Had a good evening at the Premier Inn, although was wide awake from 3am GMT worrying about how today would go.. Was a really good call to have that evening to myself though -gave me time to turn my head around.
Met Keri, Julianne, Rachel,then Laura and Sam at the airport we all seemed to have the same nervous energy and excitement for the unknown journey ahead. It felt like we were all quite congruent even though we are pretty much strangers! Turns out they are all at least a few years older than me, and have all travelled quite a bit too - Thailand/india/US.... I've been to Italy, and have never been away from home or more than 6weeks...
The plane journey was an experience. Having only been on a 4hr flight, 12 hrs was lonnnngggg. The staff were charming though - the airhostesses wear beautiful glamorous traditional outfits - they are tight fitting, high necked tops with a high slit up the side which hang to the floor. We were given lunch,snacks, alcohol/drinks, and then breakfast at 5am HCMC time...
Arrived in HCMC at 11pmish GMT, 7am HCMC time...The taxi ride was amazing. It looked exactly how I'd imagined it all but better - even more photogenic, even louder, with totally ridiculous motorbikes carrying everything from a family of 5 lined up like Russian dolls to the yellow blossom TET (Vietnamese new year) trees that everyone buys.
The city smells of motorbikes,food, sweat, and flowers. The buildings are tall and messy with flashing signs and 'special offers' everywhere.
The only way to cross the roads is to step out blindly into traffic densely packed moving in all directions with no clear pattern... The locals stand on the sidewalk and giggle at us screaming and taking ages to cross...! we must look so stupid to them!
The roads here are a continual river of traffic but the pavements are sedentary in comparison - the Vietnamese sit/cook/watch on them but do not really use them to walk on.
I've not sampled any food yet,I haven't eaten in 8hrs actually. But I have had coconut water, served in a cream coloured coconut - yum.
And some more good news before I head off to bed for a few hours, then we are off out to meet oer interns for drinks/food tonight....
It looks like I have a job in Thailand, near Bangkok, teaching in a school!!! (Met and spoken with the good guy who is organising this for me - mum/dad you don't need to worry, we spoke to him on Skype...)
signing out for now, am knackered!