Urg guys. Life is busy. Not necessarily fun busy, but work and just general-life-busy. Luckily we’re starting to get out of our work-a-holic rut and enjoy some adventures again! This is by far the longest I’ve gone without having the chance to blog or write up any adventures – heck I didn’t post anything on Instagram (my favourite social media) for a full six weeks! I’ve had a draft of this monthly round up sitting waiting to be published since the end of June (I know, embarrassing), so with a few edits here is a round up of what we have been up-to over June, July and August. It’s a little bit meaty, so go grab a cuppa!
At the end of May we arrived back in Vietnam, which was a little bittersweet after being home – part happy to be back to friends and our routines in Vietnam, but a part sad at how our time at home flew past. As expected, we arrived back to a mountain of catching up to do. So June started with a bit of a bump as we returned to reality. It then just seemed to be bump after bump as we both had new teachers starting at our schools, requiring a lot of time and energy investment from us as head teachers. Unfortunately after weeks of trying to bring them up to teaching standard, David discovered his new teacher was leaving Vietnam. Typical, eh! (actually worked out in his favour as an old colleague returned to take her job, making life pretty plain sailing)
But, I can share some more positive news from June, which is that David got promoted to become a teacher trainer. So, he’s be doing some Mon-Fri training of new recruits on top of teaching in the evenings. Ker-chiiing.
Unfortunately the upshot of all the excess work we had in June meant that we were unable to get out of the city. Buuuut, some fun non-work related news for June involves the addition of a new family member. Baby Charles Benson was found stuck between the house and our back wall at the start of the month, and at only 5 weeks old we helped nurse him back to health. He’s now about 3 months old and a completely different character from when we found him. He’s still pretty needy but he’s behaving like a real kitten, running around, trying to scratch/bite anything and everything.
I almost forgot, we do actually have a new member of the Villa family. One of our flat mates moved out and we have a new one which is fun – we have opposing schedules which is a bit of a bummer but we’re slowly starting to get to know each other better.
A little giggle for you from June comes with the onset of real monsoon weather. I have been caught without my rain poncho a little too often and all I can say is, when in monsoon season, never risk a black bra and a white shirt. Out of all the monsoon downpours, we experienced one particularly badly. After 45 minutes of intense and heavy rain (featuring a mad-dash home without ponchos and, shock, another white shirt episode) we discovered that the drainage around the villa really wasn’t up to much. It wasn’t long before the water started coming under the front door. Then under the back door. And even up through our roomies bathroom drains (ew ew ew). Soon, most of the house was part-submerged, with us frantically running around trying to save furniture, kittens and bucketing water out of the building with pots and pans! Traumatic. Thankfully the landlord stays in a villa nearby and hurried along with pumps to drain out the water, and the place was returned to a dirtier version of normal by the end of night. Side blessing is that our bedroom was the only one not affected hehe!
And that’s about as exciting as June was. Just lots of busy busy working with a smattering of kittens and flooding.
July was another busy work month, with lots of the same as June and some company wide changes creating more work for head teachers to do. But, we had a bit more excitement with one of Davids good friends coming to visit on his way back to Scotland from Australia. He stayed with us in HCMC for two weeks, in which David tried his best to convince him to move to Vietnam and join us in the teaching/travelling world (hehe).
Hoi An, Vietnam
We frequented some of our favourite eateries and tourist sites and then they boys jetted off on a mini-break to Hoi An. I followed them the day after, to try and encourage them to explore in their extremely hungover state. Having finally managed to drag them out their room we managed to do some new things in the cute little town. Highlights were David and his friend getting some leather jackets made and visiting the Reaching out Teahouse.
August was a month of many celebrations for us! This first celebration was our 4th year anniversary (where did all that time go!?) which unfortunately fell on a weekend so we had to work during the day, but we spoiled ourselves with a delicious fancy dinner at NAMO Grill in HCMC. We had a couple of steaks which were amazzzing and the staff were just the sweetest – when they found out it was our anniversary they brought us a complimentary desert and homemade limoncello (definitely recommend if celebrating an occasion in HCMC).
One less celebratory event which occurred in August was a bit of a hair disaster on my part. I decided to try out the hairdressers here. Big no no guys! Biiiiiig no no. Cut – okay, but nothing special. Dying – absolutely, mortifyingly, terrible. So, after a few weeks of scrolling through the expat pages looking for salon recommendations for blondes, I went ahead and booked the most expensive one – you get what you pay for, right? I asked for a light, pearl-blonde do (showed pictures and everything) and ended up with peroxide white all over. It was literally worse than a box dye I could have done to myself with my eyes closed! Think Daenerys Targaryen from Game of Thrones haha! The colour was so bad on my skin tone, and just completely fried my hair along with removing all the tones from it. Not to mention it was nothing like the pictures I showed/asked for! Anyways, after 5 embarrassing days with my GoTs hair-do I managed to go and see another lovely stylist who is a magician! She was so good and managed to give me some fake roots back and add some tone and life back! So ladies, moral of the story is: research carefully and don’t let them start without fully understanding what they are going to do!
The second celebration for us was 1 whole year in Vietnam! That’s right, this crazy life has been happening for a whole year!? How did that happen?! We didn’t celebrate this one particularly but its pretty crazy to think back on everything that’s happened in the past year – trips all over Asia and even one back home, two homes, two job promotions, so many new friends and faces, and millions of new favourites! Considering doing a favourite tales from Vietnam posts – what do you think? Interested in hearing some of the silly stories we have? And maybe we will write a round up of the finances/stats from living here for a year? If, we miraculously, get some free-time back!
The next celebration was my birthday, on which we jetted off to the island of Penang in Malaysia. We were really looking forward to the brief escape from work and couldn’t wait to sample as much food as possible – everyone had told us it was incredible and it certainly didn’t disappoint our foodie cravings! We indulged in Indian curries, samosas, sticky Chinese food, Malay noodles, laksa and, of course, chicken satay (everyday, we are in Malaysia after-all).
We spent a few days sightseeing and eating in the islands capital Georgetown and then rented a bike and moved up the coast for some beach time relaxing. The beaches and water were really nice! Better than expected and I would definitely go back for the easy access from Saigon, the lack of visa and how cheap everything was!
We are now back in HCMC, trying to power through the final week of term before the new semester starts. All the reports have been submitted and the new terms classes confirmed. Just some final meetings and training sessions and then we are ready for things too cool off at work (please, calm down!)
Okay. Enough from us. Now you’re up to date with what has been happening with us in June, July and August.