Monday, September 17, 2012

Love in Ho Chi Minh City...






One of the things I enjoy about Ho Chi Minh City...
no matter where you stand, you always know you are in Vietnam...
just when you think you have potentially captured the essence of another place...
something comes along to remind you that it is not so. 
I love that about this city. :)


Photo by Jeanne Henriques

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Sweet things...Streetside


I was standing outside my sons school on Friday, 
ready to greet him with our usual TGIF (Thank Goodness it's Friday) 
when I suddenly noticed a flutter of activity around me. People had arrived 
from all over to sell their wares and food. I was intrigued by this woman's 
self-made kitchen and decided to do the right thing and support the local community. 





Imagine delicate, waffle shaped, crispy wafers, in an intricate little heart shape 
pattern followed by doughy sweetness in the shape of a fortune cookie.
All of this was created in the make shift grill below.



They were to hard to resist and were equally delicious. 
I will be back for more, next time I will save a few for dessert...
I think they would look and taste lovely alongside a scoop 
each of mango and passion fruit sorbet.



All of these thoughts...in a fleeting moment 
on a Friday afternoon in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

TGFF
(Thank Goodness for Friday's)


Photos by Jeanne Henriques

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

As the rooster crows...moving to Vietnam



It is interesting to think of the changes in the sights and sounds as you move from one country to another. Sometimes the differences are subtle and other times they knock you over. I have picked myself up a few times since moving to Vietnam...it is not England, New Zealand, Australia or America...all familiar territory. As the rooster crows this fine early morning in Ho Chi Minh City I think about the day ahead and what will fill my day. It is a strange feeling, to go from a scheduled environment when you were lucky to fill in something 'extra' just for you to waking up and wondering how you will fill the day. I imagine this is what 'empty nesters' think...except that I am not there, just yet. With a 12 year old son still at home (three have flown the nest) I have plenty of school years ahead of me.

Life in Vietnam feels like a dream. With the move, came a driver, a lovely man whose English words are few but he has a smile that says it all. A gardener looks after each and every plant with great care and a young woman tends to the house and cooks wonderful meals. What is a control freak to do?

I am a one woman, woman. That probably makes absolutely no sense but I like to do things myself...my way. My father used to say "there is the right way, the wrong way and my way". This was always said with a twinkle in his eye and his sly Irish smile. All I can say is that the apple does not fall too far from the tree on that one.

So how do you adjust from doing everything, being master of your own domain to letting go? Not easily. I have taken to riding my bike great distances to think it out. I am grateful for having this time in my life to enjoy these perks. When we move on from Vietnam, it will be life as usual. I have decided to embrace it for what it is and make the most of it. With each passing day, my separation anxiety lessens and I accept my new found freedom. I now think how I can fill those days with activities...keeping busy is essential. An idle mind has a way of playing tricks on you.

I promised myself that when we moved to Vietnam I would focus on my health, something that has been less than blissful these past few years. As much as I loved England...I seemed to spend more time in the doctor's office than ever before. I went from a woman who never got sick, much to my families amazement, to one who literally fell apart...at the seams or rather from the hormones. ( I always blame it on the hormones).

I am back to Pilate's, a gym routine, swimming, bike riding and am going to throw meditation in there.
I had a fleeting interest (all of five seconds) in belly dancing when someone mentioned it last night. We were sharing a glass of champagne over birthday celebrations. I decided it was the bubbles thinking for me and quickly let go of that notion.

On my list.... cooking, art and photography classes. But first, the most important of all, Vietnamese
lessons. I am keen to learn the language, the essentials...it should be fascinating as I have no linguistic skills what so ever. My children wince when I attempt French...even with 'oui'. Ok...so I am not a one woman, woman when it comes to language skills. It could be that at times I have the attention span of a gnat..something I definitely blame on the hormones!

So..as the rooster crows, I ponder life. I have been doing a lot of that lately. If you follow me at Collage of Life, you may have read my recent post...which would explain much of what I have written this morning. Just life...as I know it this fine morning.

Speaking of life, here are a few photos taken during my bicycle travels yesterday....

I ventured into a new area, starting here...just riding along....


Passing ordinary sights..ones that have become very familiar.


What you pass one moment will look extraordinarily different the next...
yet they are a short distance from each other. 


Residence communities for expats and locals are everywhere. 
I love looking at the architecture...this one looks like it might require further investigation.


Interestingly...between many of the buildings you will see the sight below. 
This street runs parallel to the Saigon River. The river seems to sweep in and out..
I can only imagine what the foundations of the surrounding buildings must be like.


Across the street...more land waiting to be developed. 
Construction seems to be booming. 


 The architectural details are fascinating....a few of these will require my zoom lens.



A boutique hotel underway....



I am hoping for a spa in this one...



and there you have it...just a morning ride..me and my bicycle. 
I will declare that purchasing this Pashley bicycle in England 
was one of the best decisions I made. 
Loving the ride....


More on life in Vietnam....here.