Saturday, August 23, 2008

Last Saturday in Hanoi . . .

What a day.  After some fun karaoke last night, the alarm seemed quite brutal as it went off at 5:15 this morning.  My roommate Jenny and I stumbled out of bed to go to the hotel lobby to see off the teachers going to Laos and Cambodia.  It was a bit surreal and sad to say goodbye to these people we've spent the last month with.  We bonded quite a bit these past few weeks... and it will be fun to see everyone again at the Annual Thailand Conference (ATC) in a few months.

After waving as their two taxi-vans took off for the airport, Jenny and I got some more shut eye :)  Then we got back up at 9-ish and got ready to meet one of Jenny's former students for a movie (Jenny taught at a middle school in Hanoi last summer).  We were delighted to see DIVING on the Olympics while getting ready because usually the only events we see here are badmitton, tennis, and boxing.  No gymnastics or swimming :(  

There ended up being six of us- Jenny, Karen, myself, and three middle school aged Vietnamese girls.  Their english ability was very good.  First we drank some yummy bubble tea (cold, flavored tea with tapioca bubbles), and then we took a bus to the movie theater- which was REALLY nice (you even pick your seats- just like you can with some airlines- what a novel idea!).  The girls were CRAZY about movies and knew more about the latest movies and actors/actresses than any of us did- what a riot!  We paid about $4.00 each for our tickets (which feels quite expensive here), and watched The Mummy III.  I didn't have high expectations, but actually really enjoyed it!  We felt OK about the splurge since we won't be able to go to a movie once we move to DaLat.  

After the movie, we walked around a very expensive mall and then walked downtown Hanoi streets by Hoan Kiem Lake.  Our only purchases were a few DVD's.  On our way back, we learned that one of our friends (who will be teaching in another city in VN) had a rough experience.  As she was shopping this afternoon, her purse, which she'd just bought a few weeks ago here in Hanoi, was slit open with a razor blade and her wallet was stolen- including a good amount of money, her passport, and debit card.  As you can imagine, it definitely shook her up :(  Thankfully, she can get a new passport in a day at the U.S. embassy here in Hanoi, and was able to cancel her debit card already.

Tonight we are packing for our Vietnam Country Training.  We leave tomorrow morning and most likely won't have internet for the rest of the month.  Right now we are waiting for a pizza to be delivered for dinner- one last "American" splurge before we leave Hanoi for the beautiful mountains of DaLat.  Next time I post I will probably be there :)  HOORAY!!


Ryan and Lizz Durbin said...

Oh Suz! Everything is so exciting. I love reading everything b/c I feel like I'm experiencing it with you! I feel so bad for your friend being robbed...uggh! I hate that..I will be thinking about you as you leave and head to DaLat!!! Love you!

EFetherlin said...

I loved getting the details of your last day in Hanoi plus getting to talk with you this morning was SO great! I felt like I was taking you with me to the shower...I took your love and best you sweet girl