Thursday, June 23, 2011

BIG things

...Big things are happening!

I've been working a lot on packing up all of my things... I think a bare room will actually make it easier to leave because it won't feel like 'home' anymore. I just took down my Italy wall...
I sold my car on June 1st and have really loved being on my bike and walking all over the city! There have been a couple of times that I've felt a bit stuck but I have the most incredible friends supporting me.  :)  Last weekend I had a yard sale to get rid of a bunch of things that aren't worth packing for 2 years and, although I don't think I'll ever do a yard sale again, it went well!  :P 

Less than 3 weeks now! My school sent me my VISA entry form for when I land in Vietnam and I also filled out a housing preferences survey... I'm so glad that my school will help as much as they can in my choosing an apartment. The closer it gets, the more real it feels... which makes me internally freak out here and there but then I just tell myself to go for it and it'll be ok.  :)

Friday, June 10, 2011

Reading up...

I'm really enjoying my Fodor's "See It, Vietnam" book. So far, my favorite (least favorite??) pieces are the 3 below:

-"Rush hour is generally all day in Vietnam, but peaks between 6:30am and 9:30am and between 4:00pm and 6:30pm. In Ho Chi Minh City the roads are only really quiet between about 2:00am and 5:00am."

(I hope you are reading with the sarcastic, humorous tone that I am... read on...)

-"Public buses, in general, are slow, old and cramped, but they usually arrive at their destination. It is not uncommon to see buses being totally disassembled at the side of the road, and it is rare to travel through the country by public transportation without experiencing several breakdowns or punctures. Speeds average no more than 22mph (35kph); public road transportation can be a long and tiresome (sometimes excruciating) business, but it is also fascinating and the best way to meet Vietnamese people."

(And then this one is just scary...)

-"According to Vietnam's National Committee for Traffic Safety, 6,327 people were killed in 9,470 traffic accidents in the first six months of 2004."

I have heard that the traffic (and just trying to cross the road) is crazy in HCMC... people have asked me if I plan on buying a moped... for the safety of myself AND others, I do not plan on driving a moped but will take taxis and (maybe) buy a bicycle. I also have two good feet that can take me places.  :) I'm still super excited and preparations are going well!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


Yesterday I met up with a guy living in Parker, CO who is going to work at the elementary school of AIS in Ho Chi Minh this coming year! He was very nice - he's from Ireland and is going to be the school's literacy coach. The middle and elementary schools are on different campuses, in different districts of the city BUT it will be really nice to have a friendly face in Vietnam!

I have been communicating through emails with a couple realtors about apartments and it's been somewhat funny. The first calls me 'Mister'... and if I ever meet this realtor, he/she will learn that I'm not a mister... BUT I don't know if they are male or female from their name either!  :P  Oh sheesh.

Then another realtor refers to me as "Mr./Ms. Maiorani" and asked what district I want to live in. ...Turns out that this realtor lives in the Binh Thanh district as well and wants to be friends! ...Well, they want me to help them with their English actually... but basically... friends! haha

I have heard from people that have been to HCMC that everyone is very friendly. So far so good and I'm not even there yet!