Monday, July 13, 2009

Finally I've caved in!

Well, it's finally happened! I've given in and I'm now officially a blogger. It's a sad and tragic state of affairs that I feel the need to copy a certain James Hendicott in everything he does, but such is life. I hope that he'll forgive me, but knowing him he'll remind me that I'm still countless countries and experiences behind him.....oh well!

Ok to start, like my fellow English teachers who have spent any amount of time abroad, my English has rapidly deteriorated between a mix of 'Konglish' and some hybrid between Vietnamese and English. I'm not sure what they call it out here and to be honest, it's not on my list of things to find out! Anyways, with the remnants of my English, I'll be attempting to post something that's relatively coherent so that my loved ones (and cats) can keep up to date with what has been going on without thinking that something has happened to me because I'm useless at keeping in touch!

On the subject of coherence, which is already lacking, please don't remind me of the following:

1) My English is terrible so there will be frequent mistakes!
2) Directly relating to the afore mentioned, I can't spell and my grammar is shocking. I also frequently miss out words
3) There will probably be long sentences with awful punctuation!
4) I never proof read

Ok, now that's out the way: Vietnam!

Vietnam is somewhat of an enigma for me. Somedays I really enjoy it, and other days I want to drive into the nearest bus! It's a place that has brought out the best and worse in me and I can't say that that's a good thing.....but why?

1) The weather! My God it's hot! 'You should've known that before you flew out' is what you're probably thinking, or speaking out loud in disbelief....but let me explain. There's hot, unpleasant and humid and then there's hot, unpleasant and humid for 24 hours each and everyday! Well, maybe not each and everyday, but I'd say for about 90% of the time. Some of you may know that I'm a keen runner. For someone who's a touch on the porky side, I enjoy running and try to run 3 times a week and I think I don't do too badly for someone with a more than ample frame. However, running at 30 degrees C at 11 p.m. will give you some idea of the difficulties of a wonnabe marathon runner! Also, frequent powercuts at night, disable the one saving grace (you've guessed it - Air Con!) which subsequently turns my room into a sauna (yay).

2) The food! - at first, Vietnamese food is great. Then after a week, you realise, where's the choice?!?! If you want to eat rice and noodles everyday, it's wonderful! If you want to eat poor quality, undercooked, fatty meat...this is your country! Ok, there is seafood on the menu, but for me this isn't filling and seeing the eyes of what I'm eating doesn't really help my appetite. I guess that I was just spoilt in Korea, with a rich variety of culinary delights, so take what I'm saying with a pinch of salt. However, that being said, the fruit out here is pretty good, and will probably be the only food I'll miss when I eventually leave.

3) Paperwork, Corruption and Bribery! Well, as the good old saying goes: if you want something doing, bribe an official and you'll get something done! Here, it's all about the sly money. I wouldn't usually mind, but for some reason it really ticks me off. I know it's the 'foreigner tax' but still....grrrr.....I'll stop there as no doubt I'll devote a whole rant for it in the future!

I could go on....and on.....and on, but for now I'll leave it there. Vietnam is a truly beautiful country with amazing people. I'll talk about that more later, but for now, I'll save the nice side for a separate post as the good side deserves due care and attention and needs to be untarnished by my pet irritants at this moment!!

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