Friday, February 27, 2015

Life in Vietnam...questions and answers




When I was told we were moving to Vietnam I went into full Google search mode. Who, what, where, when, how...lay it on me. I searched out other expat bloggers living in Ho Chi Minh City, sent my list of questions and waited patiently. One person answered and I was grateful to her for taking the time. It was a start.

So here I am, nearly three years later and now the questions are coming to me. I feel like the expat "Dear Abby" of Vietnam. What goes around, comes around. I like that. 


Taking a moment...Saigon

I started
 Expat Diary: Viet Nam before we moved to Saigon, as a place store all the information from my Google searches. Since then, I have written sporadically.... but it seems to be enough for people to reach out.


"Fruit for Sale"...Saigon

My most recent request came from Esteban in Argentina in response to my blog post.. A Love Affair..with Vietnam


Hi,

I'm thinking to live in Vietnam for a year to change the air, imbue my in their culture and break with my actual routine. I'm independent translator and I have many happy and loyal clients, so it I can work in any place in the world with Internet.
I like nature, sailing, reading. I consume tons of silence, makes me happy :)
I don't want to be travelling like a tourist during this year, so my plan is to rent a place that will be my home during the entire year. Eventually I wish to visit on some weekends other places in Asia: Cambodia, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, other places in Vietnam, Hong Kong and China. 
My wish is to live alone with my wife in a place near some river, beach or sea, with kitchen (I like to cook every day, this make me feel in home), minimum comfort. Nightlife is not for me, I prefer family lifestyle.
Can you recommend me some cities in Vietnam to do this?

Thank you very much!


Best regards from Argentina,

Esteban 


"Fruit Juice for Sale"...Saigon

Did I mention how much I enjoy receiving notes like this? I think Esteban has the making of a great story. I wrote to him with a few suggestions. I am curious to see if he makes his dream a reality. 

The questions I recieve vary...

Do Vietnamese eat dogs?
Should I bring mine?
What is compound living like?
Which schools do you recommend?
How do you find the medical care in Vietnam?
Do you drive in Vietnam?
What is it like living in a Communist country?
How do I find house staff? How much should I pay them?
What should I bring with me...food, medicine, beauty products?
I am looking for a job, what should I do? How does it work?
How much money do I need to make to live comfortably?
Where should I live?
How do I find an apartment, house?

and from future Vietnam travellers..

I want to travel to Vietnam, where should I go?
Can you recommend shops, restaurants, places to stay?
I want to have furniture made, where should I go?


I admit, some questions are beyond me and some are to complex to answer, but for the most part, I try to answer them the best I can. I am now to the point where I can copy and paste information in response to the most popular questions. I wonder if "Dear Abby" does that..  ;)



"Park Here"...Saigon


So.. in the spirit of powering along with my 28 Day Writing Challenge (the one I am five days behind on).. I thought I would ask if you have any questions for me about life in Vietnam or any other topics that interest you. I find that when you live in a place for a time, you start to forget about the gems that intrigued you when you first settled in. The questions coming my way keep it fresh, allowing me to make the most of my time here.

If you would rather write to me, please do! jeannecollageoflife@gmail.com




Sending you a big "Beep..Beep" 
from Vietnam 
for a wonderful weekend!

Jeanne xx

From Saigon...."Beep..Beep"

Photos above taken along my travels
around Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon).

Monday, February 2, 2015

Hanoi in the Pink, Vietnam



I was in Hanoi this past weekend.
Grey and rainy weather could not overshadow
the beauty on nearly every street corner, shop and home.

The Vietnamese are getting ready for the Tet holidays.
 Commencing February 15, 2015

Pink peach flowers are the celebratory flower in Hanoi,
the first sign of spring and symbol of good luck.

It was wonderful to see...Hanoi in the pink.

On bicycles..





and along the curbside,
peach blossoms are for sale everywhere.





 I spotted this lovely stylish woman 
waiting for a bus,
peach blossoms in her arms.



If you visit Hanoi 
this time of year
be sure to have a wander 
and bring your camera.

Find a busy street corner,
hold on tight to your camera
and wait for passing traffic.
Be ready...you will not want to miss 
a single peach blossom. 



I was tempted to purchase a bunch for myself
but decided they might be unruly 
in the overhead storage on the airplane.




The pink peach blossom is a specialty 
in the northern areas of Vietnam.
The climate is cooler and more suitable.

If you travel to Ho Chi Minh City 
during the Tet holiday,
be prepared for happy faces of sunshine.


Either way, you are in for a treat!


Photos taken on my travels..
Jeanne Henriques