Thursday, April 29, 2010

30 April and 1 May

This year Vietnamese people have 4 days off on the occasion of The Victory Day and Labour Day. So many people go on holiday and go to their hometown. The road to my place, which is in the south of Hanoi, one of the main gate to Hanoi, is too crowded. Slow traffic. Polluted air. We do not know when the situation will be improved. (Honestly in Hanoi there are few places you can breathe fresh air.)
I spend this holiday in Hanoi. Maybe I sleep longer than usual and meet my family members again tomorrow. The pinic with the department is cancelled because not many people are interested. They are busy with their own holidays or family matter.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Public Holidays

In April and May we have 2 public holidays: from 23rd to 25th April and from 30th April to 2nd May. Some people we travel and some people work and some people stay home like me. :-) Actually I wanted to travel on these holidays but it is better for me to go on summer holiday (longer time). So how do I spend these short public holidays?
It must be boring if you just stay in. My first holiday started with a lunch in La Cantine with my friend yesterday. A nice restaurant: airconditioned, beautiful decor, French-style, good location, good service. We had a set menu: expensive. But my philosophy is that if it is too expensive, we go once. We also need to gain more experience in life. Right?
And today, my three colleagues and I decided to have lunch together in Seoul Garden Restaurant in Tran Hung Dao Street. We intended to eat here long time ago but delayed until this noon. I arrived there a bit later than my colleagues (even I searched the restaurant for them and arrange to meet each other at 11 am), because it took me a bit longer time to wash my hair (long and thick hair needs more time to wash and dry).
I must say that the food was delicious but the price was not competitive at all. It is a kind of a buffet restaurant and it serves both hot pot and various grilled dishes. And it has got such wonderful desserts: sweet soups. The restaurant is decorated in Korean style and the staff are friendly and useful.
We stayed there quite a long time with our three sons, trying all kinds of food displayed on tables. As a result, after the meal we were extremely full. And we all said that we were satisfied with the time here.
My son ate not very much but to the end of the meal he played with the food left and stuff on the table, as usual. He was charged as an adult. Poor me.:-)
My second holiday will include a pinic to the countryside with my department on Friday. I also intend to take my mum to a restaurant on the West Lake to enjoy shrimp cakes. I tried them but honestly they are too greasy for me. My mum hasn't. She once expressed her wish to try Ho Tay shrimp cakes.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

A stork by Bob

This may be the last picture Bob's art teacher let him use crayons. In the three recent lessons my son has had to use paints. And it is not the first time we can see the painting of a stork but I still feel something new and ...emotional. It reminds me of Vietnamese folk stories/poems/lulabies. The stork is associated with peasants' life in the rural areas and is compared with a Vietnamese woman: working hard to support her children and take care of her family.
When I saw this painting I think about my mum who worked hard all her life (like other women at her age) to raise my sisters and brothers and me when we were poor and when the country was still poor. Now we grow up but we can not do much for my mum and she is old. There is only one stork in the picture, which makes me feel something lonely... I wanted my son to draw more storks but impossible because the picture was painted. And he said the teacher put only one stork for them to draw. I wish the teacher had put storks in a couple (at least)...

My new desk and lamp

After I bought a new bookcase, I intended to buy a new desk one month after that. But the bookcase was so nice, which sped up the decision to buy a desk accompanying with it. And five days later I got a L-shaped desk. Especially, my friend just talked about LED lights some days ago then yesterday I found and bought 2 LED lamps. What a coincidence! So now, I have got a nice place to work at home. Honestly, it is so cool. As a teacher, I spend so much time doing preparation for lessons while not at university. A good place to work may make me work more efficiently and I hope it will be a good example for my son.
One more thing I want to share here: the position of the desk. Traditionally, Vietnamese people (including me) :-) studying at home sit in the corner and face the wall. I used to do so. But this time I sit facing out. :-) It is said that this makes you feel more comfortable and be able to overview the whole room, and in my case I can see my beautiful bookcase.:-)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Unexpected things

I remember at the end of "Dan in reality", an HBO film I have watched twice, the main character said something like we could not plan our lives but instead we should be prepared for unexpected things in our lives. Yes, sometimes we find that unexpected things happen to us, which brings us so much happiness.
Recently, I have experienced those happy moments when unexpected things came to me this year.
Firstly, I was lucky to win some money because I deposited my savings during the promotional period of the Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development. They said that the date they published the list of winners on 2nd March 2010. They gave me some tickets with numbers. I did not think I would be one of the winners. You know I have never bet or gambled or bought lottery tickets. I put the bank tickets into the safe with the savings certificate and forgot them. Then on 30th March the bank called me and informed me of the lowest prize I won while I was at work. So surprised and wonderful. Luckily I still kept the tickets in the safe.
Secondly, I intended to buy some furniture on 1st April. I dropped in Hoang Anh Gia Lai showroom in Hanoi and I saw a bookcase. A big one. I asked if I bought them when they would deliver. They said they were out of stock. I had to wait until the end of April. But when I came back there with my friend we decided to order one more thing: a shoe case. And suddenly a shop assistant said that they could deliver both of them in two days' time because their shippment from the South would arrive in Hanoi the next day. How wonderful. I would have two things I like at the same time and earlier than expected. :-)
And another piece of good news. I sent my application for the post of freelance interpreter and translator to an office in Hanoi so many months ago. In an email they said that after the written tests I had to take part in an interview. It took them some time to give me the tests. I did written tests. Then it took them another some time to give me feedback. I expected for their call for a job interview. But to my suprise, they just sent me an email informing me that I was selected for the post. No interview. And they sent me contracts. The problem was solved within two days. :-)
We can not anticipate what will happen to us in the future."What will be will be".