My First Weekend Out

Despite the fact that my lungs probably hate me right now, I would say that this weekend has definitely been one to remember. On Friday, I spent most of the morning shopping and preparing for my job (which begins today, eek) and then in the afternoon Andoni and Jess took me to see their new two bedroom apartment, which also happens to be in Royal City. They offered the second room to me, which means that in a few days time I’ll get to finally unpack my bags and settle into my own place!

I made dinner that evening, and then the three of us hit Tay Ho for a little Friday night fun. I met some of Jess and Andoni’s friends and even made some of my own. It’s so interesting to see how many South Africans are here. They’re easy to spot because they’re usually quite rough-looking and are the only ones who would dare to walk the streets of Hanoi barefoot. We started off with some beers at Sidewalk and since it was St Paddy’s Day, it was free beer between 8:00 and 9:00. Vietnamese beer has quite a nice taste, which is coming from someone who doesn’t generally like beer. Andoni told me that the liquor here cannot be trusted except for wine and beer. Everything else is fake. I found this out when I had a jagerbomb and all I tasted was syrup mixed with a shitty energy drink? It was gross.

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After Sidewalk, we headed to Hanoi Rock City where The Kiffness was performing. It was so much fun coming together with other South Africans to see one of our own on stage and just jam out together. A really popular activity to partake in at most clubs or bars in Hanoi is inhaling balloons. The balloons are sold openly and to anyone, and are filled with a gas that gives you a quick yet intense high. It’s an interesting choice of drug but is definitely not for me.

Saturday morning I woke up with a heaviness in my chest that could only be blamed on the pollution of the city. But despite the fact that I was coughing like a dog, Jess and I decided to explore the city a little and do some shopping. We researched whether there happened to be a Zara in town, however when we arrived at the address we found it closed down. So we went to a local store called Luna’s Outlet which is owned by a young entrepreneur. Luna brings in clothes from all different countries and brands and sells them to the ladies here for half the price. It’s an amazing store with outfits for every occasion. Although I didn’t buy anything, I’ll definitely be going back. Jess and I then grabbed pizza for lunch before going home, which turned out to be one of the best I’ve had. It’s sometimes nice to have a bit of familiar food every once in a while.

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On Sunday I finally got to sign up at the gym, which is literally a 2 minute walk from the apartment. It felt good to get back into the gym after a while of not having worked out. At least now I’ll be able to develop a regular workout routine once again, especially to compensate for all the beer I was drinking on Friday. Luckily my job at Apax requires me to only work night shifts from 5:30 until 9:00, which means I can start my days off with a good morning workout and then fill the rest of my time with extra lessons before class. Andoni, Jess, and I spent the rest of Sunday binge watching Gossip Girl and eating ice cream. It was such a lovely way to end a busy week. I start my first day of training in a few hours so wish me luck!

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