Saturday, July 28, 2012

The story begins..at Chateau Mango



I have waited nearly a year for our story in Vietnam to begin, I can finally say we are off and running. I will write back and forth between this blog and Collage of Life. I plan to record travel items...those little tidbits that could make one's visit to Vietnam enjoyable along with daily snapshots of our life in Ho Chi Minh City. If you follow me on both blogs, I thank you kindly!



Friday, 27 July 2012

Jeanne and the Giant Mango in Vietnam

My first friend in Vietnam.

Xin chào (hello)...

Woman on the verge has landed and what a landing it has been. Something along the lines of psychedelic for surely that would be your first thought if you happened upon our new home in Ho Chi Minh City.

I am not quite sure how it happened. Our landlord offered to paint the house inside and out before our arrival. Mr. H and I discussed colours and decided to have it painted the same as the previous colour because we were not in the country to look at paint samples. The previous colours were off white, inside and out. Better to be safe than sorry.

I thought this was the end of the story...until we drove up the driveway on Tuesday morning. What was  a safe beige is now orange...mango orange to be exact. I live in a mango world and as much as I love to eat them, I never thought I would live inside one.



Jeanne and the Giant Mango..James and the Giant Peach...we are one.

It turns out Mr. H thought he would shake things up a bit. He looked at a paint sample on his return to Vietnam a few weeks ago and wanted to surprise me...and that he did. If you have been reading along lately, you will know that Mr. H is full of surprises. I am still stunned, maybe I will come around. Our adventure has started out with a bright brilliant orange bang!





House aside...it has been fun settling into life in Vietnam. We have a driver, Mr. Kai, a gardener, Mr. Truan, a housekeeper/cook, Miss Huyen and a night guard (haven't met him yet)  to keep me on my toes. This is the first time I have had more than a housekeeper and... I think I am going to like it.

around the garden

We are all working on our communication skills, mine needs some work. Vietnamese is a tonal language, one word can be said seven different ways and in turn have seven different meanings. The words do not roll easily off the tongue for me and sometimes they can sound quite harsh...or something akin to when the dentist numbs your mouth and you spend the rest of the day drooling and spitting your words out.  I have mastered hello, 'xin chao' (sounds like ''sin chow'). Although I keep forgetting it's meaning and yesterday I kept using it to say 'thank you'. I thought I was saying 'thank you' to the driver only to have him repeatedly say ' bye bye'. We were both in a state of confusion and laughter. Lucky for me, he has a smile that lights up a room and one that never seems to stop.

Miss Huyen is going to be my lifesaver. After an exhausting process in the supermarket on the first day, reading products in Vietnamese and trying to play guess the product from the pretty picture on the package, I decided to take Miss Huyen with me to the supermarket today to translate. Mr. Kai joined us and between the three of us we had great success. It's the little things that make all the difference, especially whey they are of the foreign kind.

Shopping for dinner at the local Metro.

We have been playing hide and seek with our Internet service. I was quite impressed with how fast the service was until I discovered that Facebook and Blogger are blocked by the powers that be. After a few...actually...many hysterical moments from Mrs. H, it was a case of  Mr. H and his trusty team back at the office to the rescue. They gave me the heads up on Hotspot Shield...of which I am now an Elite member (of my own accord). I am doing the VPN signal in VN...happily.

I am keeping my fingers crossed that another road block will not appear on the Internet front. Heaven forbid I should be cut off from all you wonderful readers...you all make my world go round. I have a lot of catching up to do, blogs to read, letters to write, Facebook updates...I have been waiting for the time.  At this juncture of my life...there is know telling what will happen next.

I am starting the morning at 4:30am (jet lag) to the sounds of a very ambitious rooster. I wish someone would tell him the sun is not up yet. He must be confusing the light coming from my window. Man...now the night guard is whistling... ah life... in Ho Chi Minh City. :)

More to come...now sure how much you can take....I will stop here but before I go, I just want to thank you all for your blog posts, comments and well wishes. You light up my world...really and truly...and by the sounds of it you are lighting up the roosters world too!

I feel like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz at the moment....got to get me a pair of red sparkly sandals..(for the tropics) and then decide where home is... in the meantime, hang on folks...we are in for one wild ride!


He is too cute to ignore and seems to have lots of family with him.
I think I will call him 'Ozzie' for OZ...as in The Wizard of Oz.

OMG...another sound...one like no other..
are there monkey's in the trees here too?
Off to explore....
:)

PS...Tika, our dog, is mid-flight and all is well.
She is currently in the Frankfurt, Germany airport pet lounge 
waiting for her next flight. She arrives on Friday!

Photos by Jeanne Henriques

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Bamboo Vietnam


I consider myself very lucky, I was passed on a folder filled with business cards 
for everything imaginable in Ho Chi Minh City. If you move around frequently, 
you will know that setting up shop in a new place can be frustrating as you try to find 
your way around. Mission accomplished and I haven't even moved in yet. 

I thought I would share some of them as I go along... 
this one looks intriguing. If you like bamboo.


cabinet...




screen...




bed...





 swing...




and if you are feeling ambitious...a house...or studio.



Either way, I am putting this store on my list of places to check out.




I will keep you posted.
If you happen to be in the area, you can find all the above here...

21 Thao Dien Str.,
Thao Dien Ward, District 2
Ho Chi Minh City
Viet Nam


images via Bamboo Vietnam