Adventures as Miss Saigon

And another week down…

Posted on: November 5, 2010

I’ve lost the whole month of October…I can’t believe it’s gone by so quickly and now we’re already done the first week of November as well! Christmas will be here before I know it, and I’ll be lying on a beach in Vietnam or Cambodia…counting down the days!

Last weekend started with a wee visitor to my apartment…minutes before heading out the door to meet Laura, I spotted a gecko, about an inch and a half long, hanging out on my living room floor! Startled with my uninvited guest and rushing to go out, I somehow managed to trap him under a bowl and forgot about him for the next few hours. When I returned home, after a spontaneous night of drinking at the tavern with Laura and Wendy (that ended with us not having enough money to pay our bar tab!), I realized I had to set the little guy free. Apparently geckos are good flatmates to keep, as they eat the mosquitoes, but I couldn’t take the risk of waking up one morning with a gecko on the pillow next to me. Trying not to freak out too loudly, I managed to slide the bowl to the door of my apartment and free my little friend into the hallway. Hopefully he doesn’t return!

the gecko prior to being trapped under a bowl

Saturday morning was spent at work with one of my supervisors, and following that, Wendy, Laura, Zuzana and I all headed down to District 1 (downtown) to take care of things on our to do lists. For my fellow Canuck, Wendy, and I, our mission was to buy a few remaining Christmas presents and get them sent home to our families. After filling out form after form after form at the post office, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that I wasn’t going to be broke after sending home my packages. It felt great to get this mission accomplished (and hopefully it shows up before Christmas) and definitely gave me the sense that I live here, in Viet-effing-nam!

This week has turned out to be all about the to do lists. Tuesday was Laura’s birthday, and to celebrate I joined her and Zuzana at the gym! We’re also going out tomorrow night (Saturday) to properly celebrate her birthday, with dinner and drinks (and hopefully some dancing) downtown! Wednesday and Thursday I had bills to pay. They were my first set of bills, so I set out to find the correct places to pay them. To give you an idea of the cost of living here, this is what I paid…

My biggest bill this month was my hydro bill…I was kind of careless upon my arrival here and had my two air cons running almost frequently in order to avoid melting in this tropical heat. My hydro for about a month and a half came to 1,570,470VND, which is roughly $75USD. Next was my monthly apartment maintenance fee for 205,000VND (approximately $10USD), and my water bill for 6 weeks was 58,065VND (almost $3USD…my pedi cost more!). Two months worth of cable TV totaled 240,615VND (approximately $12USD, or $6USD/month) and my internet was 158,667VND (almost $8USD). All in all, it seems a little ridiculous compared to prices at home. I didn’t pay utilities at my apartment in Ontario, but know cable and internet cost A LOT more than what they do here!

Also accomplished this week was getting bedding for my spare bedroom. Not having my spare room set up and functional was starting to get to me, but the bedding I had seen was going to cost me a fortune! Thankfully on my walk back from paying some of my bills on Wednesday, I stopped in at a grocery type store and they happened to have bedding on sale. A fitted sheet, pillow cases and thin comforter type blanket cost around $30USD, which seemed more than reasonable! I also picked up a few more pillows and some more towels…so now I’m all set for visitors! Let’s see who will be the first! 🙂

my spare room...who wants to come visit??

Thursday night, the girls and I were invited to a buffet by the pool at my boss’s apartment in celebration of his wife’s birth. It was a great evening with delicious food, and the lovely Trang even got a birthday cake!

Tony and Trang cutting the cake

Tonight (Friday), Laura, Wendy and I made an after work trip to District 1 for a quick trip to the post office and a little bit of shopping. If you’re one of the lucky ones that got a letter from me this trip to the post office, have a good laugh at all the stamps on the envelope! I think I was grossly overcharged for stamps, and each envelope is covered with 7 or 8 stamps! After dinner back in District 7, I came home with the intentions of cleaning my apartment…the only thing I’ve accomplished so far is this blog and some laundry! Tomorrow I’m meeting Wendy and Laura at the salon, where I’m going to get my hair cut and coloured, as well as another pedi, before we head out for Laura’s birthday extravaganza! Just wait till you see the design I have in mind for my pedi…pictures to come!


5 Responses to "And another week down…"

Two aircons on all the time and your bill is $75? Pretty good. I remember when it cost me nearly $100 per month just for one old aircon.

How’s the gecko?

ok then i don’t feel so bad about my hydro bill!

the gecko is gone! did you want him??

ok then i don’t feel so bad about my hydro bill!

the gecko is gone! did you want him??

all I am saying is that I pay WAY more on all my bills. and yester I took my mom to buy sheets and they were 100 times more than that. I hope you get some visitors.

You need to post your address so you can get some christmas cards.

Happy November

hahaha it’s kinda unreal hey! just wait till my next post…heehee you WILL be coming to vietnam! 🙂

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