hanoi viewAfter enjoying a nice little trip around Southeast Asia with my friends, being jobless after graduating from university and having no job options or money to enjoy a comfortable life, I very impulsively decided to pack my bags again, and return to Hanoi, which was a city I thoroughly fell in love with. Indeed I had originally intended and work in Hong Kong, but Hanoi seemed a good a place as any to get some experience and earn some money to get there.

Having secured my job before I arrived, I booked my accommodation and flight almost immediately after. It was all a bit of a whirl wind and a shock to my family when I told them. It’s taken a lot of rushed preparation, but thanks to my NanI got basically everything sorted out in time.

So on the 20th October 2011, I was up in the sky. At the airport, I was naturally incredibly sad to be leaving my Mum, Nan and Harvey who had driven me toManchester that morning. What made it more sad for me, was the fact that we had intended to enjoy a final lunch together after I’d checked in, but annoyingly I forgot to check in online, and the queue for check-in was shocking!! After spending over an hour in the check-in queue, my mum had to run and grab me a sandwich and I was almost running through to Departures. I burst out crying unexpectedly, and felt like I wasn’t saying goodbye how I had wanted to.

I arrive in Hanoi on the 21st October, scared and tired and feeling very alone. I was immediately hounded and harassed by taxi men and felt incredibly intimidated by all the looks I was getting due to my hair colouring – error. I took a taxi to the Old Hanoi Backpacker Hostel on Ngo Huyen and met Tom again. It was pretty awkward at first as I hadn’t seen most of the hostel guys since the “Tuk” incident…

After checking in, I made my way to my 10 bed dorm, and wondered whether I had made a huge mistake!! I messaged Gareth to let him know I was back and thankfully he came to see me straight away so I felt a little bit better to have someone I could probably call a “friend”. After a little chat, I took out my laptop and Skyped home straight away.

Later, I joined everyone for a drink in the bar upstairs, but didn’t join in with the bar crawl – was exhausted, and still fairly shy and awkward.

The next day, I was introduced to Luke who I vaguely remember from before on Clown Night and I learnt that he was looking for someone to move into his new house. (He’s a tour guide for the hostel, but he is going to quit to be a teacher soon). Luke later took me to see the house that evening. It seems really far away, as I was hoping to live near the Old Quarter, and obviously I don’t intend to be riding any motorbikes any time soon, but I like the idea of living in a sociable house and I like that I also vaguely know him a little. The house is massive, and perhaps a little bit daunting. I intended to look at some other houses, but after going round that night for some beers and meeting some more people, Fossil, etc. I told Fleur and Luke I’d move in! The first night I stayed there was one of the loneliest nights I’ve ever had, and I felt so far away from people and from home comforts. I had no bedding. There was no internet so I couldn’t Skype, listen to music, or watch anything, no TV, I had no DVDs or films or anything to watch on my computer, no books, no friends. Fleur and Andy went upstairs to ‘watch a film’ and I was left at a loss not even knowing how I could get to town. Huge thanks to Gareth who came round with his laptop at the drop of a hat when I texted him and told him I was feeling low. Amazing what difference Blue Planet can make.

The following day I went to my new workplace (Washington ETC) for the first time where I met my boss and colleagues. My desk was in the corridor, and it was disgustingly hot. The workplace was nice though, and I was told all about the filing systems, was given my books, and my temporary hours. I start teaching tomorrow having had NO experience in this, and I am petrified!

My life has changed in such an extreme way.

One Response

  1. Being Blonde in India – From Oceans With Love

    […] Living in Hanoi for several years, I have almost, but not completely, gotten used to the fact that in Asia, being blonde (well, being Caucasian generally, but especially being blonde) I am going to get noticed… a lot. And the Vietnamese are not subtle when it comes to “noticing”. They will point, and laugh, touch my hair, stare at me and nudge their friends. It can get pretty tiresome sometimes to be honest. So, when people said on numerous occasions, “If you think it’s bad here, just you wait ’til you get to India”, I panicked and prepared. […]

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