Two years, come and gone. Here is a (brief) glimpse into what I will miss most
- Bike Riding - I have loved having my bike here - whether I am riding with the girls or by myself, it is an easy, fun way for us to get around. It is also a wonderful way to explore our neighborhood - check out some of the gates in our hood:
- Inexpensive, delicious Vietnamese coffee - It is incredibly potent, and you can get it hot, iced, sweet, sour - basically, any way you want it. A lovely way for us to support Vietnamese farmers while we get our daily dose of caffeine.
- Sunshine - It is sunny here 365 days a year, even during the rainy season. And the sun is good - good for our moods, good for my little fishie girls. I am thankful we are heading into another sunny post!
- Fruit, fruit and more fruit - particularly, passion fruit. See coffee reference - local, fresh, delicious and inexpensive. I have become quite the passion fruit addict - straight, in a smoothie or as a mojito - I will take it!
- Pampering - Never before (or probably again!!) in my life have I had the opportunity to enjoy facials, massages, pedicures with such frequency. Both Erik and I have taken FULL advantage of the numerous spas here - the service varies, but there are some real gems and the prices are so low it seems like you are doing something illegal! It is not rare for me to tip the same amount for the service itself. Examples include .70 cents to get my bangs trimmed, $5 for a basic pedicure AND manicure, and $10 for a 90 minute massage.
- Fabric markets - I have written about our tailor before, and we have had the chance to have clothing made here at rock-bottom prices. But I have really enjoyed searching the markets for a great fabric. And recently, I started sewing, so I have been looking for fabrics for household goods. Ah, sewing. That is a topic for another post. But, here is one of my recent finds. Fabulous, right?
- Coconuts - From what I understand, coconut water is sweeping the nation (the US nation that is), true? So yes, I know I can get my fix when needed. But, we pay 9,000 VND (approximately 40 cents) for one and it is fresh off the tree :)
- Co Ty. And yes, Co Ty is not a "what", but a "who" - but she tops my "what I will miss" list!To know our family in Vietnam is to know Co Ty. She has been with us from Day 1 and we are heartbroken to move on from her. I can never repay her for loving our girls like an auntie and caring for them as we would. Our tour here would not have been as enjoyable or easy without her presence in our lives. Our separation from her will be one that takes getting used to - we are all hoping to be reunited one day.
- Children are allowed everywhere - EVERYWHERE. And, more importantly, they are allowed to be children. We take our girls on errands, to restaurants, bars, and they are welcomed with open arms. Yes, their Western features lend to their novelty, but the Vietnemese way is to include children in every aspect of the adult's life. It has made going out, socializing and living quite enjoyable here. I know we are going to have to restrain our girls in the States. While their manners are top-notch, it is going to take some work to explain why all bars don't have pools and why they are not welcome in every restaurant's kitchen.
The list goes on and on -
Stay tuned for what I won't miss - yes, there are a couple of things.....