I Live In Korea

My name is Ben Gwynne. I USED to teach English in Incheon, South Korea. Here's some photos, stories, videos, etc.

Jan 7, 2010

8 days in Vietnam

I actually spent 9 days in Vietnam, but I’m not counting the first day because of a near incident with a guy in a bar we went to. Even though we were minding our own business and just drinking, the guy (must have been a pimp since he was with a group of scantily clad/trashy girls) was looking for trouble because we’re foreigners in “his country” and El Gestapo in the bar was itching to arrest/shake us down but we avoided trouble (this story is true). So yeah, that day doesn’t count…

Day 1 – Cooking Class. Yeah, I can carve tomato's into roses, make great spring rolls and some delicious caramelized pork. No big deal.

Day 2 - Water park. Didn’t think a city like Saigon would have a pretty sweet (and dangerous) waterpark, but it was fun. Loads of little kids all over running up to us to scream "hello" and "what's your name?" then run away. Helps being one of the few white people in the place.

Day 3 – Headed back to the beach in Nha Trang to chill for a few days. Snorkeling: always a blast, especially when mixed with a few beers and so is jumping off boats.


Day 4 – Mopeds and Waterfalls. Nothing beats racing around a city on mopeds, then off-roading it to some isolated waterfalls that only locals were at to do some cliff jumping.

Day 5 – NYE Party. Pshhhh, pretty good party to get ready before the party. 5 bottles of champagne, wine, lots of beer, good company, and an awesome hotel room.


Day 6 – Recovering from the aftermath, chilling at the pool, giving my auto-cyclo driver a break from his job, ridiculous meal that cost $3.50 for 2 beers and 3 plates of chicken/rice and soup…TOTAL

Day 7 – Mopeds, nice white sand beach with not a single tourist in sight. Just locals. Also had the best crabs I’ve ever tasted in my life, lunch later on at the best Pho I’ve ever had as well. Amazing cuisine on this trip, etched in my memory forever.

Day 8 – Left Nha Trang for the Mekong Delta...Ehh, nothing special here really. Got to see how coconut candy and rice paper is made. Also got to hold some damn bees.

3 days after I leave Vietnam

Day 1 – Horrible Snowstorm as I mentioned in my last post below.

Day 2 – (got my first real haircut since August, nice and short as it usually is and I got the following comments) “Now you have Obama head.” Another student said that my “short hair make nose look taller.” A number of other students just pointed at me and screamed when I walked into the classroom. This was all because of a haircut. I can only imagine what would happen if I walked into class with some sort of facial deformity that I suffered. Would the students still ridicule me for the change in my features if I have no control over it? I think they would.

Day 3Other students said that my “face looks brown now” and between my short hair and tan I was asked “are you new teacher?” I’m not kidding.

All settled in now. Back to business as usual in a few days on here…


Anonymous said...

looks like a good time

Vana said...

Gah, I'm jealous I didn't get to do as much as you did. All the pictures look amazing. You know, I always found the Vietnamese authority to be more intimidating then helpful :/ - kinda contradicts the notion that police are there to be helpful and comforting. We are a little better off in the states wouldn't you say...

Korea and the east coast (US) seems dreadful in terms of weather so I guess Vietnam was the paradise you left behind.

Thanks for sharing your adventures and I always like how you are always positive and take things with a grain of salt especially when it comes to your students. :D They come off to me as intriguing little people. Stay warm!

Ben Gwynne said...

I'm used to getting stared at by people in my neighborhood, I guess it would bother a lot of people but I think it's pretty funny. My students couldn't say anything (I think) that would offend me, I think their "insults" are hysterical.

And yeah, I guess I'm missing some brutal weather back home, but like I said, we had the worst snowstorm here in DECADES the morning I arrived back from the beach, so I guess I was being punished for all the fun I had!

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