Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sunday

It is said that Sunday is a day without working, a day for you to enjoy life, a day for family etc. However, these days I still have to work on Sunday, making use of Sunday to finish some work. Don't think I am an important person with a mountain of responsibilities. Just a working woman.:-)

Last Sunday, I attended a teacher parent meeting at my son's school and read some materials for an interpretation work in Lao Cai. Today is Sunday again. I got up quite early, at around 6 am. Then, hair wash, breakfast, milk, coffee and work until lunch. Light lunch and short nap and work again until 4 pm. I can be proud to say that I did so much work as I planned. What keeps me busy :-) is preparation of new materials for architecture students. Completely new things in our department and I am assigned to be responsible for them with my group's teachers. As a perfection-oriented person, I always try to do things as well as possible. That is why it takes me a lot of time.

About Sunday evening, I am committed to help my son study: doing homework and learning English. I am sure that Bob is making progress with English. Last Friday, he had a 15-minute test writing a paragraph introducing your family. He told me that he could do it quite confidently. Even other classmates asked him to explain the requirement of the test because it was written in English. He explained the whole paragraph to me with a topic sentence and conclusion. Honestly I was satisfied with what he did. Most important for me is to help him be confident in study and love studying.

What I miss doing on Sunday is going for a walk around Hoan Kiem lake and visiting my mum on the other side of the river. One of the reasons is that I haven't registered my son to his art class yet. Time to do it.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Celebration of Independence Day

There are so many ways to celebrate Independence Day in Hanoi. Some people travel with family, some give parties at home to entertain family and friends, some visit relatives, some go to hometown and some spend a day off working (I belong to the last group). We teachers at a private university had only one day off. But four of us agreed to celebrate Independence Day and welcome our new school year by eating lunch together.

We meet each other quite often at work. However, still enjoy being together chatting and laughing and sharing.

We went to a hot pot restaurant whose speciality is mushrooms and we had about 1.5 hours eating. After that we drank coffee yoghurt. We asked each other how we spent our public holiday. Van went to Bao Son Paradise with husband and two sons. She was so disappointed. Nothing to see and play there. Quynh had a family party. Her husband prepared a nice meal for the whole family. Mai brought her daughter to visit her family who live about 2 km from her place. And me? Shopping, having my old watch's battery changed, watching films and working.
At the end of the "party" for women only, we agreed that we should treat ourselves once a month a lunch like this because, honestly, we work very hard (I work the least hard of the four) :-). We need to be kind to ourselves. :-)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Money

In our course book there is a file focusing on money. The author has got a question for students. Which of the these sentences best describes your attitude to money?
1. All I want is enough money to enjoy life.
2. Money is very important to me. I'd like to earn as much as possible.
3. I would be happy to live with less money and fewer possessions.
Actually, most of them choose number 2. Easy to understand. We live in Vietnam, one of the poorest countries in the world. So people usually wish to earn a lot of money to escape poverty. Honestly, so do I. But I would like to make a new sentence for me: Money is important to me. I want to have enough money to enjoy life. :-) Here you may question "how much is enough". Difficult to measure. For me, I need money to pay rent( a lot), to travel ( much), to buy food and drink (much), to buy clothes (much), to pay school fee for Bob (much), to maintenance my motorbike, ... and to save for raining days (as much as possible). As I said somewhere in my blog, I have a job and regular income and with my friends' support, I can make ends meet. I look 'rich'. :-). I am not obsessed with money much. Long time ago I told my family in law that I just needed love not money. I never complained about my husband's late salary or asked him to give more money or compared his income with others'... I want to earn money by working. Recently, my university has a policy to lend money to teachers to buy laptops. So many people apply for that loan. So surprised to me that almost all of them have laptops already and some of them are very rich. They seize the opportunity. Luckily my friends don't do that. Otherwise I will look them in different way. I feel a bit sad. And I never work from 7.30 am to 8.30 pm, every day. And I have never felt too irritated if salary is paid 2 or 3 days late. And I never complain about that I have no money left at the end of the month. I am proud to say that I manage money quite well.
But I have just asked my husband to give more money to me every month. Not like me at all. Something broke... something changed ... Of course this money will go to savings.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Up and down August

Chic-land

As a rule, I often go shopping for clothes and shoes before my new school year starts. This year I am going for ChicLand. It is a new and exclusive brand, almost (maybe more) as expensive as NEM or IVY. But I choose it because I find dresses there so much fit/match me. My colleagues comment that ChicLand is a brand made for only Ms Quyen. J So far I have had four dresses. Wow, so many and they cost me (?) a fortune. However, they do not make me disappointed at all like tailor-made ones. Sometimes we spend a lot of money having clothes designed by a tailor and some of them are not worn once.

Bata shoes

These shoes are not stylish or fashionable or too expensive. I think they appeal to middle-aged segment. But Bata shoes are so flexible and comfortable. As a person who works standing I need these shoes very much. My friend also advises me to choose low heel shoes to protect my feet and my spine. As a result, some money was spent on Bata shoes: simple, black and 4-5 cm high. And my shoe case is full of shoes and sandals. They are high quality so I don’t want to throw them away even they are so old (4 or 5 years). But I think the shoes case has fixed room, if I want to buy new things I need to create space for them. I had to get rid of some old things.

Teaching

From 45 periods per week, now I reduce to 35. No evening class. New position means new and heavy workload. I really can’t do so much work at the same time. I try my best to balance work and my private life. Luckily I got so much support and help from my beloved friends. After 3 weeks I presume my teaching schedule is a bit ideal now.:-)

Part time work

I have been a freelance interpreter since this summer. I have been offered some work. Beside income increase, I have chances to travel more out of Hanoi. This September, I am going to the north again. I just remember a proverb I gave my students on Monday when I taught them about Travel “The world is a book. Those who do not travel read only one page.” Hope so much in the future I still can travel.

Bob’s study

Happy and unhappy with his study. Happy because Bob’s making progress in learning English. He really has potential and he does not grumble when mum asks to learn English any more. Unhappy because at the beginning I got some bad remarks about his study: sometimes forgetting to bring notebooks, sometimes not fulfilling homework, sometimes not remembering if wearing short or long-sleeved uniform shirts. Every day I ask him about his study but he still forgets. Poor boy. It takes him some weeks to adapt to new learning style at secondary school. By the way he has got a new bike. He chose it and his aunt and grandmother paid for it. Like mum like son, he chose what I also like: black and strong bike. I will let him go to school by bike from this September.

Personal matter

This sensitive thing should not be public. I just mention briefly here to mark my life milestone. Some unpleasant things happened to me in August. It made me exhausted and so emotional. After this incident, I know some people I think are good friends turn out to be not. Luckily, they are not around me. Finally I think I have been so strong to solve my personal problem. My best friend told me to be free, and happy, and independent, and have a new future, without lies. I told those who got involved in my own matter that I don’t want to hinder other people’s happiness.