My time at VPV is quickly coming to an end. It's hard to believe month 1 is almost already over.
This past week consisted of a few interesting days.
We finally made it to Bat Trang, a ceramic village that we had intended on throwing out own pots, bowls ect. Unfortunately when we arrived we found our options less than what we'd expected. We were able to mold clay into bowls, or paint already fired objects, so we chose the latter. Once we were finished we were trying to figure out where to get them glazed, as the women who owned the shop didn't speak any English and there is only so much our Vietnamese dictionaries can do for us... Needless to say we now have painted, once fired pottery that is basically useless because it has not been glazed... ha? ha?... Luckily it was a day well spent and a nice drive out of the city. I am yet to get used to cows hanging out on the side of the roads...
Many of our days were filled with biking excursions that didn't turn out as well as planned. Alex, Emily and I headed into the city to wander the streets and on the way home one of the tires on Alex's bike blew just passed the old quarter, in the middle of rush hour. After a solid 2 hours of being lost and curb surfing ( aka biking the wrong way down one way streets due to high volume traffic and a s***ty map) the crappy bike had it. We found a man working on the side of the road and waited in the rain while it got fixed. Just incase you were wondering what a new inner tube and instalation would set you back for a bicycle here is !0,000 VND. Aka fify cents...
We rode about another 4km and then my pedals locked up and the chain fell off my bike with another 4 km until we reached home. To my surprise I managed to get it back on and we found our way back. About 6 hours of biking later we managed to get home.
Emily and I decided to go bike shopping on Wednesday after school to try to find something a little more suitable, this ended up in another fleet of getting lost as once again our cab driver had no idea where Tay Mo was and we ended on a scenic tour of the West Lake. Luckily, in these situations we find our selves yelling a lot, and laughing about it even more.
My last couple days of teaching have been interesting as the kids were in exams and the timetable was jumbled around. Alex sadly left for Austrialia on Tuesday so this meant I had all the classes on my own for the remainder of the week. It's alarming how many girls here are obsessed with Justin Bieber... I gave them a writing assignment about change and was really blown away by the amount of students that were deeply worried about the education system in the country and the state the environment is in as well. Yesterday was my last day teaching these kids.
Last night we walked from my place to the lake to join the crowd at Fanny, the most amazing ice cream parlour in the country. The first friday of each month is all you can eat buffet for the equivalent of 5 bucks, which included ice cream, sorbets, crepes, fruit, a billion toppings and us not eating anything but sugar for dinner...
After the hoarding back a frightening amount we followed Thomas and the Finish boys to the Dragonfly, a club in the old quarter. Surrounded by locals, blarring music, dancing and cigarettes (welcome to Asia), we met up with team America and stayed out late before wandering back home to my new pad.
Tomorrow we are celebrating my birthday by having Canada Day & Thanksgiving combined, so we are getting up early to hit the markets and attempt to create a dinner feast on all a stove top. Oven's in this country are only found in selective places, aka restaurants and bakery's. Needless to say our dinner and dessert its going to be a hit or miss. I am sure it will all pan out alright seeing as we will be wearing all red and white... including face paint since Alice managed to rummage some up in the lost and found here at VPV.
Monday & Tuesday I am going to join Lauren and some of the others at the Friendship Village. A place that was created for disabled children that suffer the longterm affects of the war, as many of their families were affected by Agent Orange. They are working on painting with the children, murals in each of the 3 classrooms so it sounded like a good way to spend my last 2 days here.
Wednesday I plan on sleeping in and wandering around buying myself useless things... it will be my birthday after all :D And then going on the pedal swans out on the East River with everyone after work. Unfortunately after this, reality must sink in although I would rather it not and I need to get cracking on finding myself an actual job. I have had a couple options arise already and I haven't even been looking so my hopes are high for this to be a simple task.
In means of touring around, I haven't been anywhere overly new and exciting but it has been a good week and I am glad I am getting grips on where I am in the city now because well, it's huge.
Next weekend we are planning on going South to Ninhbinh to do some trekking and check out the caves and surrounding mountains. Time to get out of the city and get a little wild :)
Anyways, I am off to join the others!