Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Places I frequent...

I decided that the best way for anyone to truly understand something is to experience it visually. The first is being there. If you can't be there then a video is second best. A picture is third AND since a picture is worth a thousand words there's a whole lot of typing I won't have to do.

Diamond Plaza. My friend Katie lives there and its where I spent five days convalescing after my accident.

The Saigon Post Office. I've actually spent quite a bit of time there. I usually wait until I get there to write my postcards. The post office is in a beautiful part of town so lots of photo shoots occur there.

This is where I buy my banh mi for breakfast on the weekends. They give you a wet cloth and a toothpick for free! ::aaaah:: The little things in life.

ILA. This is where I work! It's on the corner of Nguyen Dinh Chieu and Pasteur Streets.

STA Travel: It's not a real STA but I use it anyways because the two girls that work there are amazing. Phuong is on the left and Mai is on the right. They're so sweet and we have so much fun chatting whenever I drop in. Well, at least I hope they do. I certainly do. 

Bobby Brewers: 45 Bui Vien, District 1. They show movies here for free and I spend most of my days off here.

Twilight posters. This one is for you Chrissy!

The inside of Bobby Brewers. It's pretty comfortable!

I had to throw this one in. After I took the picture of Phuong and Mai these two jokers started teasing them. They asked "why are you taking pictures of ugly people? You need to take pictures of good looking people!" Then they jumped up and posed like 15 year old Korean girls. How could you not love this one?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A cool thing happened to me today...

I was at my favorite pho place for dinner tonight, reading my book and waiting for my friends JP and Hannah to join me. It's kind of the place where everybody knows my name except name = dinner order. Actuallllly, the young boy who works there, who befriended me very early on and helped immensely right after my accident, knows my name so maybe the rest know my name too. They're all amazing people. They get really excited and are quite pleased every time I introduce new people to their restaurant. Anyways, the kid's name is Ha and every time I go there he's learned another phrase in English so we can chat even though my Viet is better than his English. (I might be exaggerating.)
So anyways (that's for you Selina), I was sitting there reading and waiting when I heard a voice behind me speaking very broken Vietnamese with a English accent. I turned around to see two hippies behind me trying to order pho without meat because they are vegetarians. The guy says "Toi khong an thit" (I don't eat meat - sans the accent marks), a phrase I'll have to teach my mother when she comes to visit. He pronounced 'khong' or 'no' the way the guidebooks tell you to pronounce it, which is oh so wrong. Trust me. I'd been saying it just as wrong until I started Viet lessons. The guidebooks say "kawng" and it's more of a "khum". Anyways, I spoke to the woman who was preparing the pho for tonight and said it properly and she repeated the phrase and then said 'ohhhh.' Then he asked how much it was and the woman who's in charge there understands English somewhat so she knew what he was asking but she doesn't know enough to say it in English so she said 'hai muoi' (20 which is short for 20,000vnd (we don't usually say 'thousand' when discussing money matters because we know its thousand. If it's anything higher we then start to include the denominations.)) So I turned to the guy and told him 20,000vnd and he said 'oh great' and he and his girlfriend found some seats. As I was turning back to my book I heard him say "thank you so much." I turned back to see him smiling gratefully and that made my day. Not only because of his really obviously grateful way of saying thanks, but because I felt like I had made 'local status.' I'm sure I made it months ago after I had my accident and I didn't run back to the States but I like to think of that time as when I achieved "hero status."
I'm silly, I know.

*Ignore the fact that I switch between double quotes to single quotes. I'm writing this blog post in the dark because I was inspired at 5:30am but also too lazy to get out of bed and turn on the lights. I've taken much longer to type this than I normally would because I couldn't see the keys as I typed. I did do much better than I expected.

**Next blog post will be titled "How I rocked my Professional Development Interview and Feedback Session." It's two different meetings btdubs.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

A few pictures from Phu Quoc Island

Welcome to Phu Quoc!

My attempt at an advert for the Kindle.

Hello, I'm Martin 147. Not sure why but that's the sticker that was on my bicycle.

What passes for construction safety in Vietnam.

After 2 hours in the sun I was starting to resemble a lobster.

My first bike. Never want to ride another one like it again. It's way too heavy.

Had to take a picture of myself during one of our many pit stops.

Bai Sao: Where does the sand end and the sea start?

Our wonderful hosts at Coco Palm Resort.