I know when I started this that I said I would keep up with it, but I am in high school and getting ready to enter the IB diploma program which is so difficult. I just finished my personal project product and my life has been crazy right now. But soon I am going to Sa Pa with my school for our 10th grade trip and we have to create a photo book, which means?? You guessed it! Pictures that I will be able to post and adventures to talk about. Also I am planning to go to the Old Quarter, which is just streets of inexpensive shops which is really fun to do. I plan to buy a lot of things and so I will probably see some interesting things too so pictures then too! Yay! If none of this tickled you fancy (is that just an American saying or do other countries say that to? let me know) I did recently have one interesting….adventure I guess you could call it. I went and saw a 5 hour-long Portuguese/French movie with English subtitles which is good since I can’t speak French or Portuguese. It was at this little place through and alley (looks completely shady), but it was really nice (also has some of the best french fries I have had in Hanoi. So if you live in Hanoi or are visiting look it up and check it out it’s small and cute and pretty amazing! Until later……
So since I haven’t had a chance to take any photos in Hanoi, and we left Hanoi for the Tet holiday, I thought I would share my AMAZING adventures in Bangkok, Thailand. OK, so I am not going to tell every little detail like what I ate everyday and all that jazz, I wouldn’t want to read about it on someone else’s blog so I doubt you want to read about it on mine. So mainly I am just going to share 5ish things (it will be explained later in this post how 5ish is now an official count). So here we go!! The first thing I did was ride an elephant! ELEPHANT!! Her name is Full Moon and she is (I think) 19 years old. I also got to play with her in the river, she knows how to splash someone when her owner (Peter) says something in Thai, it was pretty amazing!! (Riding Full Moon + giving her a bath = 2ish things if you are keeping count)
The next thing we (we refers to my mom and I, if I didn’t make that clear before hand) went to the Tiger Temple. At the Tiger Temple we were able to pet FULLY GROWN TIGERS and feed baby tiger cubs. AMAZING!! The cubs were so cute and soft and precious, I really wanted to stay forever. The grown tigers were also amazing. Being able to touch the tigers was an amazing experience, I mean seriously how many people are able to say that they have petted fully grown tigers? (Petting fully grown tigers + feeding baby tiger cubs = 4ish things)
The last thing that I did was go zip-lining. I got the ticket to do the zip-lining for Christmas. I absolutely love being in the air maybe more than being in the water (which is saying something, I used to spend, no lie, over 12 hours a day in the pool at my grandparents’ house). It was a Gibbon zip-line meaning we were supposed to be able to see a lot of Gibbon(s?), but I only saw one. It was still super fun. My mom who is terrified of heights didn’t do it with me, but I was in a group of Danish people and they were pretty cool (but they mainly just talked in Danish, which wasn’t so cool). (Zip-lining = 5 things)
Overall I would say my trip was pretty awesome. I was able to check off a lot of things that would be on my bucketlist, if I had one (I should probably create one now that I think about it).
I was going through pictures on my phone when I found some from the first week I was here. There not much but I thought it was pretty strange. So there not the best pictures, but oh well I will try to describe them. So the first one, a got into the taxi everything was normal until I look at where the driver was sitting and there was NO spedometer!! The other two are of this small truck with the bed overflowing. There was EVERYTHING in there. I saw bikes, furniture, clothes – everything you could think of. So I had to take a picture, the pictures didn’t turn out well, but its the thought that counts.
So recently with the winter break that just came I haven’t had chance to go out and take any photographs which is unfortunate. There is also a Vietnamese holiday coming up called Tet, and I will be leaving the country while that is happening,but hopefully I will be able to take a lot of pictures when I get back. Although I had originally decided that this would blog would be about the interesting things I encountered while in Vietnam (such as weird things people carry on their bikes) I also think it is a good place to talk about everything I have experienced in Vietnam. Maybe you think that should be saved for my friends and family, but I find it easier to talk about things through my writing, and well I don’t know who reads this but I don’t know so your judgement of me doesn’t bother me. Yesterday I went to an orphanage, Thuy An Village (if you were wondering). This orphanage is for children and adults affected by Agent Orange, if you don’t know what it is go back take History again or look it up, but it also is just a regular orphanage. When I went yesterday I signed up to work in the schoolyard. The previous day it had been raining and gotten extremely cold here in Vietnam and when I got to the schoolyard one of the first things I saw was a kid (no idea how old) barefooted and only wearing a thin long-sleeved shirt, and me in my thick sweatshirt, long-sleeved shirt, jeans, socks, and shoes was still shivering. But this boy didn’t seem to care that the weather was extremely cold, he had a smile on his face as soon as we walked into the schoolyard carrying toys, milk, and art supplies. I sat down the box I was carrying and a different boy ran up to me with the biggest grin grabbed my hand squeezed it and then hugged me. He had the cutest grin and I smiled back. He quickly stuck hisself to me and didn’t move. I walked him over to where the art supplies was and got some clay for us to play with. When I handed the clay to him he squealed in delight and even though I thought it wasn’t possible, his smile got bigger. With clay I made a dolphin and handed it to him. He looked at in awe and stuck it in his pocket. I then helped him make things with his clay, the clay entertained him the whole time we were there. Similar things like happened for the two hours we were there. Neither one of us said anything the entire two hours, the language barrier preventing any words from being spoken, but he didn’t seem to mind and neither did I. For two hours he had someone to play with someone to do anything he wanted to do. And for two hours I smiled for more than I have in the past couple of years.
While this is in fact one of the tamest things I have seen on a motorbike, I find it no less interesting. The multitude of things that Vietnamese people are able to carry on their motorbikes is amazing. It is not something I could never imagine doing. Most likely, the urns that are on the motorbike in this picture are not the only ones he will drive off with, I am sure that they will be able, or at least try, to fit another 2-3 on his motorbike before he leaves.
At an event at my school, my mom purchased a book called Bikes of Burden for a Christmas present. This book was created by a photographer who traveled through Vietnam and took pictures of the interesting things carried by motorbikes. I have lived in Hanoi for about 5 months and I thought I had seen everything on motorbikes, it turns out I was greatly mistaken. Moneys, dogs, 10 foot long poles, and many things are just scratching the surface of everything this photographer has found. I had never thought of documenting the multitude of objects and animals I have seen on the back of bikes, but now that I have seen this book, I can’t help but think of all the things that I will see that can’t be described with words, so to go along with this blog I am going to post pictures of anything interesting I find on motorbikes and anything else I feel needs pictures because it is just to strange or extraordinary to describe with words.
We got our PSAT results today and me having an in with the counsellor I got to see my results today. So we looked at my results (which I was please with) and then looked at this personality test we have to take at our school, and started talking about possible career choices. I really love travelling and writing, so I mentioned maybe being a travel writer. My counsellor got all excited at the idea, talking about how that would be the perfect job for me, and how I should write about living in Vietnam and send it to my local newspaper back home in the States (which I plan to do, probably over Christmas break). I also thought, why not have the blog I am writing or at least attempting to write be about my travels. The adventures I will have and such, what better way to practise? So this blog is what I will use. My travels, my experiences, my life post by post, trip by trip from this day forward.