Friday, June 29, 2012

Saigon...not so bad after all

Last weekend we went to HCMC - Johnny for work and me just to tag along. I didn't want to go actually but I'm glad I did because I became a little less of of a city hater. I still felt a tad claustrophobic but I caught up with Nikki and after we had cupcakes at L'usine, checked out a few boutiquey clothes stores and had a drink at Decibel I was a little more sold. Staying at the New World Hotel on the fancy executive floor in a bed I can only describe as a giant silk nest giving you hugs probably helped too.

Other highlights included eating Beard Papa, Warda and The Deck (staples), buying the above bunny and dinosaur knick knacks (whose names are now Nibbles & Bits) and Johnny surprising me with a new ukulele (may or may not have had something to do with him getting insanely drunk the night before).

In other news, back here in Hanoi we're putting our new Accor card to good use. You have to buy it but it means you get a free night in any worldwide hotel AND, this is the best part, 50% food at any of the hotels. You know what that means? 50% off at our beloved Metropole. #win

It's only recently occurred to us that we're heading off the Bali and Singapore next week too. #doublewin. Can't wait!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Francesco Tristano

We saw Francesco Tristano play live on Tuesday night at a bar called CAMA ATK near our house.

I didn't know who he was but anyone who plays with Carl Craig and can cover Strings Of Life has to be a winner in my books. And he was.

Note, he played this piano live. LIVE. I quietly lost it in my own special way. It was insane.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Hoi An: Fantastic and fantastically bad timing

Fantastic timing: Getting back to Vietnam from Sydney just in time to make Johnny's annual work trip to Hoi An. It doesn't look like there's much work on his behalf getting done here but trust me there is. It's would just make a really boring photo.

Fantastically bad timing: Since we went to Hoi An last year there wasn't much we were itching to do except one thing- visit the amazing restaurant Morning Glory (hands down the best Vietnamese food I've had ever anywhere). We saved this for the last day and when we got there we found they were closed for renovations. That's okay I thought, they owned other restaurants I figured would be just as good. Nope, they were all closed for renovations. *Insert devastation here*

On a side note, we made a little more effort to "do something" this time round and visited the Champa ruins at Mỹ Sơn. To be honest it wasn't terribly exciting but it was worth the trip just to walk through the forest full of huge butterflies down a little path that felt like it led to nowhere (they actually said not to bother walking down there). It was also very exciting on the trip out there to see a football field full of cows and a hot pink house. Hot pink! Such a shame I couldn't score a photo but it was real I swear.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Oops, was that 6 months?

Pretty much. Somehow I went back to Sydney for Christmas and Tabitha's wedding and ended up being there all that time. I initially had visions of a glorious beach filled summer but in reality it was a lot of working my ass off (okay only some of the time), being cold (alot of the time) and spending way too much money (phew thank god that's over).

When I first got back to Sydney I had a hit of reverse culture shock from two things- 1) holy moly were portion sizes huge, and 2) everyone's standard of living had noticeably been upped. Scary.

But now I'm back in Hanoi so there's a lot of reverse reverse culture shock happening again. I should probably mention first that in order to get back here I almost missed both my flights, one my fault, one not. Let's just say I found out that my new Swedish Hasbeens as much as they are awesome and comfortable are most definitely not made for running through airports.

But I digress- Hanoi, culture shock, yada yada.

There were a few things that I had forgotten, namely, everything. Including my small amount of crappy language skills.

Here are a few other things:

It's hot here. Really. Bloody. Hot. Don't even get me started on sweat.
    Things never go to plan/are easy. I had three rolls of film scanned and developed. Last time for some reason they just "missed" scanning and developing a chunk of shots that were on the negatives so this time I checked every one. They had missed printing 1 shot right in the middle of the negatives and only put 43 of the over 60 shots on the cd. After I got them to put the rest on and I got home they didn't open. Sigh.

      Blatant staring and being talked about. I woman laughed at me because I was riding my bike with a helmet. Johnny asked "are you sure it wasn't the flowers on your bike?". I'm sure.

      You can't just buy what you need in a convenient easy way. I rocked up to the supermarket only to remember produce there is pretty much limited to tomatoes, pumpkin, eggplant and Asian veges that taste like water or detergent. Meal and shopping planning 1, Jo 0.

      I have no idea what anyone is saying. My maid was very excited to see me and chatted for ages. I think she may have mentioned something about...oh I have no idea.

        Sometimes things are just weird- my friend Mel and I went to a new french bistro the whole experience was an...experience (see visual cue above). We thought we kept hearing dolphins/a cat stuck in wall but then half way through the owner came in and turned up the stereo and proudly said "these are sounds from my farm" *Cue sounds of animals possibly having sex*. Oh and he also completely ignored out order and gave us food we didn't want.

        I now have time. Alot of it. And all my friends are gone/ leaving. Gasp!

          On the upside to this all we're heading to Hoi An this weekend. Johnny has to work but I get to hang out. Pretty much like every day.

          Apple TV

          We can now watch YouTube videos on our TV! What more could anyone want?

          This is the first video we watched. Then, this.