Happy Mother’s Day to all the mommies who follow my blog! I know there are a lot of you – my mother told me so.
I’ve finally managed to score a second job that fits in with my already very strange work timetable. It’s at a preschool just down the road from my house. I’ll be teaching there every day from Monday to Friday, and then I’ll jet off to my evening job straight after. Because I also work on the weekends, it does mean that I will basically have no days off, but I’m willing to pay that price for a higher salary (at least for the moment). I’m excited to start at the preschool today, but the children I’ll be teaching are a lot younger (as young as 18 months) so I’m a little nervous. Hopefully it goes well!
Even though it’s been two months, I’m only just starting to feel as if I’m settling into a place I can call home. I now have a set work schedule with a very steady income, I’m learning the language (as well as I can – Vietnamese is tricky), I’m getting to know the city, and I’m making some great friends. On Friday evening, my colleagues and I went out for a feast of a dinner. We all wanted to hang out with one another outside of our work environment and get to know each other a little more. We went to a restaurant called Hot n’ Tasty, known for its wide selection of Asian dishes.
For starters, we ate Korean and Japanese. Our table was filled with sushi, oysters, Kim Chi (spicy cabbage), pork-wrapped mushrooms, edamame beans, and grilled beef with potatoes. Next came the hot pot. A hot pot is a large pot filled with water, stock, spices, and sauces. The pot is places on an open flame in the centre of the table and left to boil. Once bubbling, a variety of foods are added: cabbages, mushrooms, carrots, corn, and beef. The mixture is then served to each person in a small bowl, to which the individual can add egg or rice noodles. It was very tasty. Lastly for dessert (my favourite course) we were fed chocolate and green tea cakes, passion fruit panna cottas, and creamy eclairs topped with a chocolate sauce.
During the entire evening, our glasses were always filled with beer and our stomachs constantly sore from laughing. We spoke about where we have travelled to and where we would like to go. We spoke about our hometowns. We spoke about boyfriends and husbands, and how APAX is going to start employing young, hot, single men for its female teachers. My boss called it the ‘New Tinder’.
I was also lucky enough to spend my morning last Saturday receiving one of the best facials I have ever had. The spas here in Hanoi are small and can be found in most alleyways. They are also extremely well-priced. Jess and I wanted a nice cleanse to rid our skin of the toxins collected from the pollution, so we booked ourselves in at ModiSpa in the Old Quarter. Andonis came alone for a full body massage. It was so interesting to see that the massage therapist was blind – which is apparently common for many spas across Asia. Everyone is believed to have a purpose and a skill which should always be put to use.
Our facials began with a basic cleanse and exfoliate, followed by a session with the oxygen machine to deep clean our pores. Next was a massage, and finally a clay mask – left to set for about 15 minutes and peeled away. I felt 10 years younger after that facial, which was unnecessary considering I am only 22. Nevertheless, I looked clean and fresh all the same.
It has been getting a lot hotter here too, which means that we can spend more time outside by the pool getting some sun. Our apartment building has a beautiful, big pool just downstairs for all the residents to use. So yesterday before work, I lay out under the sun’s rays in an attempt to transcend from sickly-looking pale to just pale (if I’m lucky). It was so nice to simply relax for a while, even if I did have to eventually get up and ready for school.
Tonight, I’m trying out a Ballet Fit class. I’m really excited because ever since I stopped dancing after I left Jo’burg, I’ve been missing it more and more. The Ballet Fit class is open to all adults, and takes place every Monday evening. So after work at my new preschool, I’m going to head out there and see how well I do considering I’ve been out of practice for a while.