Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Sunset golf

Sorry to everyone who's visited before but we've just discovered the best way to spend sunset...(thanks to Stu for visiting and inspiring us to do something different!).

Monday, September 24, 2012

Tam Dao adventures

A couple of weekends ago we went to the Animal Asia Bear Rescue Centre in Tam Dao.  I'm not a person who's particularly excited about bears but I am one who gets excited about day trips. It took a couple of hours from Hanoi and surprisingly the roads out there are really, really good (I still flashback to the KOTO Ba Vi bike ride and the bum pain from the dirt roads).

Despite trying very hard to track down any sort of address online I couldn't find anything specific so I figured (hoped) that we would just "find it". Funnily enough, as we were driving up the mountain it was the first thing we came across. Phew!

The bears were awesome and so so cute. There were so many of them too! Some looked like little lions and some looked very hungover. My favourite of course was pensive tunnel bear. Biiiig night.

Afterwards we went up to Tam Dao and visited the Mela Hotel and the pool. Many of the things online mention this is an awesome place to swim. It isn't. Jade murky green. You do not want to swim in this pool/pond. On the upside it's an awesome place to sit and have a drink.

From here we walked behind the hotel down to what I though was the Silver Waterfall. Turns out there's the Silver Waterfall and Silver Fall. This was the less impressive one (I thought it didn't look as rad as the photos). It was pretty steep going down and painful walking back up. It partly explains why our driver laughed and said 'no' when we asked if he wanted to come down.

What you can't tell from the photos is that is smelled and there was rubbish and suspicious bubbles in the water. But don't we look happy?

We tried to do more touristy things after but after 1 temple fail (they do look all the same after a while after all) we headed back to Hanoi. Hungry. Very hungry. Just when we (me) thought we'd die of starvation I made us stop for corn by the roadside.

Sometimes you see 10 roadside shops selling the exact same thing and you wonder how they all compete. The secret? Inceptioning you. For example, 'hey look it's a corn stall', 'hey look it's another corn stall', 'hey look it's another corn stall', 'hmm I like corn', 'hey look it's another corn stall', 'maybe we should have some corn', 'that's it we're stopping at the next corn stall' etc.... That's how.

Anyhoo, as exciting as it was eating fresh corn on the roadside next to a cornfield is, the corn as actually pretty crap. It tasted like an old waterlogged rag. Ew.

Friday, September 7, 2012

To celebrate the most shoes Johnny has ever owned...

We took this photo.

He then proceeded to throw 5 pairs out.

This is what happens on Saturday nights kids.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

A post on buying groceries

One of the things you'll hear expats in Hanoi commonly whinge about is that you can't just go to a supermarket and buy everything you need in one place. And it's true. For example, you have to go to Oasis for meat, Western Canned Food (BS Mart)- yes, BS Mart, for baking supplies, L's Place at Vincom for home stuff and Yuki's for fruit and vegetables etc. It sometimes even goes as far as having to go to specific place for coffee or Vegemite. Who would have thought that you'd be so grateful to a corporation like Woolworths or Coles.

I was thinking about this the other morning, cursing just how much it sucks and how it doesn't make any sense at all. However I started doing something recently, something I had long put off because I thought as a 'housewife' I should go to places. I've started...ordering delivery.

Yep, on the same day in which I was cursing not having a proper supermarket (a pretty done up one like the one in Broadway specifically) I had 3 loaves of bread delivered in 20 minutes, meat delivered on ice and three bags of fruit and vegetables that afternoon.

Should I still be able to whinge? Yes, of course. Maybe just a little bit less though.

On another note, something that popped into mind yesterday about missing supermarkets is that I can't wait to shop for food without fear of....well anything. How often do you buy food and think, even if it looks great, hmmm this food might be bad for me? Probably as much as if you wonder if you're a bad person. Here, it's every. single. time. I don't think I'm much of a paranoid person but Vietnam just hasn't caught on to the chemicals + food=bad equation yet. Or proper food storage. For example, the freezers in the supermarket across the street are never quite cold enough, so none of the food in it is properly frozen. And 99% is seafood. *shudder*

But what can you do? I'm just hoping for the best.

P.s. If anyone's ever wondered (which I'm sure you do at night) yes some things are cheaper here but things like tubs of butter, brown sugar and flour are $5 a pop! I miss 99 cent home brand items.

P.P.S. Most things come on little foam trays and too much packaging. They haven't caught on to that either (in a non-cynical, sarcastic way).

P.P.P.S. This Vietnamese new story is the BEST- actresses and beauty contestants pimping out girls.  Love a celebrity sex scandal in any country.