Wednesday, October 31, 2012

little moments...

Driving home from school today, I heard laughter and a lot of commenting in Vietnamese... I looked over and saw a truck/bus of officials on the road next to me... looking at me and loving my Wonder Woman costume!

A few minutes later, I found myself behind the truck/bus, which has an open back and about 15 officials packed inside... staring at me (and probably envying my socks with fire flying out the back!)...

I smiled, waved, and yelled a hello! -- to which they all broke into grins and waved peace signs at me as the truck/bus made a right turn!

Ha! It's the little moments like this, which make me love living here.

Halloween kiddos

These two boys are my neighborhood favorites! They are cRaZy and always full of energy!!

They were so excited in their masks this afternoon and were more than happy to pose for a couple photos... followed by a fitful of giggles when I showed the pictures to them on my camera. I plan to print a few copies and give them to the boys  : )

Happy Halloween!

Thank you to Barb - for sending me the awesome Wonder Woman costume... which was a hit at school today!

Wonder Woman taking on the cutest witch there is!  : )

The AIS Middle School had some fun in the afternoon at an assembly with a couple games and a costume parade/contest...

Monday, October 29, 2012


One of my favorite photos from fall break...

In Hanoi - just inside someone's doorway... a delivery of sprouts hanging on the wall!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Trip to Hanoi and Sa Pa

Last week was my school's Fall Break. It was bliss to have a week off and be able to travel!

I went North with Elizabeth and Vince (a married couple at my school... and both great friends). We went to Hanoi (Vietnam's capital) and Sapa (a mountainous region on the border of China).

Our travel itinerary was exhausting... 6:30am flights to and from Hanoi... and two nights of a 10-hour night train between Sa Pa and Hanoi... but worth it.   : )

Below are a couple Google Maps that show where Hanoi and Sa Pa are...

I ended up pretty sick our last day and while traveling back to HCMC. ...It was bed for the next two days for me. I'm back to 100% now and going through my 600+ photos... posts to come!

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Deck, An Phu, D2

The Deck is a beautiful restaurant located in An Phu, District 2. I really like it here but don't come often enough. I met an architect here a couple weekends ago... him and I are looking into starting up PechaKucha events in Ho Chi Minh City! It was fun to meet and discuss... and the setting at The Deck, as well as the food, is great...

Saturday, October 20, 2012

the "other" end of my street

I love my neighborhood. AND I love my apartment. I've lucked out... it's beautiful and in a quiet area.

My apartment building is located just off of a main road - Phan Xich Long... which is tree-lined down the middle of a median. WELL... I always turn onto my street from the same side... but on the other side of my little alley street is the following...

Looking up the street (my place is on the left)...

The two ends of my street could not be more different. I love it. I love the variety, the feel, and I love living among locals.

carried on a bike!

Restaurant on a bike!
(One of my favs)

Food delivery bikees rigged up and ready to go!
(This is directly next door to my apartment... cafe on the corner... the 4th since I've lived here)

He's not exactly carrying anything... but you can often find a friend on a motorbike helping out another friend... by pushing with one foot while driving  :P

Thursday, October 18, 2012

park in the house

Many people park their motorbikes in their house... often the living room / kitchen area. To get into the house... but to also avoid flooding... there are ramps at the front door... (all of the following photos were taken within two blocks of my apartment building).

Some are pretty steep!

And some have seen better days... D'Oh!

a door doesn't bore (me)

Lately I've been taking photos of front doors that stand out to me...

The blue is beautiful, and
I like how Tet holiday flowers are used as decorative details  :)

More Tet flowers!
(They are cut from foam and are usually used to decorate doors and 
walls around the Tet holiday... this year Tet falls mid-February.)

recent deliciousness

I got lunch at Bud's Cafe right in my neighborhood the other day -
- delicious fried rice with veggies!

...And a latte, of course!

Jenny introduced me recently to the delectable egg tart
It sounds disgusting... but is delicious!! Trust. 

And, of course, a bowl of pho! Mmmmm. Love pho. This deliciously flavored rice noodle soup has grown on my since living in Vietnam. I got this lovely bowl of pho chay (vegetarian pho) at Pho 24... below the gym after a good workout.  :P

Monday, October 15, 2012

street fish on a platter

The following photos were taken at the street market next to my street... usually I buy coconuts from a lady a shop down from these fishies...

A new favorite photo of mine... in a sad but strikingly beautiful way:

street restaurant -- soup!

While walking around my neighborhood one afternoon I walked past this lady serving lunch out of a big bowl of soup... at her roadside restaurant...

InterNations night out

InterNations is a worldwide community for expats. Jen invited me to an InterNations networking event and that was the first I had heard of it... The event was held on the floor of the Bitexco Tower that has the helipad! There are bars up top now... opening in a couple of weeks... but they opened just this one night for this one event. Very cool views.

Polka dotted city

Sunday, October 14, 2012

the new L'Usine

L'Usine is one of my faaavorite cafes in Ho Chi Minh City.

I have posted about this cafe a number of times before... such as:
Lovin' L'Usine
Luscious L'Usine Lovin'

A group of young Australian guys own L'Usine... both a cafe and an upscale boutique... and they're doing it right. Things are a bit pricey compared to other places in the city but worth it... the quality is good... both in their cafe's food and their shop's goods.

Also proving that L'Usine is doing something right... are the new spaces popping up around the city! ...Returning back to HCMC from summer break, L'Usine had expanded to another area in the same building on Dong Khoi as the original... now with an outdoor balcony overlooking Dong Khoi and the Opera House.

Today I visited L'Usine's newest space... located on popular Le Loi in District 1. Staying true to the same design scheme and furniture... the new L'Usine has a slightly different menu but the same great ambiance and quality coffees!

Laura, Kat, and I each had a different coffee this afternoon...
Cappuccino / Latte / Americano

I will probably stick mostly to the original L'Usine space... it's a favorite place of mine within the city. The new location is great too - and I'm glad to see it doing so well.