busy, busy

Been busy with the holidays, grading, folks visiting, more furniture being made. Lots going on. Will post when I have some time later this week. Back to work :)

thanksgiving with a cowboy

Very much missing thanksgiving at home, mom's turkey and jo's stuffing, I headed out with my roommate to see what Saigon had to offer. We began at Texas BBQ. They were serving a thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings. It began pouring outside and a few people were caught in the rain.

Steven and Trang dripping wet but ready to chow down.

Me quite excited at the prospect of turkey :)

There was a blackout, so we had dinner by candlelight and a few other

Picts of the crew: Trang, Steven, Tino, Andrew, Patricia, and Moi.

Feeling very full and satisfied, now what do we do?

Go to 'Troi Oi', an art opening, but of course! A show by Sandrine Llouquet at Gallery Quynh.

Some cards at La Casa Latina.

And then we joined the cowboy in search of a boat to take us along the
Saigon River.

Only to find the only boat still running was the ferry. So on we hopped
and crossed to the other side, still in search of something.

So many people use the ferry!

A view of the city.

Getting off on the other side. The cowboy drew a lot of attention. But
what we all found so fascinating was a motorbike that sounded like a
rooster. It had a horn attached and every time the guy accelerated we
heard the sound of a rooster crow. We wondered if he drove around in the
mornings to wake people up.

At last we found that something! It made the cowboy very happy.

All smiles:)

no more blur

Imagine a camera that lets you refocus after the picture has been taken. Amazing!!!! Wonder when they will come out with a consumer model.

Say Sayonara to Blurry Pics

Be sure to check out the creator's page, Ren Ng and his demo movies.

teacher's day

Teacher's day takes place on the 20th of November, quite a nice holiday which America should really adopt :) Its a day for students and schools to show teachers their appreciation. Generally students, both current and former, come bearing gifts. I didn't get any because I think I'm too new, but the schools that I teach for did make the holiday worthwhile. From the Austrailian school, I got a 256 MB usb flash drive. I had been planning on buying one, but they beat me to it. Woo-hoo! So
handy :)

The Vietnamese School though went all out! It booked half of a resort complex in Phan Thiet and paid for weekend accommadations for its entire 200+ staff. So nice!!!! We spent the weekend relaxing on the beach, playing games from which my bum was very sore from, and eating like crazy. They even provided some evening entertainment that included a
fashion show, a bit of cross-dressing, and a bonfire. The best part of the trip for me though has to be the sand dune sledding. So much fun!!!! I could have done it all day, next best thing to sledding on snow :)

Some highlights below:

A cham temple. One of the Vietnamese teachers on the trip asked me and
a couple of the foreign teachers if we knew what the meaning behind the
shape of the temple was. She was giggling...hmmm... anytime a Vietnamese
woman giggles it generally has to do with the topic of sex, so I just
assumed it was phallic.

Lo and behold, what do we see inside the temple, but an alter to what
the Vietnamese teacher describes as "that which happens between man and
woman. The cham people believed it was very important. The object in
the middle represents man and everything around it represents woman"...
she was beginning to turn red as she tried to explain to us. LOL!!! It
was very amusing.

The name of the resort we stayed at.

The view from my room.

The beach !!!

Food vendors along the beach in the evenings.

My new favorite dish, grilled scallops. Damn are they good!!!

Who knew my co-workers were pagans!

A gorgeous bonfire. So warm and inviting :)

HOT!!! They were actually really good dancers, especially the dude in

Some picts from the fashion show portion. So creative!

Jimmy, one of the other foreign teachers brought 'Uno' with him and
taught the Vietnamese teachers how to play. They got addicted and stayed
up till 3 am playing. I went to bed at 11pm but awoke to more 'Uno',
this time in my room! Vietnamese people are so easily addicted to card

The sand dunes.

Hai, my personal sled runner. He does this every day. Its too bad he
isn't in school instead like normal kids.

People prepping to sled.

A closer look :) Definitely one thing that everyone should try.

bangkok envy

Bangkok has built a Creative Design Center with 15,000 books! Man, I could wander there for days. They also have a Fashion Trend Center. Looks cool. I'm jealous. Think I wanna go visit Bangkok now :)


Swiped from HanSu's blog. This video had me rolling on the floor laughing.

BSB video

everyone's out

So Patricia and I finally decided to hire someone to cook for us three nights a week. We're terrible with eating out pratically every night, so figured this would be a bit healthier. As I headed out to discuss the details with the woman, all my neighbors were all standing outside staring at something at the end of alley.

There was a ton of smoke. I thought a house was burning, but turned out to be an electrical fire.

The firemen came 10 minutes later to put it out. We're having a test-run with the cook this week. She starts tomorrow. Hoping that she turns out to be good.

fell in love

With this red hammock. Swing, swing, swing :) Oh what joy it brings. Amazing how something as simple as a swing can make one so happy.

It now sits atop my terrace, there ready whenever I feel the need for an afternoon nap or some fresh air.

Just gotta watch out for the flash rainstorms.

Looks like my view with be changing a bit. They are building something across the way.

Some blossoms in bloom:

so sweet

I was working late one night trying to figure out some code so didn't tell my xe om driver to pick me up until 7pm. When I got out he was waiting with a bag of cookies for me. Said that he thought I could use a snack. Such an unexpected sweet gesture.

Then at work, students have been sending me e-mails to get better and giving me advice on how to adjust to the weather in Vietnam, some of them yet again are not in any of my classes. Lol. Awwhhhh, everyone is being so sweet :)