So a quote from a dead politician is probably a bit of a pretentious start to my first ever blog, and even perhaps a little misleading by the fact that I know very little of the political world. However, I’d like to think it highlights the approachability of my writing – here’s to hoping anyway!
For those of you who don’t already know me, I should probably introduce myself and my little blog. So “Previously in my life …” (It’s best mentioning from the off that I’m a little obsessed with Miranda Hart)
For the Lord of the Rings fanatics who got uncontrollably excited at the mention of Hobbits in my tag line, I’m afraid you’ll be sorely disappointed by, yet another, misleading piece of info. While I thoroughly enjoyed the first ‘Hobbit’ movie instalment earlier this year, I have no interest whatsoever in the Lord of the Rings films – unless you consider an unhealthy obsession for Orlando Bloom a qualifying trait? I actually acquired the nickname of ‘Hobbit’, as a naïve and unassuming 5ft 14-year-old waitress. It was coined by my first ever crush, a 21-year-old barman (setting my sights high from an early age!) I thought it was a cute little pet name that we could share for the rest of our married lives together; until I later discovered that the tag came after he noticed my unusually hairy big toe one summer’s day – I promptly handed in my letter of resignation to the restaurant.
Needless to say, wearing flip-flops, and any exposed-toe sandals for that matter, is still quite painful. This has been proven particularly testing living in the tropical climes of Ho Chi Minh City though. And when I say ‘living’, I think ‘surviving’ is probably more apt. And this is where my blog title ‘Cô Kerri’ comes from. Hoping not to sound too patronizing, a quick Google translate will tell you that ‘Cô’ means Aunt – this is wrong (take that Google!). Cô actually refers to any female above the age of 18 and is better translated as ‘Miss’. This is a title that many of my younger students address me with, which was quite endearing at first. But after 77 Saturdays of 5 year olds screaming ‘Cô Kerri’ like their lives depend on it, the novelty has worn off a little.
All moaning aside, living in Vietnam is what my Mum would call a ‘hoot’. A few highlights of the experience so far include:
- Vietnamese coffee – it really does live up to the hype.
- The accidental murder of Gary the Gecko, our very first Vietnamese pet.
- Cultural journeys: Singapore, Dubai, Cambodia, Thailand & Vietnam (visiting a wonder of the world, Ha Long Bay, twice was really quite wondrous).
- An unprovoked punch to the arm by a Vietnamese pedestrian man in Hanoi.
- Taking a sip of 7Up from a glass swarmed with ants (no, I didn’t realise they were there until after I’d swallowed).
- ‘Monday Madness’ – being presented with a 50% discount on bloods after being taken to hospital with suspected gall bladder infection (how kind of them!).
- Being told that I must be with child, by a 6-year-old Vietnamese boy and in English none-the-less (I didn’t know whether to commend his pronunciation or send him to the naughty corner).
- Everything in Vietnam is, quite literally £1. Fancy a meal? £1. A trip on a cyclo? £1. Need to fill up on petrol? £1. Want a new (fake) Zara jumper? £1. Seriously.
Now many of you may be wondering why I’ve only started this blog 18 months into my Vietnamese hobbit adventure. At the risk of portraying myself like an old woman who enjoys stroking her multiple cats and knitting never-ending scarves in a rocking chair, I’ve actually been putting together a traveller’s scrap book of my experiences for the last year. You may call me old-fashioned, but really, you should see it, it’s beautiful. Anyway, I’ve now run out of free pages in my beloved work of art and so thought, why not kill 2 birds with one stone and entertain others whilst also documenting my life. I know, I’m so selfless thinking of others in such a way.
So, here’s hoping it’s the start of something beautiful … Một, Hai, Ba Dzô!
(P.S. Feel free to fire away with any questions you may have about my life to date – let’s generate discussions!! “Such fun!”)