A few days in Hanoi

Wow, what a difference a day makes…..or, well, maybe about six days….. Still, it all seems to have happened overnight. I’ve been sending out my resume (or CV as they are apparently now called) everywhere around Hanoi.  Trying, trying to get a job.  Like I’ve said before, it hasn’t been as easy as I’d thought it would be.  Also, when I would find a job, cab fare or even xe ôm fare would take a significant chunk of my pay just getting to and from work. Mike had traded some jobs with me and I’d got a few on my own, but, really, money was just dwindling.

Every now and then I’d see a job outside of Hanoi that looked interesting.  Many are in the countryside or a small town.  I had talked with Mike about it – whether or not he was interested in going for a job like that – but he’s just tired of moving around.  I do understand that.  (I’d like to settle down, too, but I need a job!)  He wants to settle in where he’s at now, rent a motorbike (also to save money getting to and from work) and he’s found himself quite a few jobs already.  Plus he likes Hanoi.

Me…..I like Hanoi, but I’m not a city girl.  Big cities are nice to visit once in a while, but living in one full time? …..not so much – I miss fresh air and greenery.  On May 11th I saw a job posted online with a three month contract, no experience required, offering decent pay and housing (on the school grounds, so no taking a cab to work – more savings) and even two meals a day……in a province 2 hours from Hanoi………and truly, a bit impulsively ……I sent in my CV.   Mike and I hadn’t planned to live very far apart from each other – but, I was getting really nervous, money-wise.  Plus, honestly, I didn’t think I had a snowball’s chance…..there’s a lot of competition out there.  Well, surprise, surprise, I got an email back quite quickly from the school.  They asked for two lesson plans based on some texts they sent me, plus a writing example based on one of the texts.  I completed one lesson plan fairly quickly…..for me, anyway….being relatively new to lesson planning!  The other one took a couple more days because I couldn’t open the document.  After two days of emails back and forth, I finally received a document I could open and worked on the lesson plan and writing example for that one.  On May 14th I sent everything in.

The next day I received an invitation for an interview, which we scheduled for today, the 17th.  In the interim I got a horrific cold.  My head felt like it might implode.  It really came on suddenly and attacked my brain and sinuses and I felt absolutely awful.  Just stayed in bed and slept or moaned or sneezed or took aspirin or wiped my snotty nose.  You shoulda been there…..joking!  …joking!  Anyway, I feel better today thankfully because today was the interview which turned out to be more of a “get to know you” meeting.  Duyen, the delightful administrator of the school, basically wanted to clue me in to some of the culture in the area – it’s a fairly small town – ask me if I had any questions…..that sort of thing.  Plus she offered a very gracious trial period before signing the contract.  I’m going to take a bus in a day or two to visit the town and the school and just sort of introduce myself around, try to get to know some people. ……I guess it’s obvious by now, I agreed to the trial period.

I talked with Mike about it when I got home after the interview and he agreed with me when I said I thought I’d be an idiot to pass this up.  I think it would be a terrible regret.  It just sounds so interesting and would be an incredible learning experience and (I’m hoping) an incredible teaching experience.  He’s very happy for me.  I’d be in the countryside for awhile.  I’d be able to save money and breathe easier on that front. I’ll have weekends off so I can come back to Hanoi and visit or Mike can come over and visit me.  Bus fare is very inexpensive.  Also…..it’s only an hour from the ocean….I LOVE THE OCEAN!!  So, maybe of a weekend I (or we) can head over to the beach. Lovely!

I’ve done a little ‘looking up’ online about the area and it’s very rich in history and culture.  I can hardly wait to explore!  So……..I’ll tell you more about it when I find out more myself!  In the meantime……a pretty picture….

13 thoughts on “A few days in Hanoi

    1. From what I understand, it’ll be a wide range of ages. I was honest with her and said I feel I’m better with older kids & adults than with the teeny tots. She said that whatever the age, the students are very dedicated and are there to learn…. sounds good to me.


  1. yes! i agree with amanda – sounds great! I feel much more relaxed now, the city was making me a bit twitchy ( I am on this journey with you.) You’ll be the talk of the town – hope youre ready for that. x


    1. Yeah, I hear ya, Sarah! I gotta get my hands in some country soil….slow the pace down a bit (ha!…we’ll see about that!)….at least breathe in some fresh air….that sounds good to me, too….


  2. wow, that’s great! what a difference a few days makes! maybe once you get settled down in your new house (apartment? place of living?) we can mail you something? glad to see things are going well for you!


    1. Thanks, hon. Yeah, I’m breathing a little easier right about now. Sweetie, I surely do appreciate your thoughts to send me something, but what with the cost of trans-continental postage, the only thing I want you to send me is your love….it’s priceless (and free all at the same time!). 😉


      1. wow, really? even just pictures in an envelope? i guess i am just used to paul shipping things internationally but i suppose vietnam is one of those places he doesn’t ship things!


      2. Well, I know I’ve never seen anything like a post office here or a mailman or anything of the sort. I’m sure there’s got to be a way to send and receive things, I’m just not sure what it is….but I know it wouldn’t be cheap. I just don’t want you spending your hard earned money on me! Email me pictures….lots and lots of pictures!! (:


  3. Fantastic news Jan. Knock ’em dead!I
    For the first in a while I’ve missed one of your posts by a couple of days, because I was on a weekend of nostalgia and dare I say ‘hedonism’ with a couple of good friends. The venue was the O2 arena in London( the smaller venue within it called the ‘Indigo’). The artist was a certain 70 year old called, Jimmy Cliff!! He was amazing, jigging around like a teenager( well almost). He’s lost nothing of his spirit or spark and the band with him were outstanding. The whole place just had a vibe about it that would lift any heart to the heavens. What a night, I haven’t had so much fun in a long time, singing along with all the tunes and dancing like I haven’t for many a year.


    1. Oh, fantastic, Dave! “Nostalgia and hedonism with old friends”….a great combo! What a joy-filled, fun, uplifting night it sounds like. I’m so happy for you. (….and now I’m happy for me because I’ve got Jimmy Cliff playing on my computer!).
      I actually like those smaller venues. I once saw BB King in a smaller venue and it was so cool because he just sat on a chair on stage and played, then talked a little, then played again…..he sort of made you feel like you were just sitting in his living room. Very cozy.
      “….wonderful world, beautiful people….” (:


  4. Ah BB, the one that got away! Well, there’s a few, but he’s certainly high on my music bucket list!!
    So many artists…so little time.


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