Tuesday, May 29, 2012


Lately, Tuesday has been my day off, and it's usually pretty quiet because I don't have anything booked in for Tuesdays on a regular basis. Today was shaping up to be a typical Tuesday, then a couple of different friends contacted me about hanging out. So at 10.30 I walked down the lane to AT Cafe to meet Frank. He's one of my students and is keen to practice his English. AT Cafe was renovated last year when I was here and it has a beautiful decor with very comfortable lounges and a variety of delicious fresh fruit juices on the menu. Since we have no lounge area here in the house (it's either the kitchen table or the bedroom if I want to sit and chat) I decided to adopt AT Cafe as my new living room... So Frank and I sat in comfort, enjoyed fresh juice, and chatted for an hour. It was such a good idea, later in the afternoon when beautiful Lina (from VAIE) dropped in to say hello, we ended up down there again... sitting in comfort, sipping a fresh juice and chatting away to our heart's content.  Comfortable lounges are as rare as hen's teeth in Hải Phòng and you don't realise how much you miss it till you sink back into a soft lounge again!

I thought I would have a quiet evening, for my usual IELTS group are in the middle of exams, but I had a call from Meagan asking if I was free to teach a class for her tonight, so at 5.30 I walked to her school and taught a class of 10-14 year olds. We had fun and after the class I went downstairs and ordered dinner. James, her regular teacher was there by then. He'd had a nightmare day chasing his passport and visa and losing his phone all in one day, but was sorting himself out by then. He's from England. He taught in South Korea last year, so he could give me first hand impressions and some handy hints about teaching there in case I go there next year. Apparently it's far better to teach in the public school system there than in a language school, and the best gig is as a university lecturer (but my degrees are not in education, so I probably wouldn't qualify for that).

He has also spent time in Germany and Berlin is his favourite city, so he was very enthusiastic describing life and conditions in Berlin. The city Khánh is planning to go to next year is adjacent to Berlin and he has suggested that I should teach in Germany next year... so it was interesting to hear what James had to say.

I was walking home and half way down Lạch Tray I heard someone call my name. I turned to find Ba sitting with some friends having a glass of tea. They invited me to join them, so I sat down and enjoyed a glass of iced tea and some conversation. It was a very pleasant night for sitting outside with a cool drink. Several of the boys are studying for uni exams and they were taking a break. When it was time for me to go on home, Ba kindly joined me and walked me home. He is working for a shipping company and will be concentrating on improving his English for the next four months, then he will be at sea. He is a navigator and will work on the bridge, so he needs English in order to be promoted through the ranks. So I will probably see him often over the time he is still here.

And to cap off a lovely day, Revenge was on TV, so I watched some telly before going to sleep with a big smile on my face...

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