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Author Topic: Viet Nam Ramblings - Now with pics ^_^
Spoongirl
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Icon 7 posted April 04, 2007 05:04      Profile for Spoongirl     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I've decided to set up camp here and chat about Viet Nam and the stuff that I'm doing there.

^_^

On account of respect for the other thread, not because I'm completely self-obsessed or anything... [Roll Eyes] [Wink]

callipygous - I'm teaching real English, spoken English mostly. But it doesn't seem to be going in as well as it could do.

And yes, some of the t-shirts are wonderful. I've bought (on my pitiful, pitiful teaching wage) about five t-shirts, my favourite being a green one sporting the phrase "We ate the youth batalion! ME NOT THE NEUTRON BORMB!!!"

[Razz]

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"And we will call it... This Land..."

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Callipygous
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Icon 1 posted April 04, 2007 15:54      Profile for Callipygous     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
C'mon then, don't tease! tell us about your adventures!

Do you have any pics Spoony? How long have you been in Viet Nam? What led you there? What wonders have you seen? What do you miss most from home? What will you be saddest to say goodbye to when you leave? What are you going to be studying at uni, and where and and what why who where when?

Tell us a story Jackanory. [Smile]

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"Knowledge is Power. France is Bacon" - Milton

Posts: 2922 | From: Brighton - UK | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged
Spoongirl
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Icon 1 posted April 05, 2007 07:42      Profile for Spoongirl     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
[Big Grin]

I've got me some tales, aye... I was a member on the winning team for a Vietnamese Communist Youth Camp in a tug of war match. They take it *very* seriously. I've had someone attempt to steal my pants off the line with a big stick. I've eaten embryo egg and duck blood soup. I spent Christmas on a warm balcony sipping champagne at a British Embassy party, and I spent Vietnamese New Year (Tet) taking a 12 hour train to the centre of the country where I saw the Forbidden Capital and various pagoda temple type things. I've crashed on a bike, I've seen zebra-ponies on the beach, I've found a liking for cocktails and partied it up in Ha Noi, and I've developed a strange fondness for karaoke.

Been here about seven months, but in a month I'll be leaving for the greener pastures of Thailand. Decided to come because it's part of the world, and the world interests me. ^_^

Mostly I miss the people back home. And not just the ones I know, but the everyday ones that don't stare and point at you in the street and grab your skin because it's a different colour. [ohwell] Give me British reserve over Asian curiosity any day.

Saddest to say goodbye to the food. [Razz] It's a sad fact that most people here want us as "friends" for favours, like free teaching or to show prestige to their friends. I don't like that, not at all. So I don't think I'll be sad to leave any person in particular.

Pics, no. Computers are fickle things and all Vietnamese ones seem to hae my digital camera. Never fear though, in four months time I'm sure I'll swamp GC with my travel pics. [Razz]

At Uni it's either going to be Creative Writing and Journalism, or Gender Studies and International Relations. I still don't know which one I'm going to go for, though I have at least narrowed it down to two from six.

Phew. [Razz]

Anyone else been travelling/worked in Asia? [Smile]

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"And we will call it... This Land..."

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Stereo

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Icon 1 posted April 05, 2007 08:04      Profile for Stereo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Spoongirl:
Anyone else been travelling/worked in Asia? [Smile]

Not me, but it's on my wish list (travelling, at least). So continue to make me dream!

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Eppur, si muove!

Galileo Galilei

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Spoongirl
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Icon 1 posted April 05, 2007 08:09      Profile for Spoongirl     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Depends if you want to really sink your teeth into a culture or just have a good time.

Knowing what I know now, I think I'd have opted for the good time thing. [Smile]

Working somewhere really does give you deeper insights into the way a country works and how the people feel, but I would still completely recommend travelling around South East Asia, it's completely fascinating, and there's so much to see. Keep Viet Nam to a minimum on your travels though. [Wink] Thailand and Laos are way kewler.

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"And we will call it... This Land..."

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Xanthine

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Icon 1 posted April 05, 2007 10:21      Profile for Xanthine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Spoongirl:
I've bought (on my pitiful, pitiful teaching wage) about five t-shirts, my favourite being a green one sporting the phrase "We ate the youth batalion! ME NOT THE NEUTRON BORMB!!!"

[Razz]

I used to know someone who spent a year teaching English in Taiwan. She had a T-shirt that had lots of random phrases about loving Toyotas. She said that if we could have T-shirts with random kanji, they could have T-shirts with random English.

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And it's one, two, three / On the wrong side of the lee / What were you meant for? / What were you meant for?
- The Decemberists

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zesovietrussian
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Icon 1 posted April 05, 2007 16:57      Profile for zesovietrussian     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Them so horny? Them love you long time? [evil]
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Spoongirl
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Icon 10 posted April 07, 2007 09:18      Profile for Spoongirl     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Absolutely not. [Razz]

I've been mistaken for a prostitute three times though, on account of being Western and therefore a sex maniac, and through my own silly fault of standing on a corner to wait for a friend.

Guy rides up on a motorbike, makes jiggy jiggy hand gestures and asks how much for me. Three times! With different guys!

I've been offered porn by a few guys as well.

"You want some sex?"
"Some... what?"
"Some sex."
*Jiggy jiggy hand movements*
"Um... no, thankyou."
"I have dvd and vcd and picture for you"
"No, really. No thankyou."
*look of confusion*
"You England?"
"Yes."
"You want some sex."
"Still no. I have to leave now"
"Okays. Khong sau (No problem)."

Conversations with random people, some of whom I met through the school at various functions. Legitimate, regular guys.

Western = sex. I blame fscking MTV. [Mad] BBC World and MTV are all they have here. [Roll Eyes]

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"And we will call it... This Land..."

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Just_Jess_B

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Icon 1 posted April 07, 2007 09:54      Profile for Just_Jess_B   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
That is a pity -- is it something that crosses both genders is my question. Do you know European men who have the same problem with other men talking to them too familiarly (I assume the women wouldn't) about their "conquests"?

It's an interesting look at how the import of culture (Older Westerner = CNN, younger Westerner = MTV perhaps?) affects how these people translate cross-cultural politeness/taboos.

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Opinion is not Truth; that is why each has its own definition. Illiteracy sucks.

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Spoongirl
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Icon 1 posted April 07, 2007 23:17      Profile for Spoongirl     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Yeah, there are two guys that are in Viet Nam doing the same thing as me. They get hassled all the time, both to buy prostitutes and to marry the daughters of poor Vietnamese people.

"You like my daughter?"
"She's very nice"
"Take with you"
"Eh?"
"She goes with you to England"
"No, I don't think she does"
"You have her. Wedding marriage."
"Um... No?"
"Why? She nice."
"Because... because..."

Because we don't tend to marry our daughters off to strangers just so they can take them back to England against their will?

England would be a better place to study and work than Viet Nam, but in that situation, it's hard to explain that you can't just marry them because they'd like to get to England.

Our English male friends here say all the guys expect them to be having a lot of sex, but when asked about it in return the Vietnamese guys are pretty shocked to be asked at all. They all expect to marry virgins, and therefore it's not as if they're logically going to be having mass amounts of sex themselves. Course, there is a certain amount of macho "my bird flew in her bush" (slang word for penis is bird, just in case you couldn't figure that out [Razz] ) but it's not much talked about.

We did see a group of guys all sharing pr0n on their phones though. That was kinda disturbing. They're all a bit obsessed with it, you see, on account of not getting any.

Conversation with a friend of ours. She's 24.

"I read about a sex act."
"Oh right..?"
"On the internet. Have you ever done oral sex?"
"Er..."
"I think it sounds unhygienic."
"It is a bit, yes."
"I will never do oral sex. Even for my husband."
"Um... Good for you."
"Do all English girls do oral sex?"
"Not all of them, no."
"Some though, yes? My chat friend said you do."
"I think he wishes."
"Men like oral sex."
"Most, yeah."
"But I will never do that. I am clean."
"Good. Er..."

That's pretty common though, to have all these questions. "What do you weigh?" "What do you earn?" "Do you like Vietnamese men?" "Have you got a boyfriend?" So many questions for us, but if we ask them back they tend to look a little offended that we've asked this. I have no idea why. Sometimes it seems like we're a kind of new toy or pet to prod and stare at, and they forget that we're still real people at all.

Only sometimes though [Smile] Most of the time people are okay.

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"And we will call it... This Land..."

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Spoongirl
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Icon 1 posted April 08, 2007 00:03      Profile for Spoongirl     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Yes! I finally managed to get some pictures up! And then the computer spontaneously combusted. Still, khong sau, mai pen rai. [Razz]

Not any of my artsy Viet Nam ones, but of...

Me sitting on a mountain
[IMG][/IMG]

Me after a 12 hour train journey at night with no sleep and new hair.
[IMG][/IMG]

Me in front of Ho Chi Minhs Mausoleum
[IMG][/IMG]

A gecko ^_^
[IMG][/IMG]

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"And we will call it... This Land..."

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WinterSolstice

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Icon 1 posted April 08, 2007 09:45      Profile for WinterSolstice     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
All I know about Vietnamese women I learned from my Vietnamese co-workers... that, and a ton of words I don't think are appropriate to post [Big Grin]

It's cool hearing your about your journeys.

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An operating system should be like a light switch... simple, effective, easy to use, and designed for everyone.

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csk

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Icon 1 posted April 08, 2007 19:03      Profile for csk     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Spoongirl:
Yes! I finally managed to get some pictures up! And then the computer spontaneously combusted. Still, khong sau, mai pen rai. [Razz]

Nice, wish I'd managed to spend some more time in VietNam, but larium induced depression cut our trip short.

Is "mai pen rai" it doesn't matter, or no worries in Vietnamese? Means the same thing in Thai (although the last word is almost more pronounced lai than rai)

And that gecko looks exactly like the Thai ones, hard to photograph the little blighters though

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6 weeks to go!

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Spoongirl
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Icon 1 posted April 08, 2007 19:22      Profile for Spoongirl     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Khong sau = Vietnamese

Mai pen rai = Thai ^_^

I'm going to Thailand in a month. Looking muchly forward to it, though not having to teach wee high school students. Erp.

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"And we will call it... This Land..."

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csk

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Icon 1 posted April 08, 2007 19:28      Profile for csk     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Spoongirl:
Khong sau = Vietnamese

Mai pen rai = Thai ^_^

I'm going to Thailand in a month. Looking muchly forward to it, though not having to teach wee high school students. Erp.

Thai high school students are fun. One of the schools we went to (as a group, long story), we had just one morning with them. I had to talk to a class by myself, which was nerve wracking, but I think most of the girls in the class were even more nervous than I was, judging by the amount of giggling. In between classes, we were literally mobbed to sign autographs for them. And then when we had to go, a whole bunch of them were standing at the school gate, literally in tears. Incredible experience...

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6 weeks to go!

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boo
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Icon 1 posted April 11, 2007 18:30      Profile for boo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
That's a pretty nice spread you managed to get up the mountain. [Smile] And those rocks look so craggy and cool. [thumbsup]
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Snaggy

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Icon 14 posted April 11, 2007 22:08      Profile for Snaggy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
awesome Spoongirl! Post more pics if you get a chance. [Smile]

Your stories bring back the time I spent travelling in Indonesia. The creepy guys downtown at night asking me "Do you want my sissster?", folks in a bus enjoying a laugh at all the hair on my arms (I was like a gorilla compared to the average Indonesian man), and trying to explain to telephone operators the concept of an answering machine. (I was trying to leave a message for Nitrozac back in Canada, but the operator (who had to place the call) wouldn't let me speak to the machine and kept cutting off the line). [crazy]

Away from the big tourist traps though, the people were fantastic. [Smile]

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Spoongirl
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Icon 10 posted April 13, 2007 07:24      Profile for Spoongirl     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
That wasn't our spread - that was a a little cafe on top of the mountain [Smile] One of the many cool little things that exist in Nam - You got a pile of fruit, some cans of godawful pop and some plastic chairs and you've got yourself a cafe ^_^

I'm tryyyying to post pictures but the guy in the internet cafe is looking really suspiciously at my camera and cable. Everytime I try to hook up the camera to the computer he walks by and takes it out. This has happened twice now, and he's looking at me again.

Thing is, this is where I loaded up *those* pictures, so I don't see why I can't now.

*shrug* Viet Nam is full of crazy rules.

Oh. There's a cow in the internet cafe. Like, right now. How odd.

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Just_Jess_B

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Icon 1 posted April 13, 2007 10:30      Profile for Just_Jess_B   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Spoongirl:
*shrug* Viet Nam is full of crazy rules.

Oh. There's a cow in the internet cafe. Like, right now. How odd.

As in moos, udders, and chews its cud? (As opposed to the American concept of a poorly dressed overweight woman).

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Opinion is not Truth; that is why each has its own definition. Illiteracy sucks.

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Spoongirl
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Icon 1 posted April 17, 2007 04:59      Profile for Spoongirl     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Yep. One of those cow cows.

[crazy]

Three weeks to go

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Spoongirl
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Icon 1 posted April 17, 2007 05:08      Profile for Spoongirl     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Yep. One of those cow cows.

[crazy]

Three weeks to go till I leave for Thailand!

Anyone been there/got any advice?

*eep*

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Cap'n Vic

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Icon 1 posted April 17, 2007 13:07      Profile for Cap'n Vic     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Spoongirl:
Yep. One of those cow cows.

[crazy]

Three weeks to go till I leave for Thailand!

Anyone been there/got any advice?

*eep*

Wear a condom.

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(!) (T) = 8-D

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Just_Jess_B

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Icon 1 posted April 17, 2007 13:40      Profile for Just_Jess_B   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Spoongirl:
Yep. One of those cow cows.

[crazy]

Three weeks to go till I leave for Thailand!

Anyone been there/got any advice?

*eep*

Don't drink any of iced drinks from the street vendors, same as in Vietnam. Be safe, come back safe, and have LOTS OF FUN!

[Big Grin]

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Opinion is not Truth; that is why each has its own definition. Illiteracy sucks.

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