Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Back to working life

After a relaxing week in Thailand, I came back to a normal working life. Getting up early, riding my Attila to school in hope no traffic jams on the way, teaching, lunching with friends in the canteen and sometimes meeting in the afternoon. No shorts, no T-shirts, no casual sandals, I must look like a "teacher". Long time I haven't watched a film from the beginning to the the end. Long time I haven't read a book. Work pulls me into a hectic time... I promised to eat out with my son to celebrate some of my good things. Unbelievable that we can not find a right time to do it. My son studies from 7.10 to 4.30 and two days to 5.00. In the evening he has to do quite a lot of homework and learns by heart some subjects. At weekends I work.

Once in a while I say that I want to be a normal teacher. Just teach half day and relax in the afternoon, don't have to do unknown work as a group leader. But not the right time to step down yet.

I sometimes miss my lazy time. Luckily, 6 weeks to go I will have a long "holiday". No teaching just tests.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

A special gift on Vietnamese Women's Day 2011

This is the second day of a year for Vietnamese women. Besides wishes and flowers from students I got wishes and special gifts from my family and beloved people. Yesterday evening, my son drew a picture for me, a very simple one and inspired by me but I feel proud. Long Bien bridge in pencil. I just told him that I wanted a painting and the bridge was the theme. Reason: I was born and grew up on the other side of Red River, a district called Long Bien and the bridge links the central of the capital and my commune... Today I framed it and hang it above my desk. My friend said that I would treasure it for the rest of my life. I think I will. I have a big collection of my son's paintings from the time he knew how to use a pencil to draw.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Tour of West Lake

This morning I did not have to work. So I spent the whole morning relaxing, shopping and visiting the West Lake, a famous area in the north of the city, quite far from my living area in the south. The weather was so pleasant: sunny (not too hot) and windy and blue sky. I had a special "taxi motorbike cum tour guide' :-). The first stop was a shop where we bought expensive cheese and bread. It was quite small and specialized in imported food. Not surprising because the West Lake area is home to many foreigners. The second stop was Phu Tay Ho, a small temple on the lake. Quiet and peaceful and not crowded at all (unlike on the days around the first or fifteenth of lunar month). I walked into the temple and did pray for good health and good luck and protection from the holy people. When we sat on the bank of the lake, I could see high rise buildings in the long distance. After the temple, we went to a cafe nearby. Simple cafe but good location. We dropped in a tea shop buying a box of green tea for my mum. My tour guide took me to a small restaurant facing the lake and we had lunch there... Nice Sunday morning.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Thailand 2011

I had a chance to come to Thailand again. This time I went to two places: Bangkok and Koh Samet Island. This is the second time I have been to Bangkok, so it was not TOO strange, but I was still impressed.

The traffic was terrible if you travelled by car. Long lines of cars moved slowly, slowly and slowly. The best way to travel around was by sky train (fast) and walk (good for health). :-)

There were so many high rise buildings and only being high in the air you could see the beauty and modernity of the capital. Here is the view from the 44th floor of my 'hotel' in BKK.

There were a lot of shopping malls, which satisfied everyone's shopping needs. So convenient. That was why Bangkok was considered as "shoppers' paradise". Honestly, when I was in a mall, I would not have been able to find my way out if I had been left there alone.

I went to a hospital for medical check-up. First time I have done that and abroad. The hospital was so clean and looked like a hotel. When I entered the hospital in BKK, I wondered when people in Hanoi would have such nice ones... When?...

I spent some days in Koh Samet, an island not far from Bangkok. The island was not very special (dirty, hilly and unpaved roads; mosquitoes) but so peaceful and the beaches were so nice. The water was clean and the sand was white and smooth. A lot different from beaches I know in Vietnam. We walked from beach to beach and stopped for a drink or a meal in a nice restaurant... Not surprised when Thailand can attract so many tourists... A strange thing for me was that we sat on the sand, on the beaches, near the water enjoying our dinner. New experience. Talking about the roads on the island, we went on a motorbike tour. The roads were up and down and had a lot of potholes. Sometimes, I had to get off the motorbike so that my 'taxi motorbike rider' could go over bad parts of the roads.

Two adventurous water recreation activities I did were kayak and catamaran (small). At first I was nervous, in the sea water and far away from the shore. But after a while I felt interested. Partly because my partner in the same boat was very good at water sports.

A week in Thailand was so wonderful. No working and completely relaxing. Unbelievable I could have such a nice holiday in the middle of a busy semester at university and I could make it.