Wednesday, September 16, 2009

What I have been doing: Part 2

I was returning home from dropping Celine at school when it occurred to me that I have been a tad lax in terms of blog updates. The thought dropped into my mind while negotiating the rain affected traffic and attempting to hold on to my remaining thong/flip flop. My dogged refusal to shop for what one would regard as the bare essentials illustrated my stupidity. As the lone rider unprotected from the rain, amongst thousands of locals wearing raincoats, I was as obvious as a fat kid in a candy store. To make matters worse the plug in my thong had broken a few days ago and instead of finding a new pair I would pop it back in and hope for the best. My thongs days were over as they decided to break again as I was riding. It was at this moment that thought I really should provide an update on what we have been doing.

We are now in our new house and really enjoying it. Have a look at the post from Celine "our flat" for a video. We have both been working hard, me with the tutoring and Celine trudging away at school. Celine is really enjoying it and is a great teacher (I promise no bias). Because of this we have been really quite busy.

Last Friday while Celine was at work I grabbed some dinner at a nearby street stall. Within minutes a Vietnamese guy came to chat in broken English. He was a friendly guy who ended up inviting me to sit with his friends who all work at one of the local banks, Agribank. Despite the obvious communication issues we had a good laugh and a few beers. They refused to let me pay for anything. Afterwards we went to a karaoke bar near where I live. There were four of us there and we switched between Vietnamese and English tunes. Here I was with three Vietnamese guys singing a solo “Like a Virgin” to their excited encouragement. Celine joined after her class, we belted out a few more numbers and on leaving they refused our repeated offers to pay. They were friendly guys and it was a fun night.

Celine has had to make a return to the dentist and will be sedated next week for a tooth extraction. Waiting for her next appointment we sat for lunch by Truc Bac Lake. It was not the best of lunches. It could have been the smelly rotten shrimp sauce that accompanied my meal (popular in Vietnam) or the security guard having a wee in the lake a few feet away. The wafts of smells were a bit too much to handle. We did find a great Japanese restaurant a few hours later so the day was not lost.

Last night we went to bar, Relax II, which was not really designed for our demographic, more the lonely old man seeking attention from young girls who looked no older than 15. It was fun to hear the live English music, sang by a Vietnamese guy whose lyrics were often adapted.

I have a new motorbike rented from a guy in the Old Quarter. It has a tendency to stall at the traffic lights. This is not a big issue except its stubborn refusal to start again, which proves a little stressful with a couple of hundred bikes beeping at you from behind.

Oh I tried pickled pigs ears the other day. I don’t recommend!
Dan dit qu'alors sur sa moto, sous la pluie, sa tongue cassee en deux en plein traffic routier, il s'est dit qu'il etait peut etre temps d'ecrire un post d'update.
il dit que nous sommes dans notre nouvel appart maintenant (voir mon post "notre appart" pour une video des lieux) et on s'y plait beaucoup.
On travaille dur tous les deux, lui prof a domicile et moi prof a l'ecole de langue. Du coup on est pas mal occupes.
Il parle de son Vendredi soir au karaoke d'en face, voir mon post "une semaine a Hanoi", puis de notre dejeuner avant-hier dans un restau de rue horrible qui me donne encore des cauchemars. Le petit troquet est en face de Truc Bach lake, le lac que les habitants d'Hanoi utilisent comme toilettes personelles, et qui pue l'egout a un kilometre. Alors manger des nouilles a la sauce aux crevettes pourries (ce n'est pas une expression. J'en ai deja parle et je le repete: c'est VRAIMENT de la sauce a la crevette "fermentee", joli mot pour dire "pourrie") devant le "lac caca"; comme l'apelle Dan, on s'en souviendra. En tout cas on a rit tout le long du repas. C'est a dire 7 minutes. Ensuite on est partis rincer le tout et effacer a jamais le gout et l'odeur avec un bon cafe.
Ps: Marine adore cette sauce. Je suis mi-horifiee mi-admirative :)
Le soir on a essaye un nouveau bar, relax II, qui clairement etait concu pour les expats masculins en recherche de companie jeune et vietnamienne. Pas pour nous... mais c'etait sympa de regarder et d'applaudir le chanteur Vietnamien qui chantait des chansons americaines en yaourt de la mort, et se tenait derriere un clavier play back: ses mains ne bougeaient pas au bon moment. Une bonne soiree quand meme!
On a une nouvelle moto, rouge, que Dan n'arrive jamais a demarrer. Alors quand on cale au beau milieu de la circulation quand le feu passe au vert, c'est gai. Mais j'arrive a la demarrer sans problemes, moi, et finis toujours par me pencher par dessus son epaule et demarrer la moto pour lui, ce qui l'enerve au possible! :) Ce qu'il n'a pas compris, c'est que je n'ai aucun merite; conduire pendant 10 ans ma renault 5 vieillote et difficile a demarrer m'a transformee en superwoman des allumages encrasses!

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