Monthly Archives: January 2006

Hi Gang!

I am in an internet cafe in Dalat, Vietnam. Arrived this afternoon on a 9 hour bus trip I’d rather not repeat (thinking sleeper compartment on the train back to Saigon). How can one little girl puke up SO MUCH STUFF??? And why would mosquitos choose a bus to breed in? Ah well, it’s all building character.

Anyway, Vietnam is great. It’s crazily full of people going in all directions at once, the food is great and cheap (eg. dinner tonight – three main courses, two desserts, a fresh apple juice and a glass of wine for dinner – total $Aus 14.60), my chopstick skills have improved greatly and it’s all a lot of fun.

And the traffic! Wow! There are scooters everywhere. EVERYWHERE. Driving is technically on the right hand side of the road but that is more a suggestion than anything else. Red lights? Ah well they don’t apply to everyone! Crossing roads is fun. You wait til there is no heavy traffic heading towards you then you walk slowly out into the stream of scooters… if you walk slowly enough they will sort of part around you (a bit like the Israelites and the Red Sea). If you walk to fast it leads to trouble.

Buses! Buses are fun because they don’t stop to let people on or off. They just sort of slow down and the ticket guy reaches out and grabs you.

So yes. Staying with a family has made it a great time because I’ve been staying in a part of town not frequented by tourists (I tend to get bailed up by strangers who tell me this and then try to guess where I’m from) and also because to get the full Chinese New Year experience you need to be with a family. Last night I was at the home of my friend’s grandmother’s sister’s husband’s sister and she gave me money because it was New Year. I thought it was a bit surreal at the time.

Anyway, more words will follow when I get home or next make it to an internet cafe… or… oooh hang on…. possibly some mobwiblogging… stay tuned!

a round of applause for me please

I have now packed. And even with a shoebox full of chocolate for my friend’s family (a large shoebox) my bag is still 5kg under the limit. It can’t really go over the limit because it’s full. So that’s one less thing to worry about. AND I used HTML to make hyperlinks in my last post. AND I have wiblogged three times today.

GAH! Leaving for the airport in 2 hours. And three minutes. Or thereabouts. I wonder how long it would take to drive to Vietnam?

for Liza

I don’t usually tend to do this sort of thing but just this ONCE! And Liza I hope you don’t mind that I cut and pasted from your livejournal so some of our answers might be the same…

Four jobs you have had in your life

1. Student pharmacist
2. Pre-registration pharmacist with the evil boss
3. Pharmacist in charge with the nice bosses
4. Pharmacist in charge at a different pharmacy where I have never met the boss

(I’m seeing a common theme here…)

4 Movies You Could Watch Over and Over

1. Princess Bride
2. Strictly Ballroom (for sing along value)
3. erm… to be honest I don’t really like watching movies over and over again. I can’t sit still long enough.

4 Places You Have Lived

1. I’ve only lived at one place I’m afraid. Right here. So my remaining three places will be places I’d like to have lived.
2. The Chalet School! In the Tyrol.
3. United States during my school years (clearly not at the same time I was at the Chalet School). Maybe elementary school in the US and high school at the Chalet School… or maybe the other way round so that I could learn languages and how to ski when I was young…. yes)
4. England.

4 TV Shows You Love To Watch

1. House
2. Scrubs
3. The Simpsons
4. The Family Guy

4 Places You Have Been On Vacation

1. West Coast USA
2. Six Western European countries (er… France, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, Luxembourg and Holland)
3. Woy Woy NSW
4. Vietnam (well I will have by next week)

4 Websites You Visit Daily
1. Intueri a weblog by a psychiatry resident that interests me.
2. Over My Med Body! – a med student weblog. I’ll have a med student weblog in 3 weeks people!!
3. Gmail
4. The Wibsite!

4 Of Your Favorite Foods

1. Pad Thai! It’s a love/hate relationship
2. Watermelon
3. Cherries.
4. Oh! Chocolate!

4 Places You Would Rather Be Right Now

1. New Zealand
2. Vietnam (If I’m already there I don’t have to be anxious about getting there!)
3. Antarctica. Wouldn’t be as hot as it is here!
4. erm…. Austria!

hmmm

I think the reason I get nervous before planes is not so much the physics of the matter (although that does concern me… surely gravity is there for a reason) it’s more the terrifyingly huge distance from home you can go in such a short time. Right now it’s 8:30am. I’m taking off in 14 hours time, which will still be today. 14 hours flying time can get you from Sydney to Los Angeles. How long would that take by boat? Or on foot (assuming the ocean was solid or you could walk on water… well I guess if you could walk on water you probably wouldn’t need to walk to America from Australia)?

I have now taken my first malaria tablet! Only a day late. But don’t worry, Ho Chi Minh City is not a malarial zone so I don’t really NEED to be taking antimalarials yet.

Hmmm I really need to start packing. I hate packing!

even closer

I am not a huge fan of the 24 hours before going places. I find it scary and uncomfortable. Hmph. Ah well, this time tomorrow I’ll be strapped into my seat and waiting for stragglers to get on the plane.

And this time the next day I’ll be having dinner while a host of aunties watch the foreigner use chopsticks. My friend has warned me that watching me eat will be a highlight for a large number of her female relatives. Gah!

getting close

Went shopping today to buy final bits and pieces for Monday. However I wasn’t in the mood for shopping and realised that I could buy most of the bits and pieces at work tomorrow. That will solve the problem. And it will give me something to do when there’s not much happening.

But I now have enough t shirts! And tomorrow is first day of doxycycline!! And I have visited the grandparents who have forgiven me for leaving the country. They don’t seem too annoyed at my cousin who left for Thailand today either. Odd…. they’re not into their descendents travelling to less developed countries (or TPACs as Jim Hacker would say… with A meaning Asia instead of Africa).

preparations

Ended up getting a couple of travellers cheques yesterday and some dollars. Our money is so much prettier than American money. True it looks like Monopoly money but it is pretty.

I have now made a to do list of things that must be done before I leave. I have also made a list of what to pack. I have not made the sub lists of toiletries and medicines yet. Today perhaps.

On Sunday I get to start taking malaria medication!!

In other news, I think hanging out the washing is one of my least favourite household chores. Oh please don’t let that be rain I hear outside!!