Monday, November 7, 2011

For Nan

I'd like to start this post with a special dedication to someone who I know will probably be one of the first to read it.

Nan, I didn't forget your birthday, I SWEAR I didn't! I was just really busy and by the time I got a chance to email you, it was 1 am over there, so I am very sorry and I hope your birthday was great and enjoy being.. well I'm not gonna say how old you are, but I hope you enjoy your new age :)

I was also asked to give the Sullivan's a quick shout out, cause I wasabi got them all briefly on Skype. So here you are jane, a special mention haha. You should feel very lucky to be on such an elite and well known blog at this, I mean I have like over 600 visitors haha. Anyway it was good seeing all your faces, especially Emma's, 'cause she's adorable

Okay now vietnam related things. Well Hue took Gaby and I out to dinner, and we were gonna order snails but we didn't end up doing that. We had some delicious rice paper rolls, and a hot pot... With yummy chucks of fish head. That's one of the weirder things I've eaten while here , others include fresh squid,duck liver and the other day for breakfast I had these famous noodles with chunks of solidified cows blood... yum.

Other than that it's all things I've noticed here is that when you eat with friends you do 'cheers' a lot. Not when it's just us and the small family, but going out to dinner on Friday, gaby and I counted that my host dad and all his friends that we went with clinked glasses 17 times over the course of the meal. I asked hue, and she said its to wish luck and happiness and good fortune. I guess they think the more you do it the higher your chances of luck? Every sip of beer would require a cheers and it was almost funny for Gab and I to watch.

Another big difference is the attitude to alcohol here. While at home, being 16 I'm not allowed to drink and while many 16 year olds do, it's not legal and uts normally not done around adults. Whereas here, I've been offered beer at home regularly, so has Angela. Spirits are just sold on the shelves in supermarkets, next to Hello Panda cookies and juice. A large bottle of vodka here is about $8. I don't have a lot of experience buying grog, but I think that's pretty. Heap, mind you everything's cheap here. But there's no drinking culture like in Australia. There's little drunkenness and binge drinking isn't really an issue. I think being exposed to alcohol their whole life being able to go out and drink doesn't have the same appeal as in Aus. The drinking culture here is that of drinking lots in a short amount of time, then not again. For example, my host dad will often drink 2 beers over dinner, but then stop, and that's all he'll drink. The teacher looking after us at VAS, mr Marshall told us that some teachers will often down a few beers at lunch, then stop. In aus, we might drink 6 beers, but over the course of the whole afternoon, so it's a bit different here.

I know I've talked about taxis before, but just to stress how cheap they are, the average rate is 11000 vnd per km. so about 50 cents. Pretty good rate. I still get the urge to reach for a seat belt every time I get in a taxi, but awks for me cause they don't have any...

Saturday we went to the temple of literature, which was very very beautiful. We also went shopping and went to the night markets again. I have like, 5 teenage boys I need to buy gifts for, and I have no idea what to get them, so if anyone has any suggestions, they would be MORE than welcome. Yesterday, I went to the movies here. I saw Real Steel, which actually wasn't that bad. It was in English with Vietnamese subtitles so, good for me at least.

Oh, and the other day I got up at 6 am and went to school. "so?" I hear you ask. "thats no big deal."

Well it was a Saturday. Why would anyone make students go to school on a Saturday, I do not know. It's a wacky system, with only one day off, where at least half the students do tutoring anyway.

So that's my complaining done, and now I shall leave on a funny note. This was last week, and while I don't think she reads my blog, Gab, if you see this, I apologies for making it public, but I think the world needs to know. In year 11 English,we were playing this game where we were given a letter and had to come up with things forgot retain categories. The categories were things like, 'a boys name in English' and 'a city' and 'a fruit or vegetable'. Well we were given the letter 'e' and when gaby's group was asked if they got one for fruit or veg, she proudly yelled out 'EGG!'. At first the class (including Angela and I) wasn't sure if she was joking. But she wasn't. She then tried to convince the whole class that egg is a vegetable. So since then, the amount of "hey look, there's an egg! Let's go plant it so an egg tree will grow!" and "if you have egg tonight, try and save the seeds so I can plant my own egg tree" and of course "hey look a veggie patch. I wonder if there's any eggs growing under the soil there?". So basically, we've been giving her hell.
Gaby, it doesn't mean we don't love you. It just means you're unintentionally one of the funniest people I've ever met. Love ya.

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