Saturday, September 21, 2013

Week Two - Classes at VAIE, and a quick trip to Hanoi !

Huge frustrations... I have been trying unsuccessfully now for 2 weeks to upload photos to my blog!  Finally, tonight (29/9/13) the problem has resolved, but I'm so far behind now!!!... but here goes for last week...

Back into a routine already!  Early morning walks with Tuyền, classes at VAIE and Nam Phap Church and spending time with dear friends in between.

After our walk on Monday morning I went into work and prepared my lessons for the evening, organised photocopying etc. Not much has changed... except that there is a new photocopier now.  Josie and I had bánh đa cua for lunch at a little street restaurant - first time she had experienced that. We sat on a low wooden bench and enjoyed our bowls of crab noodle soup, happily trying to communicate with the lady who made it.  It was past 1pm and very hot by the time I walked home... So grateful for air-conditioning! 

My first classes were very enjoyable. First up, some teenagers, then a small Level 6 class. On the way home I sat and chatted with Josie and some other Western teachers from other schools. Time gets was after 11 by the time I walked home!  Nevertheless, I was up at 5:30am for my walk as usual. A young local girl named Thương has started walking with me too. She is studying to become a Tour Guide and is very keen get to know Tuyền and to practice her English.

On Wednesday, Khánh wanted to buy a German-Vietnamese dictionary, so we went to a couple of bookshops and he came away with an enormous tome - 150,000 words and it weights 3 Kgs!! It will definitely have to be packed in his cabin luggage! We stopped off on the way back for Chè Thái...  


It was Mid-Autumn Festival this week and the streets are getting clogged with throngs of people every night as the crowds gather to watch the Lion Dancing teams perform. This is typical of the festivities...

On Wednesday Khánh and I went to Mỳ Vằn Thắn one last time for lunch, delicious as usual. I am so not looking forward to next week when he leaves for Germany.  

I had 2 Level One classes on both Wednesday and Thursday... new students, familiar lessons. That was fun. (I do actually work occasionally ...  LOL)

On Thursday Khánh took me to Nam Phap Church class and we had a good time discussing the Mid-Autumn Festival. During the discussion time I sat with this delightful group of students who are new to me... 
Tùng, Thái, Huệ, Đạt, Hữu and Sơn

On Friday, Khánh called from Hà Nội and suggested I come for one last dinner and night out with him and Will, so I caught a bus in the afternoon and did just that! I hung out at Jomas for a while till Khánh picked me up and we headed out to Westlake to meet Will and some of his colleagues who were enjoying Friday night drinks. I took this pic of these dragonflies made from grasses as we rode past them... 

Of course it was lovely to catch up with Will again... we were pretty late because of peak hour traffic, so shortly after we arrived, Will and his friends (who had already eaten) decided to go to karaoke, so that's what we did...

Karaoke was followed by some dancing at a nightclub, then duck noodle just before the curfew... everything shuts down in Hà Nội at 11pm!

So it wasn't a really late night, but it was a very early start in the morning! Khánh wanted to catch the 6am train, which meant getting to the station by 5:30, so I was up, waiting for him by 4:45am. Hà Nội streets are deserted at that hour! 

 ...but not so the station.  It was crowded with people and taxis. We were in plenty of time to catch the train, so all went smoothly and I was home again by 9:30 - less than 24 hours away!

That afternoon, Hùng picked me up and we went shopping for a going away present for Khánh - a pair of Converse shoes. 

Then we had Bún Chả for dinner
Later on, Khánh joined us and we played Tenzi for a while
then took some photos.......

And that was how Saturday panned out.

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