Monday, April 30, 2012

Visa Run=FUN!

This blog is going to be Vietnamese style. I dont know if I've ever shared with you all or not, but the Vietnamese tell it like it is. They dont hold anything back. Politeness isnt in their vocabulary.....

As the days approached for our visa run, the excitement grew. I love Vietnam, but I was ready for a change.  By the time we arrived at the airport I was really thankful we were leaving Vietnam. I needed a re-charge. I think of airports as neutral zones. Yes, it might be in Vietnam, but international rules apply. So when we arrived at the airport, it felt like we were already on vacation. Who am I kidding? The Vietnamese dont know how to wait in line, fasten their seat belts, stay in their seats, find a place to puke that's not in the middle of the jet way.... you get my drift. It was a long flight to Kuala Lumpur (KL), but as soon as we arrived we were welcomed by the golden arches and it felt like home.

KL was amazing. We decided to make our visa run somewhat of a holiday and upgraded ourselves to 5 star hotels. I think the hotel could tell we needed a holiday because when we arrived, they upgraded us to a suite. It was like heaven on earth. We set out exploring, doing one western thing after another. Eating fast food, shopping, eating fast food, sightseeing, eating fast food. I am by no means exaggerating. I think the final count was McDonalds (x3) Wendys, Subway, Dominoes, Food Court's in malls (x2).... Yes I know this is absolutely disgusting, but we couldnt help ourselves. To be fair, this is over a 5 day span.

KL was just what the doctor ordered. It's the melting pot of Asia. Picture all different types of Asians procreating and then throw a little Muslim in there and that's what it felt like. I still dont really know what a Malaysian person looks like. It was a weekend spent doing things we would never think about doing in the States (eating 3 meals a day for 5 days at fast food joints, getting Danny to spend a whole day in a shopping mall with me, splurging on 5 star hotels)

Danny knew how excited I was to be in a mall where clothes weren't made for little tiny Asians. The beauty of the melting pot is that everyone comes in all shapes and sizes. In Vietnam, you can call me Kirstie Allie. My dear Vietnamese Mom, Ha, tells me I am fat on a daily basis. She doesnt realize it's rude and she by no means is actually trying to be mean. It's just the Vietnamese way. I have grown accustom to it and actually think it's hysterical. What I dont think is hysterical is the lack of clothes for me to buy in Vietnam. So I went to town. Replaced my whole wardrobe for $50 and enjoyed every second of the sales people telling me how nice the clothes I was trying on looked.

In between splurging on clothes and food we spent a good amount of time sight seeing. KL is known as the greenest city in Asia. I was modern, clean, friendly, and most of all had the perfect mix of western flare!

After a glorious 2 days in KL we hopped the nicest coach bus we have ever been on for a short 5 hour trip to Singapore......To be continued...

Thursday, April 19, 2012

3 Month Mark

It has been almost a month without blogging. I have had friends, parents, and now (the last straw) grandparents asking me if I'm still alive. So here I am everyone! Alive and living well in Vietnam. Blogging has taken a back seat in the recent month. I have been focusing on my job and to tell you the truth we are really settling into Vietnam. Occurrences now aren't seen as crazy experiences like they were three months ago. It's sad to think that buffalo's in the street, neighbors in the front yard without invitation, 5 people on 1 motorbike, and my personal favorite the speakerphone fading into the background don't even make us blink an eye anymore. It's become our normal life.

We have officially been here 3 months. Tomorrow we are heading out of the country for a "Visa Run". Our Visa will expire in a few days and we're off on a little vacation to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and Singapore. I know a vacation from our vacation, but that's what I'm trying to tell you, Vietnam doesn't seem like a vacation anymore. It's transformed into our home. It just happens to be an extremely affordable place, on a beach, with beautiful weather and an amazing atmosphere. (Visitors are welcome!!!) 

I am happy to report that in the last 3 months in Hoi An, Vietnam we have rented a home, founds jobs, and the kicker.... made some friends. You've all seen my blog about our house. It's a perfect Vietnamese house. 1 (potentially 2- waiting on our visitors) bedrooms with 3 bathrooms. Yes I know, very strange, but it's perfect. As for my job, the girl that left accounting has found herself a management accounting job 3 days a week at a Gold Mining Company. After being there a month, I can honestly say that I like my job. Everyday is a challenge, but 3 days a week leaving at 5:30 on the dot, who can complain? Dan is enjoying writing and is having an article published in a traveling magazine in May! He's taking amazing pictures and writing even more amazing articles.  And now, what you're all waiting for, our new friendships.

It was like being at your first day of kindergarten- let's try and make friends. Hoi An is composed of many different types of ex pats. You've got your rich folks, living on millions, your travellers who haven't been able to step away from all the beauty Hoi An has to offer (that's where we fit in), couples with children, single travellers, couples with no children (also where we fit in) and everything in between, from all different countries. There aren't very many twentysomething's here. We have managed to meet the 5 that we know of and our personal skills were put to the test. Are we cool enough, do you think we'll like them, do we have to be friends with them just because there is no one else- the series of questions that ran through our mind. Lucky enough, they are awesome. Friend #1 is from NZ, Lawyer in London the past 6 years, and one of the funniest people I have ever met and would definitely be one of my friends at home. Friend #2 is married to Friend #3 and they are both teachers here in Hoi An, from the west coast of the US. Friend #4 is dating friend #5, they are also from NZ and have just moved here last week. They are all so much fun to be around and we had a proper night on the town in the big city Da Nang where we all spent $50 USD, stayed out until we either puked/passed out/ was the last (lone) man standing/ or had to bring your girlfriend home (Dan). We'll that's a little too much info for the grandparents... but you all get my drift. We are alive and living well in Hoi An. I encourage each of you to at least think about coming to visit. We would love to see you and would be happy for you to stay with us!

Until next time, which we all know could be a month from now, check out Danny's blog, which is updated almost daily.  It's much more interesting than my blog!!