Backpacking Teacher

Travel, teaching and things in between. Saigon is the focus for now.

What do I expect from my new life in Saigon?

with 9 comments

Saigon Street Scene

 

 

Before I head off for another overseas sojourn it’d be a nice idea to document what I’m expecting to find and what I’m looking forward to. That way, down the track, I can review my expectations against a future reality. Most of what I’m expecting is based upon what life was like when I lived in Indonesia.

I’m expecting;

  • The very poor and the very rich
  • A political system that exists largely in the background
  • The only people who talk about the Vietnam/American War are tourists and tour guides
  • The city is polluted but the people are fastidiously clean
  • The food is great but I’ll quickly have to learn how to say “hold the coriander” (that’s cilantro for American readers of the blog). Coriander leaf’s a pet hate of mine – strange I know because I really like Asian food in general.
  • The school I teach at will be undergoing so much change as it expands that life there will not get dull
  • The staff I work with will be a mixed bag, mostly cool and interesting but, no doubt, the occasional off-centre one i.e. just like any other place I’ve worked at
  • Life will not be dull as I struggle to cope with language, food, new workplace and new friends
  • The local girls will be pretty but language difficulties will make for stilted dates.
  • Getting any paperwork done will be arduous and painful

I’m looking forward to;

  • The chaos
  • The smell
  • The life lived on the streets
  • The huge variety of interesting people, both expat and local, that I’ll meet
  • The travel
  • The food
  • Learning new things
  • Learning to ride a scooter on Saigon’s streets
  • Learning to pronounce a few Vietnamese words

What I’m not looking forward to;

  • Leaving family and friends
  • Giving up my kewl car (described by friends variously as, wanky yuppie car, pious, or pretentious prius)
  • Giving up my great apartment and the local neighbourhood
  • Leaving the school I work at and the people I work with (I’m unsure if I will ever find a workplace as fun and as interesting to work at)

 

 

 

Photo used under creative commons licence: http://www.flickr.com/photos/72932024@N00/2171727483

Advertisements

Written by backpackingteacher

October 25, 2008 at 1:04 pm

9 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. The people are clean? Hmm….

    Adam Morris

    October 25, 2008 at 5:59 pm

  2. You mean to tell me they’re not … damn ..first myth down and I’m not even there yet 🙂

    backpackingteacher

    October 25, 2008 at 6:25 pm

  3. No I would say that is true, the people are clean generally. It’s a good assumption that in a city that is cramped, polluted and steamy with lots of fresh food lying around, the residents have picked up excellent hygine habits!

    Jon Hoff

    October 26, 2008 at 7:28 pm

  4. cramped, polluted and steamy …. yep …that’s what I signed up for ….

    backpackingteacher

    October 26, 2008 at 7:41 pm

  5. I haven’t lived in Saigon since 1995, but I’d say your expectations are realistic. As far as hygiene goes, the VNese seem less obsessed with it than the Thais, for instance.

    Preyanka

    October 29, 2008 at 1:08 am

  6. hey backpacker, here’s a pre-move welcome to saigon! i’ve been here for 2.5 years and love it.

    some of your expectations are accurate and others are pretty far off. i’ll let you figure out which is which for yourself after you get here… 😉

    charvey

    October 29, 2008 at 2:58 am

  7. Hi Preyanka and charvey .. thanks for leaving a comment … I love the fact that I’ve got a bit right and a bit wrong

    backpackingteacher

    October 29, 2008 at 8:37 pm

  8. # The chaos
    # The smell
    # The life lived on the streets

    i totally agree with u here……

    italianinsaigon

    July 2, 2010 at 7:58 pm

  9. […] What do I expect from my new life in Saigon? Before I head off for another overseas sojourn it’d be a nice idea to document what I’m expecting to find and what I’m looking forward to. That way, down the track, I can review my expectations against a future reality. Most of what I’m expecting is based upon what life was like when I lived in Indonesia. […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: