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Good Morning Vietnam!

Three months in and no update on my whereabouts! Whoops. Not even a link to my “study abroad blog“, which I haven’t updated much. The beginning portion of the program was jam-packed with classes and traveling, but now we’re into the research/field study part of the program. I spent my first week of it in Ha Noi for some research, but I just got back into Ho Chi Minh City/Saigon yesterday morning. My flight was at 8, which means I woke up at 5:30. I barely made it to the gate by boarding time, but I did make it with about ten minutes to spare.

Being in Vietnam has been a trip, especially as Vietnamese-American who can barely speak the language. I get a lot of different reactions; some have assumed it, some have been confused, many are disappointed in my lack-of language skills. I have met many students and some have given me the “but you look Asian!” after I say I’m American. There’s a lot to get used to here, not least the less than stellar wireless connections and partial filters (I can’t get to Facebook, although I think I can tweak the ISP to get to it, just haven’t tried, and proxies work). It’s also extremely rare (as in I haven’t encountered it yet) that I am not allergic to the air conditioning in this country, usually because they aren’t cleaned and house mildew and other not-great things. I try to keep it off when I can, but Vietnam is also a tropical country and its really warm, especially in the south where I’ve stayed most of the time (Central and North were more humid in my time here and felt worse than the relatively dry heat of Ho Chi Minh City).

I do wish I had bought more things and tried more places when I was in Ha Noi, but it’s a moot point now. Hopefully I will visit again soon, possibly when my family get here in June, or when my friend comes over in late May/June.

Right now the plan is to head to Cambodia at the end of May for a week with some girls on the program, and meeting up with my friend sometime, either in Ha Noi or Ho Chi Minh City (but we will spend June 4-8 in HCMC) before my family comes in June 13. I have family in the South and I’ll probably stay with them between my friend’s departure and my family’s arrival. {I just had to get that down somewhere.}

The fashion bug is hitting me more now that I have freetime. I finally got some time to look through my blogreader and just want to go shopping. It’s such a hassle in this country due to the bargaining nature of their markets and shops.

I miss [incomplete list]:
family and friends
fixed prices
pita chips and hummus
my own washing machine
clothes dryers (they are non-existent here – everything is hung and my clothes are stretching)
my own kitchen and eating at home
watching my shows on a regular schedule

Yesterday was spent on an airplane, watching movies in my room, buying some groceries/snacks, getting dinner with the lovely student coordinator, Phat, writing emails regarding my research, and reading. Wild! This weekend is a huge celebration of the South’s Independence, and I think I might be stuck in the guesthouse for the mornings for festivities. I’ll probably be asleep anyway, I hear they start at 6.

Flickr isn’t uploading, or else I’d post more pictures. Soon.

Re: Subject Line – Every time I pass a tourist wearing a t-shirt donning this phrase (usually American) I cringe.

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