Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Another week in Hải Phòng

Tuesday 4th
Back in Hải Phòng, life has been as busy and delightful as ever this week, if a little quiet without my girls...

I arrived back in time to keep a promise I had made to meet a new group of students who were keen to speak to a foreigner. One other foreigner who also speaks English, came too and we chatted to the students in small groups.

 After some photos, we jumped on the bikes and headed off for supper...

The guy on the left was one of my students  VAIE three years ago!

Wednesday 5th
I finally caught up with the Wednesday ladies!  Lee and I shared a taxi to BKK Restaurant. It was lovely to finally meet with Jutta...we haven't had a chance so far this year.

When we left, Lee was taking photos with her Ipad and put it down on a seat next to her and forgot it. She realised as soon as she got back to the hotel, so she phoned the restaurant immediately. They said they did search for it, but couldn't find it. When Lien (their Vietnamese "daughter") found out she was on the case like a terrier down a rabbit hole.... Rode straight to the Restaurant demanding to look for herself. We had been part of a large party of 17 women, and had been the last of the lunchtime crowd to leave. Where Lee was sitting was in the back corner, so it was highly unlikely that anyone other than staff would have found it. Anyhow, Lien searched and there it was, hidden on a chair half way down the table, out of sight....nowhere near where Lee had been. Needless to say, Lee was hugely relieved to get it back, for she uses it as a camera, so all her photos are on it!

This is one she took of me ...

That night was the Gala at VIMARU. Once again, Khang invited me to go, and once again I thoroughly enjoyed it, in spite of being unable to understand anything spoken...but I understood the gist of the slapstick comedy no trouble.

Again this year, my friend Đạt was one of the lead comedians...so talented!

And Khang's dance troupe performed again

 Of course I was again invited to join the after-party...which I did for a while, saying goodnight at about 11:30 to walk home and leave them to party on well into the night.

Thursday 6th
NPCEC class as usual...I am going to miss these friends. I love their enthusiasm and grateful appreciation. They are what this Vietnam gig is all about.
Today my tickets for the Isagenix Vietnam Grand Opening Gala Dinner in a couple of weeks' time finally arrived...tickets for Will and meIt is finally going to happen!

Friday 7th
Tonight I taught Manh's Intermediate Class...absolutely delightful bunch

 Nga and Manh's new puppy

Sunday 9th
Today, Trang came to Hải Phòng to do some Isagenix meetings. It was short notice, so only a few of my friends could come... Lom and Chin, Dien, and two men I have met via Facebook... Trung Quân and Trần Thanh Toản engineers from Hải Dương.
They were interested in what Trang had to say as she explained the compensation plan, but the starting price was a big hurdle for these young men just beginning their careers.

Toản and Trung Quân
There was some miscommunication when I invited those two to come (no doubt because of the language barrier, which is more difficult over the phone) and they did not expect to come to a meeting even though I thought I had explained that...  Often people do not understand as much as they make out. Anyhow, it was nice to meet them and we arranged for me to go to Hải Dương to meet their new English Club... a great opportunity for me to also catch up with Tuyền


After the meeting Lom had to go to class, so Chin and I had lunch together. He is working now, for LG, and has matured into a lovely young man. I have no doubt he will have great success in his life. 

Monday 10th
This morning, this delightful young lady, Xuân, picked me up and took me home to her family's place for lunch. She has heaps of personality and drive and contacted me, a stranger, based on my reputation. Her English will improve rapidly because she is so passionate to learn.  

I had a very pleasant couple of hours with her...she even tried to teach me some Vietnamese  haha.

Tuesday 11th
On Tuesday I went to see my dear dentist, Mr Cường. When I went to him two years ago he had just opened his practice, and I was his first foreign customer. He did such a great job repairing my teeth (SOOOO much cheaper than I could get the work done in Australia) that I recommended him to all my ex-pat friends. Since then, he has had a steadily growing stream of Western patients...so many he proudly displays a photo wall of them!  He had sent me a text message urging me to visit him so he could check my teeth free of charge as a thank you.

When he did so, he expressed surprise at how clean and healthy my gums are...apparently unusually so. I expect that is another result of great nutrition!

As I was walking back to the Hotel, I bumped into some old friends.. Huy and Bạn, so they invited me to stop for a cold drink.  What a pleasure!

That evening the teachers and the exec of NPCEC went out to dinner to farewell Jutta. She is leaving Hải Phòng this weekend... relocating to Hà Nội. She has made many dear friends in the three years she has been here, so it will be hard to leave, but her job has organised the transfer. The good news is that the school she will be affiliating with sounds like a far better arrangement than she has had to put up with here in the last twelve months. She has found a lovely apartment not far from the Lake, so that is something to look forward to.

She will be missed.

Wednesday 12th
The next day was another farewell for Jutta with the Wednesday girls... and also for Maritha. Even though I have hardly seen them this year, it is sad to know they will not be there when I return. They have been lovely friends. I am so glad they can speak English, because my German is VERY limited, and my Swedish is non-exixtent  haha.

Of course there are so many new faces in this group now. It has grown considerably in the last four years. I think when Maritha goes, Caroline will be the only one left from the group I joined with four years ago.

Wednesdays are always busy... after dinner Hiếu picked me up and for the last time this year I went with him to ABC Club. Afterwards Nhung, Trung Ho, Hiếu and I went for a cool drink and great conversation once again. I do enjoy the company of these dear friends.

No comments:

Post a Comment