Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas

Like the majority of Vietnamese people, I am not Christian. Christmas is not very important in my life but it is still something to celebrate, such as decorating home with some typical Xmas things or watching a film about Santa Claus on TV or buying gifts for children. I hardly ever go out in the evening at Christmas. The last and only time was in 1997 when I was a woman in love. :-) Then no more chances to do it. Maybe this year I will ask my son to go out with me, for a change. Xmas comes, which signals a new solar year. Unlike other years, this year I will celebrate New Year's Eve and New Year's day in Hoi An. Looking forward so much to that.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

First day at home

Well, my first day of my long holiday is today. :-) I hardly ever have a full day at home this semester, partly because I am afraid of being alone and partly because I want to work. How was it spent? Not badly. I still got up early, 6 am, and did the same morning tasks: waking up my son, prepared breakfast, said goodbye to him and wished him good luck in his tests. After that I went shopping in a small market nearby. Long time I did not go there. I do not have time for shopping in the early morning and when I am free in the afternoon the market is closed. So today I decided to shop there. Then I took my motorbike to the repair shop to have it maintained and washed. My Attila looks fine again. When I got home around noon, I treated myself with sitting comfortably on the sofa and watching a film on HBO. One thing I do every day is to surf the net and Skype with my beloved. Just some minutes but it makes us closer. Thanks to the internet. I did not forget to wash my hair this afternoon. Long hair needs more frequent care. 4 pm is time for me to prepare dinner and wait for my son to come home. In the evening, Bob has to revise for his tests and I give him a hand by testing him as if I was an examiner and he was a candidate. If he forgets, I will remind him. By this way, I hope he will overcome the tests with high results. Testing was over before I started this entry. My Wednesday almost comes to the end. Winter evening is often shorter and winter night is longer. Bedtime story is a book from my bookcase.

Tomorrow is a bit different. I am going to meet some colleagues and have lunch together, a party to celebrate a successful semester.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Cold and sunny Hanoi

These days Hanoi has been in cold weather. The temperature at night is about 10 degrees and highest during day is 20 degrees. Big sun but still cold. :-) It is time to wear warm clothes and boots and scarf and gloves. The humidity is quite low, about 45%, which makes our skin really dry and wrinkle. All kinds of cream are used: facial, hand, foot and body. And roads uptown are full of dust. Whenever a motorbike or a vehicle runs in front of you, it makes dust blow into the air. Terrible. This is not the first time I have complained about dust. In the lyrics of a song written by a famous musician Tran Tien, he also says 'Hanoi is dusty everywhere'.:-) So that may be a feature of this city. Luckily for me, in the next 3.5 weeks, I hardly ever have to go to work. However, my babylon garden does not mind the cold and dry climate. It is still green and there are some flowers. Two roses and one orchid. The orchid is too "young". I hope it will blossom during Tet.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Final days of semester 1

These days we are busy with exams: preparing test papers, delivering and marking them. Just some days to go our first semester of the school year will finish and we teachers have almost three full weeks to refresh before welcoming semester 2. However, as one of the group leaders in our department I have to start preparing for teaching materials little by little from now. I find it lucky to have something to do during the non-teaching period. Otherwise, it must be boring when you do not have anything to do. :-)

Hanoi is becoming colder and colder with drizzle. Winter weather. We go to bed earlier and get up later. It takes longer for my son to get out of his blanket in the morning. But he is never late for school. And me, although leaving home later but these days no traffic jams on the way to school (Hanoians travel late in the winter morning), I still get to work on time.

Next week my son starts doing tests at school. He is reviewing lessons. I set goals for him and encourage him to do well. He has 12 tests of which 11 subjects I hope him to get at least mark 8. Literature is a bit difficult for a boy so I told him to try to get 7. The bonus is a 7-day trip to Thailand at Tet. Truly, if he does not achieve the goal he still gets the trip. :-) He feels excited about the trip. But I think he can make it. Very well possible. He studies hard and he has a good memory and he is a good boy, often listens to his teachers in class. Of course we do not know what the future brings to us. Let's hope for the best. :-)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Singing group

Our university had an honor to receiving a medal from the government (the second time) for its contribution to the higher education in Vietnam. On Tuesday Prime Minister came to our main campus to present the medal to the board. So our singing group was chosen to perform on that special day on behalf of the university personnel with other students to celebrate this important event. So happy for us.

After the ceremony we went up to our department's office which is on the fourth floor of Building A and the group decided to take this photo on the corridor connecting Building A and Building B. How colourful and happy we are. Click here to see more photos.