Friday, 2 March 2007

Everyday life

Hanoi is warm and cloudy now. December was absolutely freezing and I went out and bought a two-bar electric fire and a duvet for my room! It was cold for about a week then turned coolish, but not very cold, then suddenly hot and has been warm or hot since then. So the duvet and fire take up valuable space… It can be a bit rainy some days and I was told yesterday that I can expect floods in Hang Chao Street (the school's location) soon. I don’t mind, I love the heat and can put up with a bit of rain.

Normally I would take a motorbike taxi to school (which costs about a dollar) but I have been walking home from the school the last couple of evenings. I let my motorbike go when I went to Laos for the New Year holiday and haven’t rented one since. I keep meaning to but just somehow don’t get round to it… I stop at one of the restaurants and have dinner on the way home so get to try some new ones which is nice. When you have a motorbike you bypass so much.. There are many restaurants in the Old Quarter, from the cheapest street stalls to very expensive and I have found the more you pay the worse the taste, as a general rule. The only problem is that I enjoy Asian food so much that whereas most people who come to Asia lose weight, I seem to be putting it on, so I am trying to cut down a bit for a few weeks as I hate the belly I am growing. The hotel guy keeps patting my stomach and asking when it’s due! I had really bad diarrhoea for a day on Monday but even that didn’t get rid of my belly!

My room in the Prince Café Hotel in Luong Ngoc Quyen Street is on the fourth floor and is a very narrow hotel with steep winding stairs and no lift so I get some valuable exercise every time I go home. It costs me $9 a night has a (rather slow) hot water shower, cable TV with Channel News Asia from Singapore, which I watch mostly, 3 movie channels, Discovery channel, various sports channels, including live English football matches most days, ( So I was able to watch Chelsea beat Arsenal in the Carling Cup the other day!!!), AXN, Fashion TV, Cartoon channels, DW-TV (a German news channel which transmits half its coverage in English) MTV and V, Australia Network, KBS (Korean sometimes in English), NHK (Japanese sometimes in English), Travel and Living, Animal Planet. But the best point is that I get free Internet in my room. Hence me sitting here in bed writing this blog!

I have been invited to two housewarmings this weekend, so if everything goes to plan it should be a good weekend..

I emailed someone about a house for rent yesterday, but no reply yet.


Domo said...

We really loved staying at the Old Quarter, it still feels so Vietnamese. I wonder what it was like a few decades ago. I agree that you have to go to the cheap street stalls to get the best food, however, it is an achievment to make a mistake in Vietnam. My favourites were pho bo, cha ca, cao lau (Hoi An) and white rose (Hoi An again). And Bia Hoi is the place to go out!!

ManinVietnam said...

Hi Domo, yeah, the Old Quarter is the place to be. I have lived here on and off for the last 6 months and think I have seen something to make me laugh, or my jaw drop, shock me or amaze me most, if not every day! I still get lost occasionally, but enjoy getting lost as you see new things!

I had Pho Bo tonight (first time for ages) and have Bun Cha regularly. The Bia Hoi is good, and I was forced to drink a couple tonight but you have to make new friends virtually every time you go there as it is mainly a travellers hangout.

Anonymous said...

you really educating us with all ur useful blogs,did u consider a career in writing,you did be a best seller by now.
anyways am coming to Vietnam next week,am from africa,would like to teach English( don't have any of the certifications like TESOL,CELTA and the rest)can i still teach,i hope so and play football,which i play so well,l don't know anyone in Hanoi yet and i thought u did be best person to contact,reading all your blogs,any advice for me,my e-mail address is
hope to hear from u soon.

ManinVietnam said...

Sorry Julius

I have only just seen your comment from a month ago!

I normally get an email when people post but got nothing this time.

Good luck with your travels in Hanoi. Some Africans who play football often stay at the Prince Cafe Hotel so might be worth checking out.

Not sure about teaching without certificates. You will have to ask locally.


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