Saturday, November 27, 2010

Short term separation

Anh goes on a business trip again... This time, more than a week... Still know that communication technology helps us to keep in touch but I couldn't prevent some tears in the corner of my eyes. "Em, don't cry."

I have known him for a long time and not too surprised at all when he tells me about his plan. Honestly, before every trip, I still cry. He always holds me and says "I'll be back." Far and close, close and far, away and back, back and away. In his life, business trips are normal like a teacher's life, marking papers. His job brings him to so many countries in the world. I once teased him that he is like a bird, flying to a lot of new places. In the morning he is in one country, and in the afternoon in another. I am really jealous :-). But of course I can't travel like that.

I wish him in a faraway place (which I can only know via the Internet and books and where there is no me) a nice and successful trip and want to remind him that here in Hanoi a little woman always looks forward to welcoming him back...

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Via Sapa

After Teachers' Day I took a train to Lao Cai and Lai Chau again. I work as a freelance interpreter for a non-profit organization based in Hanoi, beside my main job as a teacher. This time our group had meetings in both provinces. As a result, I had a chance to travel through Sapa and spent a night there.

What I impressed most about this trip was the winding road from Lao Cai Town to Lai Chau and the cloudy and foggy weather. We travelled in the clouds. So strange and interesting for a person like me living mostly in the flat area.

We also visited farmers growing flowers in Lai Chau. It was the first time I have seen a large area of flowers: roses, lilies, daisies and gladiolus (I like this kind of flowers). So nice. Pity I had no photos about it.

Although I knew in advance that it was cold in Sapa but I didn't expect it was so cold as I was there. Poor me, forgetting to bring jackets. Anh had to give me a small blanket to wrap myself warm. Luckily, the hotel had a heater in each room.

Another experience after the trip was Indian food. I have never tried it before. Really spicy and my mouth was hot. Truly it was not my type. Anyhow, I liked its thin flour cake. I have to confess that perhaps I am a difficult eater. Not easy for me to change my taste. Poor poor me :-(

I felt satisfied with the trip when I found the meetings went fine and I did not feel sick with travelling much (thanks to carsick pills). :-)

When travelling back to Hanoi, I took two pills, which caused me to feel so sleepy and slept quite early. At 8.25 pm I thought. I did not talk much to my accompany and did not take part in any social conversations. So impolite I was.

Anh took this photo for me near one of the tourist attraction of Sapa. It called Thac Bac (Silver Waterfall). Next time I come there, I will be a tourist not just a passer-by.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Teachers' Day

Happy Teachers' Day!

Today is Vietnamese Teachers' Day. I got greetings and flowers, which make my living room more beautiful. Truly, I have only two vases, so some flowers just stay with me for some short moments. Pity.

I got an invitation from my old students who I taught English at home year ago to have dinner. They graduated and got jobs. They wanted to show their thank to two special teachers: English and Finance. But I could not attend. Anyhow I feel happy and feel for them too.

And of course I was treated a romantic lunch. I forgot to take a photo.:-)

What else happened to me today? I got a new cupboard for my tiny kitchen with support from my two brothers. I called my second brother ans asked him to order it for me in a shop near his house. Then my first brother, a truck driver, transported it here for me. It is really what I need to prevent things from dust in dry weather in Hanoi. It will be easier for me to keep the kitchen as well as other rooms in this nice flat clean.

I will end today with watching a film, lazy on the sofa, and then playing some music.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Angel Investment

In our course book "Market Leader - Intermediate" there is one unit called Money. And in the case study at the end of the lesson students have to act out as if they worked for Angel Investment Company. This company invests in start-up and small companies and in large companies with good growth prospects. Now it has 10 million euros available to invest and is considering 4 companies as potential investment. Students have to discuss advantages and disadvantages of investing in each company and then recommend which company(companies) to invest and how much money.

Honestly, when I first taught this lesson, was so confused. I didn't know anything about stock market. Even now my knowledge about it = zero. As if it did not exist in my own world. :-)
But as a teacher (maybe cheater in this case) I educate myself by asking my colleagues and ANH and searching information on the internet. Gradually I feel confident teaching this unit. It is said that in order to get returns from your investment in stock market you should analyse companies you want to invest in carefully: financial situation, performance, potentials .... , based on rational reasons NOT emotional reasons.

If HEART you want to invest in somebody was like MONEY you want to invest in companies, how would you choose that SOMEBODY to invest your heart in?

Of course, HEART is not MONEY......................

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Old things

Hanoi is experiencing autumn weather: cool and dry. As a result, there is so much dust. Today I decided to buy a standing cupboard to contain china ware and some grocery, so that it will be easy for me to keep things clean. I like things clean. But I failed. Could not find it. Maybe I will give it a try another day. A temporary solution: tidy the bookcase in Bob's room to make space for a blender and electric kettle.

When I tidied the case, I realized that I kept so many old things. Typically me: memory keeper. I could not prevent me from tears. Some negative films (now we do not use films any more), some photos, some toys of Bob's, his old books and notebooks, his paintings from a long time ago... Memories came back to me. I sorted out some, gave them to my niece and threw some away. I wish I could keep them all. But it is not good because old things can not maintain in good condition when time passes. Moreover, the flat is pretty small. How can I store so many things? Besides, if we keep on storing old things, no room to welcome new ones. Take my wardrobe as an example. If I have new clothing items, I have to give some used ones or unfavorable ones to my sisters-in-laws.

Getting rid of old things does not mean that we do not like/love/want them any more. Just because we think they are the past or they may be good for other people. It is better than we keep them and they become useless.

However, my son still has so many old toys and books.:-)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Nice Sunday

This morning, my department organized a open meeting about how to teach and learn English well at our university. The agenda said we started at 9 am but could not do that until 9.30. But it was acceptable because today Sunday. Everybody should relax after a hard working week. After talking we had buffet. And we left for home at around 1 pm.

I did not go straight, anyhow. I went around Hoan Kiem Lake with my boyfriend. The weather was so nice, almost end-of-autumn weather. We did not stroll downtown for a long time. He was too busy as a travelling consultant. We missed so many Sundays. :-) We stopped for a drink at three places. So wonderful moments around the lake. Peaceful, relaxing and full of emotions. I wish I could have more such spectacles. He took some photos of me from his new mobile phone. I think the photos are high-quality: the main character and the surrounding.:-) Look and judge yourself.

And tonight Bob continued to study English. We try to make it as a habit. Luckily he likes studying it. Maybe he inherits that passion from his mother. Today he completed the first lesson of Module 1 (the programme has got 8 modules) more than 80%. As a result, he could do Mastery test and got 91%. And study score is 5 (From 5 to 12: Excellent. Grade A). Not bad. It also means that he studies efficiently. I feel my hard work is compensated. Recently he got mark 10 for a 15-minute English test.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


A special day for me. I decided to meet him in person on 11.11. I didn't think that he would become so special to me at that time. I still remembered sending him a message to say that I was in mood for coffee. And then we arranged to meet in Highlands Coffee House in Vincom around noon. I chose that location because it was quite near my university and an elegant place. Until later I didn't know that romantic people like meeting in cafe. :-) Am I romantic?

I was wearing a brown sweater with two white hearts on the front and a pair of white trousers. And he was wearing a yellow short-sleeved shirt and light trousers too. Easy to recognize us for the first time. We drank coffee and chatted. In general, we had a good time. I can't forget the way he looked at me when I came to the table. He arrived first. I thought he was a bit "surprised".:-) Gradually we become friends and love each other. Since when? I don't know.

I myself had never thought that my heart would tremble again before a man... Never... But life contains so many surprising and unexpected things in it. Even now I don't understand why I can fall in love with him. But I am sure that I feel so lonely without him and whenever I think one day we depart I feel so sad.

Today, he can't be in Hanoi to celebrate our anniversary. I did it with my son. We came to the old place and sat in the cafe. My memory came back. Around noon, two persons met... It was another turning point in my life.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Hair pressed again

I think I have my mum's hair. Black, thick, straight and strong. It costs me a lot of shampoo and conditioner when I wash it. But to compensate, I don't have to worry when some hairs lose a day in such dry weather in Hanoi.

I claim myself to be a bit conservative about my appearance. A bit, so I sometimes still have a crazy idea, to change it. Take today as an example. After a lot of considering, I decided to get it pressed again. This is the third time. It took me 5 hours and cost a big amount of money. I made use of the time there to finish the novel "All the rivers run".

Honestly, I still look the same. Blue photo: Before. Pink photo: Present. :-) But my hair is not heavy any more. And I can let it loose without being worried about a mess on my head. It will be completed in two days. I am going to the hairdresser's again to have it conditioned.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Lady lady lady

A really nice song

Frightened by a dream, you're not the only one
Running like the wind, thoughts can come undone
Dancing behind masks, just sort of pantomime
But images reveal whatever lonely hearts can hide

Lady, lady, lady, lady, don't walk this lonely avenue
Lady, lady, lady, lady, let me touch that part of you, you want me to

Lady, lady, lady, lady, I know it's in your heart to stay
Lady, lady, lady, lady, when will I ever hear you say, I love you

Time like silent stares, with no apology
Move towards the stars, and be my only one
Reach into the light, and feel love's gravity
That pulls you to my side, where you should always be

Lady, lady, lady, lady, don't walk this lonely avenue
Lady, lady, lady, lady, let me touch that part of you, you want me to

Lady, lady, lady, lady, I know it's in your heart to stay
Lady, lady, lady, lady...