Recently I had a friend from Australia come to visit. We spent a couple of days enjoying Hanoi, wandering around the streets and drinking cheap beer on street corners. I also ran into a group of my year 11 students in a night club, to my horror, but that's another story.
We went on a Ha Long Bay cruise which was sweaty, very sweaty. I look at the photos now and think ' oh what an idyllic long weekend' completely forgetting that at the time I was dreaming of air-conditioning. The boat was lovely and the food that the staff prepared for dinner looked truly amazing but I am now at the point that if I take one bite of Vietnamese food I feel ill. It's ridiculous. I can't even stomach tofu.
It was really nice to have a friend from home here. I felt like I could relax a bit and just enjoy this city. I didn't realise that I had been lonely but I guess I so. I have met people here and if I want company when I go into town its easy to come by but I don't really have anyone to just sit in a café with and chat for hours.
Annnnyway. I have decided to stay here until the end of my contract in May rather than breaking my contract and going to Europe in January. Having my friend here, who is also a teacher, made me realise how lucky I am in my job: I adore my students, my boss is great, and my workplace is generally more relaxed than an Australian school. In order to survive here mentally and emotionally for another 10 months I have decided to spend Tet (Vietnamese New Year) in Europe. It's expensive, and I only have 10 days but I figure the cost and travel fatigue is worth it if it means I can make myself stay here until the end of my contract. Then I can go straight to Europe in June and hopefully find work in an international school. Ugh, I feel like my whole life is made up of holding periods when I'm waiting for the life I want to begin. I guess this is what being an adult feels like. Hooray.