Why I love to hate Hanoi

Happy Lunar New Year special people!! It's fitting that with our new beginning, I'm finally sharing this post on the first day of the New Year. Welcome to the year of the dog!

Since we've been here we've actually spent most of our time in Hanoi living a fairly ordinary life as Chris has needed to catch up on lots of work and I've been building this site whilst trying to figure out how to earn an income. Considering we've spent most of our time here, I've somehow kept putting off this blog post due to my love/hate relationship with this city. 

I'm realising on my journey that there are many things Chris and I don't know, many decisions we haven't made and so it's OK for me to be undecided on how I feel about Hanoi. Sometimes making a few smaller decisions, eases the process for the larger ones. What we do know is that Hanoi will be our base for the next 6 months and we'll be staying in a shared house with my brother, Linh, Cuzzy (their adorable Pomeranian) and D. It's beautiful here and our room has loads of natural light. When we look out the windows all we see are the lush tree tops and a farm in the distance. If you've been to Hanoi, you'll know that this amount of greenery is not common. Spring is around the corner, when we're expecting it to be even more beautiful. 

Our shared house is my little oasis in this otherwise chaotic city with bad air quality and a constant hum of motorbikes. I've become a pro at mosquito swatting as there are hundreds of the little guys and no amount of citronella can help you. I may never grow to like their whining in my ear when I'm trying to fall asleep but one sound I was becoming quite fond of was the cock-a-doodle-do of the chickens in the mornings. That was until, I woke up two mornings in a row to the sound of a chicken being slaughtered. Everyone in the house heard the awful sound. The poor chickens. Last night, I heard worse animal sounds that I'm not ready to share just yet. No wonder I'm slowly leaning more into a plant based diet. 

I've started a job teaching preschool kids for an hour three times a week, they test my patience and I mostly feel like I'm a terrible teacher because I can't keep their attention for very long. This has been a surprise to me as I was really expecting to love teaching. I keep educating myself on ways to better handle my classes so I'm hoping to see improvements each week. Two of my classes are on the other side of West lake so I'm able to cycle to work. The ride isn't difficult and I listen to music and the GPS through my earphones which makes the time melt away. My love affair with commuter cycling continues to make me very happy. 

My Monday class is a little further away so the day is still looming where I have to learn to ride a scooter. Luckily we have our own one now so if I crash it's a bit easier to swallow. I'm hoping to do my first ride while the roads are quite during Tet (Lunar New Year). Wish me luck!

One of the things I love about Vietnam is the way they use Facebook. Pretty much everything can be done through the platform. I've conducted all my interviews through Facebook. There's a FB group for anything you need. A vegan group, a girls group, a group where girls name and shame shady guys, a where-to-get group, a massive group. A South Africans in Hanoi group where I managed to sell a couple rusks. I've bought a vegan chocolate cake and had it delivered to my door all in less than 45 minutes through FB messenger. My new phone was ordered through Facebook and delivered the very same day. It's amazing and instant and it's keeping me on my toes. 

Now that Chris is caught up on work, we have our own motorbike and Tet is here, we're planning couple day trips to explore our new home. I hope you are enjoying these blog posts as much as I love writing them. I'm looking forward to being a never ending tourist, many adventures and sharing them with you.