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,