Thursday, March 28, 2013

Snakes and Bicycles in Saigon

When I look back at my photos from our time living in England I am thankful for many things but one that stands out to me is my iPhone.  Greatest little gadget ever and if I could pop on out and buy an unblocked iPhone 5, I would. But..I can't, so for now, I am thankful for my iPhone 4GS, for it serves me well. All the photos here and many on the previous posts were taken out and about with just my has it's limitations but for this expat who likes to snap memories on the go, it's perfect.

I decided to make an icon for this blog. I would modify my blog but for some reason, living in Vietnam creates lots of complications and getting into my Blogger account to make change is one of them.  For is this...snapped last weekend with my iPhone.

I plan to give a full insight into compound living one day
but for now...let me just say, I am gutted to see that this
lovely road to our home...

is under construction and will have a massive
brick wall running down one side of it. An open reserve sits quietly 
on the other side, teaming with wildlife. The sounds that
come out when the sun sets is the best of the tropics.

My guess is that it is going up for security reasons or plans for 
building construction are in the works. I am keeping my fingers
that the ladder is not the case.

I prefer as much of this (below) as possible.

It is that time of year...the sun is sitting higher, 
temperatures are rising and the humidity levels are climbing. 
At the moment (2:30pm) it is 97F/35C with a reported 
temperature that feels like 106F/40C..
and 49% humidity...pretty low given the past few days.

This is something I rarely did in England...check the weather.
It was either cloudy or it wasn' or it wasn't.

In's a different story.
Did I mention that I am a cool weather person?
Humidity is not my thing.

But the plants enjoy it and for that I am happy 
and am totally entertained by their growing patterns.
This tree had a sizeable lopping today..

although.. I can't say I am excited by what the heat 
is bringing out of the reserve. There was a buzz of excitement 
yesterday when Mr. Khai, our driver, caught a snake. It
was slithering it's way up to our gate when Mr. Khai spotted it.
 The capture involves a car and a piece of wire..only in Vietnam!
After much fanfare from the security guards and construction workers, 
it was promptly taken away by someone who I understand, 
was thrilled to have it for dinner. I was told that snake
sauteed with ginger and lemongrass it is delicious. 
I think I will pass on that one.

I am still trying to identify it, any guesses?

If you visited me in Vietnam, I would not take you on a snake hunt
but would take you to our local cafe, 
a short stride from Chateau Mango (our home). 
There we would sit..sipping on something..

and watch the water hyacinth float by.
A relaxing pastime, it will be one of 
my many fond memories of Vietnam.

and if you know I know many of you do.. you
will know of my fancy for bicycles. Even though
I have adoring love for my English Pashley bicycle,
I have to say..these Vietnamese bikes are pretty sweet.

Maybe just one...

Speaking of England, a surprise. 
We have our mail forwarded from England and in it today, 
a recent issue of Country Life UK.
My subscription has long been cancelled which is why I was
so excited to see it. I love this magazine so much that I brought
2 1/2 years worth of issues with me to Vietnam. 
Some things are just to hard to let go of.

It is interesting...the things you get excited about 
when living in the tropics. :)

I topped that thought off with a lemon, lime, ginger and mint juice.
Lovely to sit and write to you today.
Until next time...

Best wishes from sunny, steamy Saigon!


  1. Oh, I know the love/hate relationship with humidity and tropical climate. It is an ongoing battle down here for me. We thought Houston would be only an "interesting" stop on our life of abodes. That darn "oil and gas" industry just loves Houston and opportunities abound for P. here. We're going on year 3 of impending tropical summer. I've decided to get out of the worst of it as much as I can. Late May = leaving...then August = leaving again...Nov.= leaving one last time before the beautiful cool temperatures resume and I am happy again to call this area home. Speaking of northern will be a road trip from Rhode Island up to PEI the last 2 weeks of August! Let me know if you will be around and perhaps we can have a quick coffee!

  2. Can't imagine you are taking these wonderful photos with your phone! I assumed a digital SLR (does that exist? i think it does ...) that would be a reason to get one, methinks!

    The snake is lovely ... just not too close by, and i will pass on the lemongrass version, too.

  3. Almost a year has passed since your move, and with your comings and goings it has probably passed pretty quickly. When you go to NH in April, I can assure you you will not be experiencing heat and humidity! Hey, is that close to a fruit smoothie I see here?

  4. Really enjoy reading your life adventures and admire the way you appreciate all the different things. Shame about that road, lots of that kind of modernisation going on here too due to continued building of estate houses. Also love Country Life and understand completely taking them with you! Minerva ~