Reflections and stories on six months of life, culture, food and friendship in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Lesson # 1

Well, I'm here and have much to tell. In fact, I did tell it all, but lost it all at an internet cafe earlier today. Hence lesson #1: DO NOT compose blog entries while online. Next time I compose in word processing and cut and paste. I had a lengthy detailed description of my first 24 hours. When I went to post I discovered that the connection to the server had been lost and the thing vanished before my eyes. Grrr. Hopefully I will find time to reconstruct it tomorrow after my first meeting at the university. It remains to be seen how long this meeting will be. It's been hard to find time to write these last two days. I'm either sleeping from jetlag or trying my best to accomplish tasks which would otherwise be easy back home. Today's accomplishments: figured out where to buy pho bo in the neighbourhood; obtained a cell phone; bought a plug converter for my electrical devices; and met with the landlord of the guy I'm staying with for now (an expat Ozzie named Andrew- great guy!) to present him with a copy of my passport and visa so that my whereabouts can be reported to the local police (a routine procedure). The meeting with the landlord included a kind of tea ceremony with chit chat, partly in Vietnamese and partly through Andrew's friend Tuan who interpreted for us. The conversation of course included the perennial question: are you married yet. Chua! Yes, I know I'm very old (36!) not to be married, but it's not the same in Canada. I'll get used to this routine I'm sure. Ok this internet cafe is closing. Gotta run. More tomorrow. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this actually posts!

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