I’ve been in Vietnam since January 3rd and somehow I’ve only found time to make a first post now on January 18th. And even for my first post, I will have to be very brief because I have a shit ton of work to do for this weekend and the following week. I guess I’ll do it in point form until I have time to sit down and really put something together.
* Rosemary and I landed safely on the morning of January 3rd, 2013 at Tan Son Nhat Airport in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam. Jetlag ran its course and we didn’t really get use to the 12 hour time difference until about 5 days later. Before that, we were waking at odd hours in the middle of the night and forcing ourselves back to sleep.
* My dad thought that getting me a motorbike would be a great Christmas gift. I agree. But, I’m also well aware of the increased risk I now pose to myself. Whatever, I have a sweet bike.
* My extended family here has been ridiculously gracious and welcoming. They’ve kept us well fed, well entertained, and even invited us to one of my cousin’s restaurant grand opening and his daugther’s baptism party. All I can say is that Vietnamese people party weird. There is no shame when it comes to your karaoke skills and these guys, despite being generally smaller in frame, can drink. A lot. I thought I was going to get break from beers and get a bit of a detox from drinking in Canada. Nope. You can also get a 24 of beer for $10.
* Rosie and I started our TESOL course with the Australia-Vietnam School of English on January 7th, 2013. The course is going well so far. We’re about the halfway mark now. We’ve done our 10 hours in-class teaching observation and are about to commence our 10 hours in-class teaching practice. Our first teaching practice class is tomorrow morning and runs for two hours. I should be doing my lesson planning right now but I’m procrastinating.
* I ate 3 baluts one night while drinking aggressively with my many cousins. If you don’t know what that is, Google it. Although I must say that Google images of balut makes it appear worse than it actually is.
* Rosie and I had an informal chat with an HR manager at the Asian International School of Vietnam earlier this week. We were subsequently brought in for an interview on Thursday morning at the International Primary School campus. The manager seemed quite impressed with us and spoke to us as if we got the position. We now have a demo class next Thursday afternoon where we must teach part of a class to highlight our teaching abilities and negotiate salary. I’m told the school pays a fairly decent competitive salary. The school is also quite prestigious; years 11 and 12 pay a little over $4,700 annually (tuition and meals included) at this school, which is incredibly ridiculous given what the cost of living here is and the average salary is for a Vietnamese family. Apparently, only the wealthy can afford to send their kids to this particular school. Needless to say, Rosie and I are hoping this all pans out. It would mean teaching in the morning and afternoon, Monday to Friday, with evenings and weekends off.
* The Tet festival in Vietnam is quickly approaching and Rosie and I plan to decompress a bit in the Phu Quoc islands for a few days during that time. We have plans to go squid fishing at night, which is supposedly a very cool activity to do there.
That’s it for now. I will posting pictures and videos soon when I get more time. I’m currently in the thick of things trying to complete the TESOL program so updates will be a bit far and few for now. I plan to get the majority of my work done, then Rosie and I want to go to Nha Trang (8 hours north of Saigon, right on the coast) to meet up with Erika Kanduth and her friends on the weekend of January 25th.
PS – I have compiled some pretty rad footage of the traffic in Saigon on my GoPro HD Hero 2 camera. I will post that as soon as I can.