in a bag. It was quiet at first but I had to suggest she take it home after it started miaowing like a crazy thing. I don’t think the other students were impressed. Turns out a cat’s ‘miaow’ sounds like the VN work for ‘poor’, which makes cats unlucky in VN.

She literally let the cat outta the bag.

Trying out a Korean face-mask. It only mildly burned my skin off, for which I was surprised, and grateful.

A photograph I don’t remember taking from the Bia Hoi meetup.

I remember taking this one. I think.

Aaaan this is the last photo I took on my phone before dropping it down a loo, of me hanging my head out of a taxi window. Ohhh the class.

So yes, those were my two weeks. I will try not to be so late with my next update!!!

 

 

 

 

Hanoi Days 47-48

Saturday

I pretty much had a glorious lie-in and avoided the HEAT outside by surfing and running some ‘apartment errands’ – namely waging a failing war on the ants and flies that have decided to invade my place. Where the hell is Luke?? Some gecko – he can pack his shit up and leave if he carries on like this!

It’s hot out there! Only 40 bloody degrees – no thanks!

I had rabies vaccination 4/5 at 3pm, but just before that my friend Quan brought me something round……..this bad boy!

My VN guitar (yet to be named)

I’m back in business! (By ‘business’ I mean playing alone badly and singing to myself – and by ‘back’ I mean you’ll never hear me – so nice try!)

I love to play and sing along to a bit of guitar now and then, but my guitar ‘Bing’ from back home was too big to warrant bringing out to VN. After posting an ad on Hanoi Massive my friend saw it and offered me his old one! I gave him some money as I didn’t feel I could just take it. It sounds great! Wooop!

After this Quan kindly escorted me to a guitar shop so I could pick up a capo (because I have stubby fingers which are, in fact, crap for guitaring)

Bargain

Then I moved on  to have my jab.

Following this I met George for some dinner and ice-cream (ice-cream warranted because the weather was RIDICULOUS)

In the evening I met D, and Mike (a Canadian I met on a village tour a few weeks back) for some beers at Hoa Vien (I was delighted as I pointed out ‘hoa’ means ‘flower’ in VN – check it!)

It’s a Belgian-themed microbrewery and was lit up like a frikken Christmas tree!

That’s a litre of beer for £8. EIGHT!

After my taxi home I made a drunken Skype call to my family and then hit the hay. A great day! 🙂

Sunday

A lazy day today, sitting in playing my guitar 🙂

Then I decided it’s the WEEKEND – I worked my ass off last week so I could DO something! So I persuaded George to come out for lunch. We discovered how HOT it was (I mean the weather). It was up to 41 degrees. Just. Ridiculous.

Street food

Then we rode via West Lake to go to the Botanical Gardens. I’ve been here nearly 2 months and have only visited 1 or 2 tourist attractions. Bad Katy. We used my bike to save petrol, and since I’m smaller I didn’t have to drive (score :D) which meant I could take some photographs!

Scooter-selfie!

West Lake

The Botanical Gardens were okay – beautiful, but I wouldn’t go as far as ‘botanical’ – we only walked slowly as it was absolutely BOILING

My drink being machete-d for me 😀

Warm, but delish.

On the way home I stopped at a street-fruit-market and picked up some lychees. They call them ‘dragon’s eyes’ here – which is a damn sight cooler than poxy ‘lychees’, which, for the record, I can never pronounce correctly, nor can anyone else.

Yeah. I ate the entire bag over the course of one evening. I’m not even mad. I’m impressed!

I feel I made the most of my weekend given the temperature – so it was a good one!!

 

Hanoi Days 42-46

Back at work this week! I would have had a second week’s holiday, but chose to start teaching a new class so that in a few weeks down the line I will have a period where I don’t have to plan as many lessons which will be a nice introduction to the summer break!

As part of my contract I have to help set up a programme for the English teachers here – which is sort of terrifying! I’m really thankful it’s a joint project with D, but I’m not academic at all and kind of freaking myself out a bit :-S I really want to do a good job but am nervous about being exposed as a big fat fraud. I know I’ve got my TESOL, and I know I’m not the worst teacher out there, but I only went to uni for 2 years myself and most of that was spent nursing on the wards. At times, I feel I have blagged my way here. Only recently I remembered that teaching wasn’t even in my line of sight 7 months ago – and now I teach at a university. Gaaaah!

Well. If the last 6 weeks here have taught me anything – it’s that I need to just bite the bullet and get on with it.

I will keep repeating my motto to myself:

‘If no-one is going to die or go to prison because of this – you’re probably worrying too much’

For some reason it calms me 🙂

I decided that while I’m at work I will bunch my Monday-Friday posts into one, otherwise I’ll be left with a blog of teeny-tiny paragraphs.

Monday

Back to school. I was a little nervous about returning (just a throwback from my personal anxiety) which quickly evaporated as soon as I facilitated the Basic English group for the staff. I was always so terrified of this class – but now I really enjoy it and finding new ways to make it fun.

Waiting for the staff to arrive

The university really does have some great facilities here – I just wish I could nab the student self study rooms though as I prefer to teach without tables! In the eve I stayed in for sleep after ordering a big fat unhealthy Indian takeaway which George came over and helped me eat. Winner!

Tuesday

Today I taught my new English major class. For the first time I’m teaching general English which I LOVE. It was such a fun lesson and I’m going to enjoy teaching these classes, however I have an average class size of 38 students, so it’s going to be tricky to incorporate some activities. I’ll find a way, though!! They’re cool kids, too.

When teaching I love finding ways to include little things that remind me of home. At the start of the semester I give the students a list of English names for them to pick for themselves (which include the names of my friends and family). Today the lesson was based around personality traits and I couldn’t resist dropping a mate in…..

Today I decided I would try to eat a little more healthily, so after uni drove to the Big C supermarket and stocked up on fruit, veg, glass noodles and prawns. Need to get rid of this damn VN belly!

During uni I also nipped to the English Dept. staff room and actually met everyone for the first time! They’re all really sweet. Someone went on holiday and brought back lots of gifts for everyone (they kindly insisted I take some stuff which was really nice considering I’m not sure who actually went on holiday…..)

Wednesday

Taught the other English major classes and and spent the day planning lessons. Nipped to the loo and met another English teacher who was washing these things in the sink and offered me some. D says they’re VN cherries – which I guess they are but they taste like…I think they’re called green gages back home? Nice though!

As you know, in my first week I was terrified and nervous and didn’t know many people, and I LITERALLY googled ‘English speaking friends in Hanoi’. I just needed to communicate with someone! So I found a group called ‘Meetup’ which was established by this guy Andy, which allows VN and foreign people to get together and have fun in English. Anyway, Andy and his wife are leaving for Thailand, and this evening was his leaving do. We made it a surprise by blowing up balloons, getting photos printed, party poppers, cake etc. I took my good camera to take a bunch of good photographs which I’m still in the process of uploading – but here’s a couple I took on my phone.

It was fun! It was lovely to witness the appreciation of the group and Andy’s efforts!

Thursday

At work all day, had a meeting with the teachers to see what they want from these workshops D and I will run – which was good and gave me a few ideas – so I’m feeling a little less nervous. Only a little, mind! 😀

In the evening I met Georgia at a group VN lesson run by an American guy, Mike, and his VN girlfriend, Chi.

Now – this is my type of VN lesson. He has a little room in his house with a white board and those chairs with the little lap-tables. The lesson was really good – lots of activities and basically the kind of lesson I would love to deliver to my English students. Mike’s a good teacher. There was food laid on in the break (all plates labelled with the VN names) and we even incorporated drinking games into the lesson. This is probably why it’s my kind of lesson! Afterwards we all sat around and chilled out chatting. It was great! So now I’ve got my one-to-one lesson and this group lesson as well. Score! I’m looking forward to next week!

Friday

Friiiiiidaaaaay! Wooo! Managed to knock out 3 lesson plans so for the first time since I’ve been here I can spend my weekend not planning!! However, I will be planning for next week but out of choice (to get on top of things) rather than a desperate necessity – but there is something so much more satisfying planning a lesson because I WANT to, rather than because I HAVE to.

In the evening I came home and I was SHATTERED. I sat in and slobbed out and it was GLORIOUS. Then had a Chinese and screwed over my healthy eating. Meh. I deserved it. You’re great, Katy. I also ate this – so it cancels out the bad food – that’s how it works, right?

Let the weekend begin!

 

Hanoi Day 41

So I woke up stranded at a backpacker’s hostel. Aaaaaagh! Luckily I knew I wasn’t too far away from George’s flat. I spent my last 20,000 dong on a xe om to his, and waited for him to sober up before he could give me a lift home. I then preceded to fall asleep on his sofa and not wake up until THREE PM. What a waste of a day!!

We grabbed a KFC as ‘breakfast’ (is it breakfast at 3.3opm??) and then I went home, got changed and headed out for my Couchsurfer’s meeting. I bumped into some girls who were at the bar last night too and had a quick chat with them. The food was good this evening and we headed back to the lake to sit on mats with lanterns and music, drinking beer in the warm evening. It was lovely, although I was a little tired. A storm ended the night for us at about half ten, and I drove home in the pouring rain. I’m so thankful it’s warm here!

I didn’t take many photos today on account of being tired (and unconscious) for the majority of it. But here is the CS meeting:

A bit dark…

And when I got home I noticed a tiny little flower had fallen into my hair which I thought was cool. Simple things etc etc

And that was my day. So now – BEEEEED. Wooooo!

Hanoi Day Forty

I woke up really late again! Boo! I spent the early afternoon watching some TV, then set off for yet another rabies vaccination. F.U.N.

I decided to stay out and explore the centre again. I went to Trang Tien Plaza on the recommendation of Georgia, and bought some stationary and little bits for work. After this I had a nice stroll around Hoan Kiem Lake, stopped for some ice-cream, bought a couple of skirts (as it’s BOILING when the sun is out), and had a walk around in the sun.

I had quite a relaxing late-afternoon/early evening. I went home and nommed on one of these bad boys too:

I knew it!

I had a lovely skype-date with my family for a couple of hours, and I then planned on staying in and doing a bit of work. NOOOOOOO. That never happened. I then got invited out for beers. Well, I can just go out for one or two, right? WRONG.

I caught a taxi into the Old Quarter and met some friends at Hair of the Dog, a backpackers bar, where I discovered I hadn’t taken enough money out as it was quite expensive. Luckily one of my mates lent me a little cash. The bar closed around midnight, when all the hard-core travellers moved on to Lighthouse, a club that usually opens at 1 or 2am, and only stays open depending on how much the club bribes the police. It’s fascinating.

Lighthouse was a complete dive, but actually, really, really fun. The people were really cool and the music was great. I met an Australian guy called Alex who was pretty cool, and since I spent all my money he was cool enough to sneak me in to his hostel so I could crash on a sofa there for the night. Winner! I had so much fun! At least I know now that I need to take more cash with me next time. Oooops!

Noice

So that was my first night out in Hanoi! It was awesome!

Hanoi Day Thirty Nine

Bit of a lazy day again today, woke up ridiculously late at half past midday. In an attempt to be pro-active I persuaded George that we should go out and do something fun – so we went to Kub Cafe (a biker place) and played some pool. It’s actually a pretty cool bar run by an Irish guy called Toby who we chatted to for a bit. The weather was lush, as it has been for a while.

Stopped for petrol and admired the view

Some kids who live near George’s house – I always stop and chat to them – they’re so cheeky!

Toby has 2 dogs who were the cutest things. Funnily enough they look like the dogs who went for me, but these ones didn’t. Wooo!

In the evening we decided that was enough fun for one day and slobbed out watching a film. I feel like I’ve crossed the line from ‘tourist’ to ‘resident’ a bit now and have resorting to doing ‘normal’ things. I have to try and break this habit and try to explore Hanoi more!

Hanoi Day Thirty Eight

Another day with Ly and Chi! (And George for a little bit too…)

I drove to Ly’s for about half ten, where her Mother presented me with breakfast! Yum, thanks! I won’t lie, pigeon rice porridge didn’t grab me initially (audibly or aesthetically), but it was actually pretty good, and I MAY have finished it all…

Ly’s mother and nephew

After breakfast – it was time for lunch. EH? Haha! Food is a big thing here! We went round Ly’s aunt’s house for lunch, where Chi joined us, and George later on. It was all so good!

Can you tell what it is yet?

We couldn’t figure out what the small birds are called in English, I suggested ‘Frikken-Yum-Flyers’ but it wasn’t accepted by the group.

After the feast we decided to go to Bat Trang, a pottery village about a 30 minute drive from Ly’s house (which actually took about 40 minutes on scooters – but I did discover that my little scooter can get up to 65! I’m impressed!)

Here, we MADE stuff 😀 I wanted to make a mug, but the guy helping us said that you’re not allowed to drink out of whatever you make, so I made a small jewellery bowl instead. He felt bad for me though, so gave me a cup he’d made earlier for me to paint – for free! Not that I could drink out of it, mind. So we made and painted our creations, then had them glazed and glittered. Ours should have come to 100,000 dong, but the guy working there was quite fond of me, and only charged us 45,000 each which was sweet! He insisted we have photos together too, and even introduced his little baby daughter to me later on. Cute!

Having my pot glazed. I painted it red with white spots as it reminds me of my niece, who wears this colour and pattern a lot.

My new mate. In other news; I am a giant.

While our creations were drying, we went into the village for some street food. I tried a drink made from crushed sugar cane which was GORGEOUS, and had another VN beef sarnie.

The Cane-Crusher 4000

We drove home just as the sun was setting. I nipped to the loo then straight out again to collect Georgia, and go for some beer, dinner and a catch up in the evening.

The weather today was GORGEOUS and I got a glimpse of what summer may be like, since the sun actually came out and I even saw some BLUE SKY! Woooow! That’s a first here – it’s always so smoggy, so it was lovely to see.

My last two days have also been about FOOOOD. I think I may explode. I’ve eaten SO MUCH today, and I’m shamefully eating some onion ring crisps as I type – but I ONLY bought them to practice my VNese at a local late-night newsagents, alright? So get off your high horse.

😀 😀 😀