(Yes, I finally made it to Vietnam and got a blog post done.)
Well hello there. Yes, ’tis I. So I thought I might have a go at this blogging business. Not just because I’d love to have a whole web page dedicated to myself, but because I always find that whenever I go away, I’m buzzing to tell my nearest and dearest about my adventurers on my return. Yet I very quickly forget what I actually got up to on said adventure, and when asked ‘how was you holiday?’, the response is usually: ‘yeah it was really nice. I ate a lot. Yeah.’ Boring.
So for those who wanted to be kept updated with a little more detail, here it goes:
Leaving the UK
After my crazy summer holiday Riverdancing in Dublin, trekking in the Brecon Beacons and rehearsing for 42nd Street in Birmingham, my final week in the UK crept up on me very quickly. I was lucky to spend my last days in Cardiff for Naomi’s wedding (now Mrs Williams!) I actually got to be a bridesmaid and wear nice things and feel important and sit on the head table. Twas fab. Anyway, dresses and vino aside, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to see some of those who I might not have caught before embarking on my journey. However, this resulted in an extremely soppy and wet farewell; from the moment I said goodbye to my friends I was weeping like a baby. This continued at the airport with my mum, going through security, and after speaking to my dad on the phone.
Jigging at the Gaiety Theatre, Dublin
Showbiz. Can you see why I was tired?
‘What on earth is wrong with me?’ I kept thinking. Truth be told, I think my chockablock (but brilliant) summer left me with very little free time and weeks of sleep deprivation. I don’t think I’d seriously considered and digested what I was about to embark on and I was exhausted. And I suppose moving halfway across the world to an entirely different country and culture to teach is quite a big deal. I guess I was right when I joked to everyone that I wasn’t nervous and probably wouldn’t be till aboard the plane. However, I’m pleased to report that the meltdown quickly subsided after a wander around the duty free and doing the puzzle page in the i-paper.
I was very lucky to bag myself a reasonably priced but rather swanky flight with Singapore Airlines. The plane I flew on was this enormous A380, a double decker airbus, and it somehow stayed in the air for the entire 12h 30m! It was great. Not only did I have a reasonable amount of leg room, but the chairs were actually comfy! I’ve been told that most seats in planes, coaches and whatnot are designed using measurements from the average-sized man. Fat lot of good that is to shorties like myself who find themselves with an achy back two hours into a journey. They also fed us insane amounts; a between-meal snack consisted of three items! Nice, but quite wasteful when you don’t eat it all.
I managed to watch a couple of films including ‘Ex Machina’. It was good but probably not the best thing to watch on an aeroplane unless you don’t mind other passengers noticing that you’re screen is filled with nude women peeling their skin off. Thankfully, the passenger next to me had already seen it. I was fortunate to be sat next to him and his wife. They were a very friendly couple from New Zealand. Seeing as I was on the window seat we would take toilet trips together intermittently, to cause less seat-changing chaos, and we’d have a little chat. Nothing like a social toilet break. This also proved to be one of the coolest things about Singapore Airlines: their toilets where actually quite clean AND had their signature mouth wash and eau de toilette. It combined perfectly with my natural eau-de-two-day-sweat. My favourite touch was traditional dress that the air hostesses wear. Might get a job with the airline just so I can have one.
Are We Nearly There Yet?
The change over in Singapore was very quick, but I had a moment to have a quick change. I’m not going to lie, I still had the same undies on that I’d worn at Naomi’s wedding. Yep, gross. And my hair was also covered in product from the fancy wedding up-do and so my head was starting to look like a lampshade. Toilets were a big relief.
The next departure gate was interesting. I know it’s an Asian stereotype but I did find that the volume of conversation increased considerably. I had a little chat with a Vietnamese man who was sat next to. He was very sweet and the first person on this trip to offer me his business card. Turns out this is a norm in Vietnam and am gradually building a collection of cards from people I will never see again. Suppose they’ll make a nice collage in my new room. I was taken by surprise when he produced his phone and asked me to take a selfie with him. I didn’t mind in the slightest, but it was certainly unusual. I guess this is my first taste of being the novelty white person.
Three hours later and I landed in Hanoi. Going through arrivals put me back into a slightly nervous state as I was convinced that going through customs would involve being grilled about my work visa, business documents, return journey (which you are supposed to have pre-arranged – I have planned nothing), and who knows what else. However, the security man must have seen the two backpacks I was carrying and thought meh as he casually stamped my passport with barely a glance. Then the next challenge of safely getting to the hotel was actually a doss. Saw sign with my name in it. Got in big van. Got to hotel. Sorted!
So, who knows what next?
Well, that turned into an essay. Right reader, I shall leave it there for now as unpacking must be seen to.
Ok, chucking stuff all over the floor:
Until next time,