Adventures as Miss Saigon

Playing catch up…

Posted on: December 20, 2010

So, I’m a little behind in blogging…As Vietnam becomes more my life at the current time than just some crazy experience/vacation of sorts, blogging has become more difficult (that combined with slow internet and an aging computer). But, I began this blog for me – as a way to document my year here, not only physically (traveling, etc) but emotionally too.

Bear with me while I attempt to catch up on the past week and a half of my life here…

First, let me start off with a big happy 3rd birthday to my furbaby, Lexi! And an even bigger thank you to my mom and sister for humouring me and throwing Lexi a little party.

the birthday furball

December 11 saw Wendy and I sitting in a grassy field in front of a massive stage and surrounded by pretty much every westerner in HCMC. Loretofest‘s advertising is what got us – “a combination of great wine, superb food, soft blankets, childrens activities, fresh grass and outdoor music”. What more could two music loving Canucks want in the middle of December? Our $25 entrance tickets included coupons that we used for three beers (plus we purchased a few more $1 beers throughout the night), and all the entertainment we could handle. From Vietnamese boy bands in matching outfits with choreographed dance moves singing Christmas carols, to a tiny female Vietnamese rapper, to Wendy‘s favourite – Wagons, an Australian country-rock band who had us off the fresh grass and enjoying their music a few feet from the stage with their cheers of “Ho Chi madness”, this music festival had it all. We went with no expectations and came home with our concert void temporarily filled!

adorable Vietnamese boy band

a practically naked Vietnemese pop star

rocking out with Wagons

cute Wagons member

concert going Canucks

The next day, Wendy and I were off again…this time shopping and wandering around downtown in District 1. A trip to the post office, DVD shopping and some other wandering around before meeting up with Laura and Zuzana for lunch. Zuzana was heading home the following day after being in Vietnam for 3 months. After lunch, Wendy and I tagged along as support for Laura and Zuzana who were Christmas shopping and buying presents for their families (Laura is also headed home in January to see her family). As much fun as it was to shop and help Laura and Zuzana find what they were looking for, I found it very difficult to keep myself from getting excited about buying things for my family, and talking about when I get to go home…I still have 8 months left to get through before I get to see my friends and family at home.

Last week seemed to be a long week…Monday seemed like Friday, Tuesday seemed like Friday…you get the idea. Maybe it was due to having a busy weekend and not fully “recharging” before heading back to work, or maybe because I was so looking forward to going on vacation the following week (this Friday!), but we eventually made it to Friday night…

Friday night, I met up with Laura and Wendy for a long overdue ladies night. We started with Christmas pedis – snowflakes and glitter snow for me, riding down the street with the three of us piled on Laura’s motorbike, sushi for dinner, followed by Christmas movies – my traditional Muppet Family Christmas that the girls kindly sat through (and maybe even enjoyed a little!), and the only other Christmas movie we had – Love Actually. And although both movies did help to get me in the Christmas spirit (I woke up the next morning with Muppet Christmas songs in my head), it was difficult to get through them without tearing up while thinking about my family and friends and what I would be missing at home this year. I’ve been fairly homesick at times over the past few weeks (usually Sunday nights)…along with it being my 3 month mark here, the Christmas season isn’t helping the homesickness. Also not helping is when my sister answers my Skype call with “I miss you”…I miss you too kiddo!

snowflake toes

Saturday morning, the three of us headed into District 1 again to do some more shopping – Laura has a Christmas list to finish up, and I don’t think Wendy and I will ever turn down a day of shopping! We started our morning at the travel center, booking flights to Bangkok Thailand, Hue and Hoi An (in central Vietnam), as well as our bus to Cambodia, and a weekend trip to Mekong Delta. All of these flights/bookings only set me back around $300usd…it’s amazing how much you can do here for such little money! There are a whole bunch of other trips penciled in on the calendar to keep time moving quickly…

I have three more work days this week before Wendy, Laura and I leave for Phu Quoc Island (in Vietnam) early on Friday morning. We should be on the beach by 9am, and are spending 3 days/2 nights on the island for Christmas, heading home Sunday night. Early Monday morning, we head down to District 1 to catch our bus to Cambodia, where we will be for 7 days/6 nights, including New Years Eve. Our Cambodia trip includes two days in Phnom Penh, and the rest will be spent on the beach. I’m definitely looking forward to relaxing in the sun on the beach for 10 days!

Merry Christmas!!!

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