Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Click this for Edwardo's 2nd restaurant review


Saturday, October 14, 2006

Finally, A house to call our own

Sunday, October 15th, 2006, we move in to our house by the lake. It is a modest three storey affair, with two bedrooms a large kitchen and three, yes that's right, three patios. One balcony off of our bedroom, one patio off of the kitchen and the third and biggest balcony, on the roof, and a little courtyard in the front. There are two bathrooms and cathedral ceilings. Today will be our last evening in the hotel. We are both very excited to move into our place and put an end to this vagrant hotel living. We will take some pictures and maybe a video of our new home to put on myspace, which you can access by clicking the link at the bottom of every blog. " find me on myspace, and be my friend" We will post any videos on that site as I still havn't figured out how to post videos here. So stay tuned and take a peak at our new diggs.
Now, we extend an open invitation to any and all, friends and family to come and visit us. We have a comfortable, air-conditioned spare bedroom for you to use, and Vietnam offers many enjoyable activities for you tourist types. Give us a shout.

Monday, October 09, 2006

My first published restaurant review

Check out my first story here... For a limited time


copy and paste in to web browser or just click on the title above!

(Below are two examples of the kinds of scenery found here....)

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Spider sandwiches, and the cockroach tub!!

As most of you already know, I am not a huge fan of the crawlies. There are no shortage of the 6-8 legged devils in this filthy country. Two particular tales I would like to share are of the Spider sandwich and the Cockroach bathtub.
Karen and I strolled in to a cafe to have a coffee before work. It was a fair size and there were many people in there, which is normally a good sign. We found an empty table and had a seat, only to discover the menu was completely in Vietnames, and there were no english menu's available.
After some time we managed to get our request for coffee and a sandwich across to our waitress. We got our coffee first and Karen waited for her sandwich.
The sandwich arrived moments later and while it was unremarkable, it looked like a standard ham sandwich. Karen took a bite, and then opened the sandwich to inspect the meat and found a spider stuck to the mayonaise on the bottom side of the bread.
We, of course, returned the uneaten sandwich and Karen passed on a replacement. We finished our coffee and made to leave. We walked up to the counter to pay our bill and noticed a charge for the sandwich. Assuming it was a mistake we pointed it out to our waitress who was standing beside us smiling like a lunatic.
" You charged us for the sandwich we sent back." I said,"remember,...it had a spider in it!"
" Yes, spider!" still smiling like a half-wit.
" You can't be serious!" Stated Karen.
" Your charging us for the spider sandwich?" I asked again bewildered.
" We didn't eat it. It had a spider in it for christ sake!" Karen
" Let me get this straight... You want us to pay for the spider sandwich?"
" Yes, you pay for the spider sandwich." She stated.
With that I was satisfied. It was worth the doller just to hear her call it the spider sandwich. I can see some of you shaking your head in disbelief, that we would pay for the sandwich, but trust me, sometime the principle isn't even worth the trouble.
Now, for the cockroach. After living for over a year in Asia, you get used to the cockroaches that are everywhere you look. They simply become part of the scenery. The puzzleing thing about cockroaches is that even though they can fly, they choose not to, most of the time.
For example, we have a bathtub in our hotel room that seems to be Alkatraz for cockroaches. They get in but they never get out. Everyday, there is a single cockroach desperately trying to escape our bathtub, however, it's prickly little feet just can't find purchase. They never think to simply fly out and I find myself killing an extremely exhausted cockroach everyday, when I get back from work. Puzzlin, No?
Talk to you soon,

Sunday, October 01, 2006

The Two Week Mark

We have been citizens of Hanoi, Vietnam for two weeks now. Our search for an apartment has been fruitless thus far. Hotel living, while having it's advantages, encourages a lifestyle that we are growing tired of. While we have some leads for a new home, we find ourselves being taken advantage of. The idea in Vietnam, is a white face represents wealth, and by their standards, I suppose that is true for the most part. We have found modest apartments asking up to 600 USD, that is just ridiculous considering the same apartment would be rented to a Vietnamese person for less than 200 USD.
There is hope, however, as we are making friends with our Vietnamese co-workers, and they will help us to find a place at a more reasonable price. We have also tossed around the idea of shared accommodation. Living with two or three other people in a huge French villa. I guess we will see how that turns out.
As for work, it is great. This is probably the best job I have ever had. It's fun, creative, and fulfilling. I know I would never have been able to get a job like this in Canada, so I will enjoy it while I can. It doesn't pay as well as teaching English, but it is a much better stepping stone in to something better. Teaching English is like treading water. No future employers will look at it with any real appreciation. It is financially rewarding, I suppose, but you come away from it no further ahead, in terms of hireability. Many people at the Vietnam News, with no journalistic experience, have used this job as a means to move on to Bangkok News, Taipei Times and then Japan News, all of which are more financially rewarding than the last. I am told you can make up to 80,000 US working for Japan News. So we will bide our time, gain some experience and hopefully make the best of it, as so many others have done before us. Mr Johnny Shaw included.
We are afraid to do any traveling right now, as we are concerned with leaving our luggage in a hotel room, unchecked for days at a time. We will have much more to blog about once we get settled here and start to visit all of the interesting places that Vietnam has to offer. So stay tuned, eventually there will be many pictures and new stories of our new experiences.
Talk to you soon,