Monday, 22 March 2010
Tuesday, 16 March 2010
I have meant to get another post on here for a while but, if I'm perfectly honest, I haven't had time. I've been rather busy being a lazy oik.
I like this feeling. It's rare that you get the opportunity to do very little and, quite frankly, I've thoroughly enjoyed it.
The first few months out here were very busy: trying to settle, making new friends, getting used to an unbelievably long term, getting used to how things work, being bewildered by the language. Now, we fully understand that we understand nothing and are pretty used to bumbling along. We are fully aware that this 'alternate universe' and way of living are temporary. We have a fixed contract and we can't stay over here forever. However, whilst we are here, we intend to take full advantage of it. When we go back to real life, this will be a distant but hopefully very warm memory. So, we've been trying to see as much of South East Asia as our holidays and wallets will allow. This February half-term we went to Vietnam.
Vietnam is extremely close to Thailand and pretty easy and cheap to get to. Despite its close proximity, it is actually very different. The people are very different. They seem to be more laid-back, less aware of how they look and far less interested in shopping (I never thought I'd say this, but it made a refreshing change not to see a shopping mall for miles).
We only had a week and many people who had been before told us that it would be almost impossible to see the country in such a short space of time. They obviously don't know the resourcefulness of 'Team Booth' (please God, shoot me for saying that or at least ban me from saying it again)! We planned an itinerary that spanned both major cities-Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City- and allowed us a stop off in between at a beach called Hoi An.
Hanoi was cold. Not freezing but bloody cold compared to Bangkok. And in our wisdom and foresight we only packed t-shirts and beach wear. That first day in Hanoi I wore a sexy combination of J's socks with my sandals, 2 t-shirts, a vest top, a shirt and the only pair of jeans I'd packed.
Vietnam has been colonised a few times. First by the Chinese for a few hundred years; then by the French. The influence of both nations is evident in the city of Hanoi. There were times you felt you could have been walking along a street in Paris. And they do a mean baguette.
We arrived at the very start of the Chinese New Year celebrations.
(part 2 to be done when feeling a little less lethargic...)
Posted by Bangkok Boothys at 04:39