A cheeky wee ask…

To my lovely friends and followers – I’ve started managing a new Facebook page for a great cause. The page promotes the charity project “Red Ink”, who publish annual volumes documenting real women’s life stories. 2014’s volume included my story as life as an expat in Vietnam for 2 years.

All proceeds of these books go to the charity Hope for Justice, a charity dedicated to ending human trafficking all over the world.

Please do go to the Facebook page to like, share and spread the word – go on, it just takes one wee click of your mouse 🙂

Red Ink Project Facebook Page

Thank yoooou!

15 Seconds of Fame

I know I promised a scintillating post on sewing and tapestry in Ho Chi Minh City, and I know I’m even late in posting that, but something much more exciting and interesting has reared its head. I’m sure you’ll understand when you see that:

I’m ruddy famous!!!!

2014-02-06 18.38.03Yonks and yonks ago, after returning to the UK, I offered to write a brief review of my time in Vietnam for my local newspaper and they’ve only gone and published it! It’s been put both online and in the local newspaper, but as I’m a little delayed in updating my blog, only the online version is available now. But still, look at me go!

http://www.chesterchronicle.co.uk/lifestyle/day-life-english-teacher-vietnam-6681306#.UxoH5j9_sll

OK, it’s a little self indulgent I admit, but you never know, it may just reach out to someone who’s weighing up a move abroad. Here’s to hoping anyway!

Incognito

I’ve been a little incognito on here for the past month or so now and as a result, I feel I’ve let my friends down, my family down, my loyal WordPress fans down and (even worse!) myself down…

Actually, I don’t feel that bad, but man I’ve missed writing.

So, the short version of the 1000 page novel that has been my life over the past 3 months is:

I left Vietnam (boooo!) It wasn’t a decision made lightly and had been in the offing for a while, but the time had come for me to return to my friends and family in England. The beautiful Cheshire countryside just didn’t have that same appeal to it without me there apparently … I left Vietnam at the beginning of December (allowing time for a bit of travel before Christmas) and arrived back into Heathrow at dusk on 22nd December (how romantic…)

The events that have happened since have been somewhat of a whirlwind, catching up with friends and family, celebrating both the calendar and lunar New Years and then embarking on a short internship to keep my CV ticking over nicely. But you don’t really want to hear about all that. And, to be honest, I don’t really want to write about all that.

I originally started this blog as a means of recording memories of my time in Vietnam and I’m going to continue it along these same lines. I still have bundles of stories from my 2 years living in Ho Chi Minh City that I’m dying to share with you all and I only hope that some of them may actually prove as useful to anyone who’s thinking of doing a similar thing and expatriating to Vietnam, or any of the countries in South East Asia.

I also like to think of it as a way of keeping in touch with all those friends I’ve met (both directly and interactively) along the way.

So, I’m going to say a short farewell now, but I’ll be back tomorrow with one hell of a riveting tale about sewing and tapestry in Ho Chi Minh City (I can just feel your bubbling excitement at the prospect…)

Oh how I’ve missed you!!

Chúc Mừng Năm Mới

2014: The Year of the Horse

Happy Tết Holiday to all my Vietnamese friends, students & colleagues and to all my other friends from the Asian continent a very Happy Lunar Year to you all!

I’m gutted not to be in Vietnam to celebrate this year, so to all my friends out there, please send me photos and updates of your celebrations. I miss you!
 
To mark the occasion from here in the UK though, here are a few of the photos I took during the  Sài Gòn celebrations last year, enjoy!
 

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For anyone who is in the UK, more specifically in Cheshire, for the 2014 Lunar New Year – head to the streets of Chester at 9.30am tomorrow (Saturday 1st February) for a Chinese parade full of dragons, cat walks and traditional musical performances – it promises to be a spectacular day out. Organised by Wah Lei, a non-profit Chinese Association: http://wahlei.org/

The Elephant Falls

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Stunning ‘Elephant Falls’ – Tp. Đà Lạt, Vietnam

(All Rights Reserved)

Communist Posters

One of my Vietnamese friends gave me an early Teacher’s Day gift on Saturday: a 2014 calender of Communist Posters. He’d heard that the posters were popular souvenirs amongst foreigners and I have to say I was touched by his gesture.

Putting all politics aside, I think the posters are really quite beautiful to look at. I’m even more thankful for this gift as it’s jolted me into appreciating my surroundings a little more. After developing the inevitable monotonous routine, I’ve become ignorant to the things that interested and captivated me when I first expatriated to HCMC. Posters, like these from the calender, are littered along the streets of down-town Saigon and they definitely make for a colourful walk to and from work.

All photos belong to CoKerri. Please report if you find these used on any other website.

The Hungry Pig

“JOEY DOESN’T SHARE FOOD!”

This was definitely my mindset earlier today when I chowed down on, quite possibly, the best sandwich IN THE WORLD.

If I’m honest, I’ve never really done sandwiches, I could never understand the fixation; it’s just bread, butter and a filling (usually some kind of cheese or ham). They’ve always been just a tad boring for me. But oh, how naive and, well, just plain uneducated I have been!

The Hungry Pig is a relatively new breakfast / brunch restaurant on Cong Quynh Street (just off Bui Vien Street, District 1). I’d heard about it through a work colleague who was boasting in the teacher’s room of the best bacon sandwich he’d ever tasted. Like a true Brit, I love my bacon, to the point that I’m very specific in its cooking requirements. As a result, whilst living in the UK, I rarely opted for bacon when eating out to save on any disappointments, instead choosing to buy and cook my own at home. Since moving to Vietnam though, I can’t tell you how much I’ve missed the stuff. Bacon is hard to come by here, and on the rare occasion you do come across it in the supermarket, it tends to be the American style streaky bacon, which is certainly no match for Sainsbury’s meaty Smoked Back Rashers.

So, after 2 years of relentless cravings, I put all my preconceptions aside and dived into The Hungry Pig. Their menu boasts an array of bacon sandwich options, from the classic BLT to spicier Asian style varieties. Not to mention the bacon salads and the (perhaps even more tempting) Full English Breakfasts they offer every Sunday. I opted for the ‘Bacon Bagel’; a cinnamon and raisin bagel topped with Philadelphia cream cheese (the proper stuff!), bacon, rocket and cranberry sauce.

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“What’s not to like?! Bacon. Good! Bagel. Good! Cream Cheese. Goooood!”

My other half chose the ‘Pepper Pig’; a spicy concoction of smoked bacon, jalapeños and cheese on a toasted pita (unfortunately, the ‘toasty’ nature of this one didn’t make for a good photo). I seriously can’t recommend this place more! Even for a fussy eater like myself, their sandwiches are quite honestly heaven on earth.

Safe to say, my cravings have been satisfied, for now. Undoubtedly I’ll be back there again soon though, searching for my next bacon fix. I’m thinking of a lunchtime trip for a BLT this time …

Check them out …

Address: 144 Cong Quynh Street, District 1, HCMC

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/Thehungrypigcafe

Open most days from 7am – 10pm

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