Bai Xep

Yesterday I rented a motorbike again. Driving here is scary. But outside the city it’s soooo fun because there aren’t many people on the road. I drove around aimlessly away from town and saw so many breathtaking things. I stumbled upon a beautiful fishing village with an island.  The water was so clear blue it hurt. I walked around on the beach for a while, to many HELLOs from the local children. It looked like the locals were thoroughly engaged in snorkeling and sea urchin hunting. Everyone was friendly, except the young boy who angrily threw sand in my face. Haha.

Then, I went to this place called Haven.  The road there was kind of horrifying because it wound up and down steep hills and trucks and huge buses passed me a bit too close for comfort.

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Exploring and Making Friends

After a lot of thought, I decided to go back to USA in October. I told my boss and coworkers that I’ll be leaving then, so it’s official!

It wasn’t an easy decision to make for a number of reasons, and I’m still a little conflicted about it to be honest. But life is full of tough decisions and there’s no right or wrong way to do things. I’m just trying to do what’s best for me! I’ve been isolated, unhappy, and terribly hot, so why not have a change of scenery?  Hopefully I’ll be able to look back on my time traveling in Korea and Vietnam as a bright and meaningful experience.

Since I know I’ll be leaving soon, I’ve been trying to make the most of my time here (in between intense study sessions for the LSAT that is!).

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What are you doing here?

“What are you doing here?”

It’s a question a lot of Vietnamese people probably want to ask me (or actually are asking me and I just can’t understand it) as they see me, a twenty-two year old white American female, browsing casually through the grocery store or studying for my LSAT in a cafe.  Listening to music, sweating profusely in the heat. And alone. Always, always alone.

Tonight, my new coworker “Pierre,” a French guy masquerading as an American so he can teach English as a native speaker, invited “Curly,” my other coworker, to come with him to check out some local real estate and then grab dinner. I overheard this conversation and decided to invite myself. Figured it’d be nice to get to know my coworkers, and they are certainly a strange pair.

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I’m sick :(

I went into work this afternoon and had to leave in the middle of my last class because I felt like I literally couldn’t stand up. It was pretty embarrassing. If there’s one thing I hate, it’s missing work because of illness. I always feel like no one will believe me that I’m actually sick.

Especially since the day before I told my boss I’d like less work hours. My contract is for 25-35 hours per week, and for the past month I’ve had just about 35.  I know that doesn’t sound like much, but in Vietnam, 35 hours of teaching is considered a lot a lot, especially given the fact that I’m only getting $1000 USD per month. Yesterday I had five classes for a total of eight and a half hours, spanning from 7:30AM to 8:30PM.  So it’s possible that my long work hours have caused me to fall ill, and not infected food or mosquito bites!

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The Ins and Outs of Quinhon Cuisine

After much debate, I decided that I definitely want to stay in Quinhon until my contract ends. If I quit, I’d still have challenges facing me back at home. I’d have to find housing, a job, and a way to study for the LSAT in the midst of all the changes.  And I’d have lost the opportunity to gain valuable work experience.  So I’m staying (unless I get randomly fired again, which I hope doesn’t happen!).

My modus operandi isn’t to chase a carefree, happy life. I believe in learning to see positives, even in difficult times.  Life is stressful, no matter if you’re living in Quinhon or Anapolis. Fulfilling my contract here will be great practice in stress management, and will also give me an invaluable opportunity to learn about a culture different from my own.

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The Lonely Foreigner

I do not like living in Qui Nhon.

The English is at a really low level. Vietnamese is a tonal language, so even when I do memorize a few words and phrases, no one understands what I’m trying to say because I can’t get the tones right. Ordering food is virtually impossible. Literally everything I’ve eaten so far has made me sick. I may never not have diarrhea again.  Locals overcharge me. I work splits six days a week. The school is infested with rats. I experience strange spells of lightheadedness. I am living out of a suitcase. The beach is right next to my hotel room, but the weather is so scorching and humid that I can’t enjoy it. Indoors, airconditioning is sparse. People stare at me wherever I go. Teenagers come up to me for pictures. Parents push their children towards me and I am compelled to have uncomfortable, phony conversations with them, consisting mainly of “How are you today?” “I’m five.”

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Sneaky Selfies, Karma, and Loneliness

Right now I’m sitting in a place called Cafe Sunrise. As I type this, there is an elderly gentleman with a gold watch on sits in front of me. He’s in sunglasses smoking a cigarette. I caught him taking selfies, and thought oh how cute.  Then I looked closer, and noticed that his selfies were carefully composed to feature me typing on my computer in the background of every shot. 

 

why obsessed

 

I eventually decided to just go up to him and strike a pose.

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Allergies

I have allergies. Symptoms include: horrendously itchy nose, runny-stuffy nose, watery puppydog eyes, wet cough, headache, misery. Does anyong have any advice about allergies? No idea how to find out what’s causing them exactly, or how to stop this torture.

 

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