Thursday, March 24, 2011

How the wealthy expats live

THURSDAY 24th March
Yesterday was Ladies Lunch at the Texas BBQ  again.  With Sarah still in Hanoi, Amie and I went along. This time we sat next to a lady from Denmark who was visiting her son and his family, and Lorraine, a lady from Britain, whose husband is here overseeing construction of a plastics factory. She has lived for years in Malaysia and loved it, but hasn’t connected with Hai Phong. She’s looking forward to going home in a couple of weeks to meet her new grandchild and may not come back.

Like most of the Wednesday ladies, she lives in a gated community which consists of a couple of apartment blocks with a big courtyard and modern western apartments (@ $60 US a night...). She invited Amie and I over and gave us a couple of novels she’s finished with (books in English are like hen’s teeth around here). This is her place...

Check out the sofa! I haven’t sat on a sofa since I left home!  Amie and I reckon we should drop in to visit her again then we can sit on the sofa and have a cuppa!
She has a balcony on both sides, too.
She’s up on the third floor and when I looked over the balcony we could see somebody’s  cooks preparing chicken for dinner:

I started reading one of the books Lorraine gave us last night – House Rules by Jodi Picoult.  It about an 18 year old boy who has Asperges who is accused of murder.  It’s going to be a great read.
We thought we probably wouldn’t get to see Lorraine again because we were off to the wedding next Wednesday and she would be gone by the next one... but last night Ann called Amie, Sarah and I into the office and told us we couldn’t go to the wedding because she was worried that if there was a traffic jam or something and the bus didn’t get back in time then classes would have to be cancelled... we weren’t too impressed!  But like she pointed out it’s not like we know Oscar really well and several of the Vietnamese staff who do cannot go either... Apparently the issue is that it’s on a Wednesday and out of town....   Blah blah blah... excuses, excuses!  But we can still put money in an envelope and it will be given to the Bride and groom!
Sarah came back from Hanoi yesterday with a new tattoo – a phoenix that covers the top of her left foot. She’s delighted with it.  Eathen came back from Hanoi with a haircut.
Last night was pizza night, so Dave and I caught a taxi home after the last class and we had Wedges and pizza for dinner at 10 o’clock...
We are hosting a house-warming party come Trivia night on Sunday (Dave knows lots of other teachers and locals) so I have been delegated to go to the supermarket and get party supplies since it’s my day off today. The weather has turned cold and bleak again, so I won’t go exploring Hai Phong today... I’ll curl up and read my book when I get back... if only we had a sofa!
I wore my new pants to work last night... the ones with the crutch halfway down to my knees and the waistband up to my armpits... and as I walked they rode up my legs till my red walking shoes were fully on display like a pair of clown boots!!! Needless to say, Sun and I are going back to the tailor tomorrow to see what she can do to try and fix them.
I just had a text message from Sarah... we Aussies are bowling against Europe this arvo at the local bowling alley, so I'll join in and then shop after that :)
And so life goes on in Hai Phong...

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