Having been here for three weeks now I fully intended to write once or twice a week but this has been wildly unrealistic. Why? Because there is so much to see and take in as a newbie that just living it is enough without re-living it by writing about it all!!!
I have one of my son’s with me for a couple of weeks so, in addition to acclimatising and finding us a house, supporting my husband when he comes home totally exhausted and trying to get to grips with having a dog in a city that neither of us knows and she hates the constant stream of scooters whenever we set foot outside the apartment – I just don’t seem to have the energy to write. I don’t want to write when I’m too tired because I don’t want a negative or low-key blog – I’m loving it here and want that to be reflected in what I write.
I have been keeping a list of things I want to write about and I hope to get around to them all at some point but for now I’m going to share with you one note I made that seems to make perfect sense but I can’t for the life of me remember exactly what I intended to say about it!!! The note reads: Often messages misleading.
When I work out what I meant by that I’ll share it with you For now though I’ll just make a couple of comments. My son and I have just come back from a fabulous street foods tour with Tu from Hanoi Street Food Tours – check out his blog at vietnamesegod.blogspot.com and had an amazing time. What I felt really strongly though is that I need to start learning Vietnamese ASAP because I’m going to miss so much of what’s happening around me if I can’t converse properly. Food is a passion and I really want to buy locally and eat seasonally – for that I need at least some words and phrases. So, top of my To Do list is to get some lessons!!!
The second thing I wanted to share is how tough it is when you first arrive if you have family ‘back home’ because I find myself living in two time zones. Everything gets translated back into UK time so that I don’t miss speaking to the kids or my parents because I’ve got the time wrong. Also, I’ve kept a client in the UK so have to make sure that I keep to the deadlines – in UK not Vietnamese time. This so far has involved me living a full day here in Hanoi and sitting down to ‘work’ at about 7p.m. knowing that I’m still well on target for the UK working day. That’s not sustainable long term as I’ll be exhausted but for now well, ….
So, all good, more tiring than I expected and things move at their own pace which is as it should be but takes some getting used to for a controller like me!
Have an ace week end everyone and I’m off to sit on the sofa and stroke the dog’s tummy and we can reassure each other that all’s well with our world 🙂
Well, I’m learning a whole new vocabulary. Words like ‘relocation agent’, ‘work permit’, ‘DEFRA’, ‘pet taxi’ and ‘non-resident landlord’ are now entering my world. Some are obvious and easily dealt with where others appear deceptively simple whilst actually being a portal into a whole other world of complications!
Even trying to find out from the Vietnamese Embassy in London which sort of Visa I should apply for and what’s the longest duration I can apply for at a time – i.e. 6 or 12 months perhaps – becomes a little tedious when you realise you’re in an automated reply loop that it’s impossible to break free from. Will resort to the telephone between the hours stipulated online.
So the news is semi officially announced at hubby’s work – some people know and some don’t yet. This can be tricky unless you just forget all about it and wait for the other person to raise the subject.
The reaction of family has been interesting – generally incredibly positive and supportive with the occasional touch of petulance that we’re leaving them behind. Who’d have thought a soon to be 17-year old who’s still at grunting stage conversationally, would have been all that concerned.
I think maybe what we’ll need to manage over the coming months is the perception and expectations around our move, rather perhaps than the reality. Change is often uncomfortable, particularly for those left behind and I guess doubly so when you’ve had no say in the change that’s taking place.
I’ve started to make lists of things to consider, think about, action over the coming months and this week will begin to fine tune it and try to work out a calendar/schedule that I could put on my home office wall to track progress (or otherwise!).
Starting with a conversation with a relocation agent sounds like quite a good idea – will probably unearth a whole load of other stuff I didn’t even know I didn’t know about!
Right, where’s that number …..?