Monday, May 24, 2010

Our new bed

We recently bought an air-conditioner for our house and as a result we now have a new bed. As you know (from my previous post whinging), the weather is getting hot. We were forced to take action so we went to appliances street and bought an air-con. The air-con cost 5,000,000 VND which works out to be around $350. This included installation so was pretty cheap considering. We were able to buy a name brand, Samsung, and they installed it that day. We decided to install it in our second lounge room, opposite our bedroom, because that is where we planned to spend most of our time.

The workman created a massive mess with dust and bits of wall all over the floor. It went all over our stuff, reminiscent of the idiot workers we once had in Sydney, and the boys had no intention of cleaning it up. I have asked some locals and here in Hanoi the workers are not expected to clean up the mess, only to install the unit. The mess is our problem so we spent a few hours cleaning it up.

The air-con is our saviour so we have moved rooms, now sleeping on the floor on top of our duvet/quilt. It seems we have really adapted to the Vietnamese way in terms of sleeping on hard surfaces. We love the new bed (floor) and may never invest in a mattress again! It turns out they are overrated. We always have a good nights sleep. I really think the Vietnamese are on to something in how they sleep at night.

1 comment:

  1. What's That Pho?

    French 'loan words' in Vietnam hark back to old colonial days

    Pho is a French word? Who knew?

    One of the most popular dishes from Vietnam to make it to restaurant tables
    around the world, from New York to London, is pho. There's pho bo and
    pho ga and pho tai and more.
    And while the jury's still out, it is widely believed
    by linguists and word sleuths that the word ''pho'' is not a
    Vietnamese word, but in fact comes from the French term "pot au feu"
    (pronounced ''poh oh fuh''). The word was likely introduced to Vietnam
    by French colonialists more than 100 years ago, according to longtime
    Vietnam resident Didier Corlou, a top French
    chef in Hanoi. Corlou told a food seminar in Hanoi in 2003 that
    ''pho'' most likely was a transliteration of the French term for hot

    The list of French "loans words" still used in Vietnam today is
    gaining recognition as young Vietnamese
    become more curious about their nation's past, 23-year -old Abby
    Nguyen of Ho Chi Minh City told me in
    a recent email.

    Before the Americans got involved in a long and protacted war in
    Vietnam in the 1960s and 70s, the French had been heavily involved in
    the country for over 300 years, she said. From 1853 to 1954, France ran Vietnam
    as an
    overseas colony. As a result, Vietnam's French
    colonial past has left
    an indelible mark on the country's language.

    The Vietnamese word for cheese, for example,
    ''pho mat'', comes from the French word ''fromage" -- say it out loud
    slowly -- and cake is called "ga to",
    from the French word "gateau."

    The word for butter -- "bo" -- comes from the French word "buerre."

    During a recent research expedition via keyboard and Internet, this
    reporter came across over 25
    "loan words" from French still used in Vietnam today, in addition to
    pho mat and ga to and bo.

    To understand
    all this, it helps to know a little French, but even if you never
    studied French in high school or college and you don't
    know bonjour from bonsoir, ''amusez-vous bien''. That means: ''Enjoy!''

    Liver pate is called "pa" in Vietnam today. Pate chaud, according to
    Californian foodie Andrea Nguyen of the Viet World Kitchen blog, is