Thursday, June 30, 2011

Hoi An: Pretty Much Lanterns & Tailors

Novelty lanterns

Drinking- bringing cultures together

This has got to be a touristy thing but goddamn I want more. Fried won ton with sweet and sour something

We need more colour in Sydney

This looks serene but for the last hundred metres I was heckled and yelled at every ten seconds

This is either for an emo rave party or something you shouldn't be touching

Pensive beach scene is being...pensive


Token picture of an old building

Token picture of the Japanese Bridge

This photo is here cause it's possibly one of the only normal photos Johnny has taken of me

Token lantern photo

I like this photo cause the women in the back look like my back-up dancers

Massive, creepy, still thinking about it NOMS. And the dimple, you can't forget the dimple.

For reals

More grey beaching

It's great watching a storm happen to someone else

This would be way more amazing if you were there

Naughty corner

Sometimes being forced to leave at 4:15am to catch a flight is worth it

Beach soccer war stories. My leg actually looks about 10 times worse then this now the bruise has come up

Everyone who said more photos, here we are, yay!

Last last weekend Johnny and I went down to Hoi An for the weekend. It was pretty exciting-well for me anyway, cause Johnnys work flew us down and I'm Asian and I love free stuff. Hell, everytime I ate the dirty bird at Ogilvy the free-ness made it taste that little bit better. It's ingrained, I can't help it. I've also never been down there before and everyone I've spoken to has loved it. Johnny on the other hand had to be all work like and spend all day Saturday in a workshop. Fun.

We stayed a 5 star resort which was cool but it was a bit confusing then why they didn't have any conditioner. Shampoo but not conditioner. Just sayin.

What was exciting was that we were on a beach. A beach without garbage. Even though it was warm (I really can't get used to that) and very grey it hit the spot. It definitely made us long for an Aussie beach *sigh*.

I did get some dresses made- I didn't plan to but got completely caught up in it all. I got this dress copied and despite being really stressed at the time because I felt like I got ripped off, I love them now and happy I did. One is hot pink with polka dots and AWESOME. And yep, they were all made overnight.

Morning Glory is worth mentioning and if you're in Hoi An it's the first place you need to head to to eat. I'm getting creepy just thinking about the food. Without a doubt it's the best Vietnamese food I've had ever. Up until this point everything I've had in Vietnam has been okay but I've always thought it was better in Sydney (purely cause of produce). This blew us away. Every dish we had was amazing- how is that even possible. Damn. I should have bought the cookbook- it was $40 and I was being a cheapskate but now I regret it!

Another highlight was a impromptu game of beach soccer in the dark with all 25+ work crew and partners. Most of the girls cheered on but were all forced to play at some point. That explains my bruise. All I wanted to do is steal the ball off Johnny once in my lifetime and I can now tick that off the list. That and scoring a goal in a kick-off.

Bang bang.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Wedding

The invitation

I actually liked the balloons

Rumptin & Jeramy

Plastic cake

Wedding fare- 12 dishes between 4 of us

I'm for more exploding glitter in the world

Weddings are about parents

Novelty dry ice

Classical quartet

Wedding attire. The girl in the middle had massive boobs.

Old guy filming us for about 5 minutes

The hall

We really were there! Awful angle...

Last last Tuesday we went to the wedding of one of Johnnys colleagues. I was pretty excited to see what the deal was, especially when I found out there was going to be about 800 people attending. I was even more excited to hear that it was only going to go for an hour an a half (gotta love efficiency).

The night went like this:
+ We rock up, and get sat down FRONT and CENTRE. Basically the closer then every other person in the room. They insisted that's where we were supposed to be as we watched all the other collegues sit down in the back corner. Start eating.

+ 30 second speech by someone, the parents all enter, then the bride and groom. Continue eating.

+ Bride and groom put rings on each others fingers, cut a fake cake, and pour fake champagne (all up <5 minutes). We continue eating.

+ Bride and groom say hello to each of the tables. A quartet starts playing. We keep eating.

+ Random group in questionable wedding outfits get up on stage and sing. We later find out they're famous for being on "Vietnamese Idol".

+ An old guy films us up close and everyone pretty much leaves.

The magic of getting married!

On a side note, we were in Hoi An last weekend and finally made it to a beach! More in the next update.

Hope everyone is surviving the cold!

J&J x

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Daisy Chain

This photo is from outside the mausoleum, isn't it adorable? Some of the kids were only about 3. They then stood on the road trying to hail a cab.

More random photos here.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

All You Can Eat, Bad Days & The Glamourous World of Vincom

After noms at the Metropole. I feel cheesy putting this photo up but this is for you Christa!

This is the weekly party with good music out what the front of what I think is someones house. And yes, they're ANZ umbrellas.

Random bread thing a woman gave me instead of change

We went to go see the ballet at the Opera House. This is what happens when you come in late and have no idea where to go.

MSG. Asia isn't doing much to shrug the cliche.

Bui Gallery. I woke this guy from his nap.

They were just posing to the camera. Oh the glamour of being a model.

Most salads are covered in can make your own mind up.

Childrens Day. There was a Hello Kitty character later. Imagine my dismay on missing out on a photo with it. *sigh*

Childrens Day downstairs from our apartment. This is probably a third of the crowd...

....cause the rest had moved to the supermarket.

Home delivered ribs. So wrong. So right.


A storms a comin'

News so far:

:: A few weeks ago we finally went to the Sofitel Metropole famous Sunday brunch. They have whole crabs! They aren't really worth the effort though. Proudly, I ate for pretty much the entire three hours. That should be good training because every second restaurant seems to be an all you can eat.

:: Last last weekend was CAMA Festival- the biggest music festival in Hanoi. When I say 'biggest' think of it as about 1/6 of Newtown Festival. Nonetheless, it was good. No shirts off, no tits out, and good music. What happens? I get overexcited, eat some bad cake cause I saw a kid with it, have one drink and have to be taken home drunk. ONE DRINK. Maybe one and a half. All this before 9:30pm.

:: We had our first really bad day the day after. What's a bad day? One where everything goes wrong, i.e. things that would never happen at home, and it's all beyond your control. Imagine something like this: 1) Really really awful oily breakfast where they also give you the wrong order, 2) A creepy awkward massage. So awkward I can't talk about it. 3) Cab driver takes you the looooog way to get to where you are 4) The restaurant tries to blatantly rip you off. It might not seem much but stack them all on top of each other and you start to wonder why you're here.

:: To everyone I told that Vietnam had nothing to buy I take that back. There are so many clothes stores with things I want to buy I have to purposely avoid them. The no shopping banned works better when it's a barren wasteland of fashion. Send money.

:: The glamourous world of Vincom: more and more I think there should be a reality tv show about everything that happens in and around our building. There's models, a billion fat kids, lots of women who dress up seemingly to just go shopping (that's what I imagine), people moving around random things like giant pieces of glass. A while ago I saw a guy hanging off a rope ladder down the side of the building washing windows. At night. Last week they set up a stage for "Childrens Day". It was carnage. Sugar high children running wild everywhere. At Johnnys work, mothers with kids even got a 'bonus' to spoil their already spoilt kids.

:: The good thing about being deprived is that when you finally find something it's so much more exciting. Like mi goreng! curry paste! cake tins! instant spagetti bolognese!

That's it from us. This week we get our first visitors coming through town, and the week after we're going on a work sponsored trip to Hoi An. Neither of us has been before so I get to feel like a tourist again.

We've been following the weather back home and feel lucky everytime we see how freezing it is. Suckers!

P.s. Sydney Film Festival starts today and has some great stuff showing. I'm dying to see Norwegian Wood. I've said it a thousand times already but if you can you must get a season pass- you won't regret it!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Home Sweet Home

I don't think I can ever not have a hat stand again. For the first time ever, my bags and hat have a real home.

Living/ dining room- the kitchen is to the right

Kitchen to the left, bedrooms to the right

Ovenless kitchen- the laundry is hidden behind the door at the end

The balcony- for looks only

The guest room- this is where you get to stay if you visit! I think we blanket failed though. There's a massive window where the curtains are and you get your own bathroom too!

Our room. I was waiting to out on pretty sheets before I took this photo but our cleaner has a strange system where nothing ever properly matches so this is as close as I'm going to get.

Err...this is our bathroom. I feel odd posting this but it's possibly the biggest bathroom I'm going to have in my life. Check out that mirror!

One of the things I've said to everyone is how much I love our apartment here- and finally, the photos!

Things I love about our apartment:
:: the fact we have space and we aren't squished in. This is probably why it's hard to leave it sometimes! It's also the perfect apartment for us to be living together for the first time. 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms!

:: one of the best things is the fact that we have a keypad door lock instead of keys. Even though keys are so small it's one thing we never have to worry about. I appreciate this every single day.

:: everything matches. I put it all down to Johnnys good taste of course (no sarcasm at all!). Everything is in neutral tones and really minimal. Very "adult" and I love it. I had visions of doing lots of things to it, but I'm loving it as it is- now I'm used to it, anything else just feel like clutter. I think we've lucked out too because apparently it isn't the norm to have bright open spaces because of "ghosts".

:: lots of storage- although we don't really have that much stuff

:: it's in a nice building with a fancy (compared to lots of other places) lobby. It's nice to walk in to somewhere quiet and nice. We also have a shopping centre next door.

And, just to balance out the glory, here are the things that suck:
:: WOODWORMS, we had our wood replaced, and.......there's another one in there

:: we don't have an oven. I've realised I've whinged about this enough to the point of being annoying so I'm just going to buy one soon to put everyone at ease

:: noise: I don't find it so bad but let's just say, because of sound bouncing off the building next door we're never going to be using that pretty balcony in the photo

:: we're kinda far from "things". Imagine the centre of town, most things are to the north- we're to the south. It's not really that far, but enough to not want to go...

:: Johnny doesn't like lots of other things but I forget what they are. I know one is that the people that work here suck, but I've resigned to the fact that service is pretty crap everywhere

So there we go. We still don't know how long we're here for so I'm revelling in this while I can. Let's not ignore the fact that we would never, never (at least in the foreseeable future) have this in Sydney. So come visit while you can! x

* Just a reminder- our Facebook access is pretty crap, so if you want to get in touch the best way is e-mail/twitter/msn.