Trip Start Apr 02, 2006
35Trip End Feb 14, 2008
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1 - got my 'thailand tattoo' stepping backwards into the very hot exhaust of a motorbike which leaves a big slash of burn across the back of my calf that takes ages to heal in the humdity (but thank you kelly and donna for my tui balm - works a treat)
2 - countless upset stomach incidents - (see a previous entry!)
3 - had my bag ripped off me by motorbike thieves - taking my phone, my credit cards, drivers licence, all my money and terrifying the hell out of me!!! but i keep getting told I was lucky, because the strap of my bag broke thus not pulling me off the back of the motorbike and smashing my head open on the road and getting run over then probably stabbed..
4 - dramas dealing with nz banks to get new credit cards sent to me and having to spend three weeks borrowing money to survive
5 - having my visa extension denied for unknown reason, meaning I had to reapply for a brand new visa and costing US$95 instead of 20!!! bastard
6 - lending my camera to a friend for an hour and in that time he manages to delete all the photos of my last 6 weeks in viet nam!!!! double bastard
7 - lending my ipod to my flatmate and him loosing it!!!! triple bastard
all the fates are telling to bust a move out of here - but despite all this I have not dissolved into a wreck, I still have a smile, my chin is up and I have no intention of leaving here anytime soon!!?? I dont know what that is about but I just have this feeling that there is something massively good for me here that will cancel out all the crappy stuff.
and i think maybe it is my career - i had been half heartedly looking for teaching work feeling very unconfident about the idea when i had the brain wave of contacting the editor of the local expat magazine 'saigon inside-out' (check out www.saigoninsideout.com) about doing work for them and sent some portfolio photos. within literally half an hour of sending the email they called me and asked me to come in the next morning for an interview! so it turns out that the magazine is run by 3 english guys (with vietnamese wives as foreigners cant own businesses - or property, or cars, or motorbikes) who also run an advertising agency from the same building (see www.threesixfive-days.com) and both businesses are expanding quickly and they are spread thinnly thus definitely need me - as an art director!! to help oversee 5 vietnamese designers!! and work on all sorts of rad projects including set design for tv shows! we are in negotiating stages now - they have to figure out how to create this position out of thin air etc but i am working there this week to produce some artwork for some concept boards for two tv commercials. i am very excited about the whole thing - it would be a great opportunity in nz, so to get in in saigon is so much cooler - i can make good money here and live like a queen!
so potentially my mongolian expedition is postponed..
- my vietnamese is coming along slowly but i can curse like a sailor! lisa - you would be proud!
- i have been taken on many eating expeditions by my dj fan club so sampled the delights of chicken feet(yuck), rice wine with seahorses(poor little seahorses), pig stomach (horrendous), wild boar, duck foetus(the most awful thing you have ever seen let alone put in your gob), eel, weird snake/fish, and of course dog - dog trachea! (revolting) and then dog mince cooked in a ball wrapped around a dog rib which actually was very good :`( - and i am learning to eat like a vietnamese too - mouth open, chewing loudly and messily, spitting the bits you dont want on the ground... but I still havent got the speed or the capacity for massive amounts of food
- i am getting well known around the backpacker/bar hood and cannot walk down the street with out having at least 3 hugs, 1 hand kissed, 5 cheeks kissed and 1,000,000 smiles and 'hey chens! its like i am in 'cheers'!!
oh yes - i have a new phone number now - +84 090 464 5355
and i have an address too!
96/3 Duy Tan
Ho Chi Minh City
- if you feel so inclined to write me snail mail styles!