I depart Tuesday morning for two weeks in NEW ZEALAND.
...And below, I figure I'll share some recent realizations/reflections/random thoughts...
- I have geckos living in my apartment. I'm ok with that. This afternoon a mouse ran across my bedroom. I'm not so ok with that. ...but it's definitely better than a RAT, which this city has plenty of!
- Sometimes after weaving my way through a crazy-busy intersection, I say aloud: "Yikes." ...Realizing I'm lucky to have made it through without a bump or two. Then I remind myself to pay attention and alert... defense is just as important as offense when driving in Ho Chi Minh City. ...And accidents happen when a driver ('eh em'... me) becomes too comfortable / cocky. Focus. Focus. Focus.
- I saw a lady wearing white skinny jeans today... the bottom of each leg was cuffed up... and the inside material was leopard print. Amazing. I wish my dad had been on the back of my bike at the time... I know I could have counted on him for a loud "RAWRRR" in reference to the animal print!
- I left an entire dish of untouched Indian food in the fridge at school. D'Oh! ...This is worth a trip back during rush hour.
- After picking up my Indian food... and putting my helmet on to leave school, a guard came up to me and said, "Stah-seeya?!" I was worried! I turned around and he then said, "Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!" It was incredibly sweet. I am always spouting various Vietnamese words and phrases at the guards... but they don't often talk to me... and never in English. It sounded like he has been practicing... just like I've practiced to say chuc mung nam moi (happy new year).
- I still, and will always, dislike the drivers that install car horns onto their motorbikes. Really?! ...Not needed, sirs.
- I love my students. I wore my glasses (the ones from SEE Eyewear in Denver, CO... not the Vietnam locals) to school for the first time today and had comments from many surprised students... a few of my favs: Josh - "Whoa. Hipster." Keiny - "I like your glasses Ms. Stacia!" and Lisa - "You are so creative." Loved it. ...I think the creative comment was because I had two sparkly snowmen with Santa hats hanging from the frames! ...Just gettin' festive!...
- I will never be ok with men (ok, women too but mostly men) digging up their nose... hocking a loogie onto the street while driving... or peeing out one pant leg on the side of the road. Please keep your bodily goobies to yourself. Thank you.
- I love, love, love the holiday season in Ho Chi Minh City! They love to celebrate! Christmas, New Year, and the Tet holiday all fully take over the city in elaborate decorations and sparkling lights... all going up at this time.
- The Tet flowers are hanging up along Dong Khoi and Le Loi streets!! Gorgeous. And I recently learned that the Dong Khoi flowers are yellow for the south... and the Le Loi flowers are pink for the north (pictures and more to come on that soon...).
- Ready or not, I'm up for a new massive adventure soon! I've let my school know that I plan to move on after this school year (when my two-year contract ends)... both an exciting and nerve-wracking position to be in... looking for a new job / location abroad.
- With just 6.5 months left in Vietnam, I am most definitely feeling the need to soak up what time I have left here. Certain moments make me almost choke up... and wonder why I would ever leave this place!? ...Such as spending less than $5 USD for fresh flowers that cover my entire apartment, having my choice of beautiful cafes everyday, living in a gorgeous apartment that is cozy and feels like 'home', having wonderful friends in my life in Vietnam... and the list goes on. I'm one lucky girl.