Thursday, April 28, 2011

such a guy post

Dear Diary,

I know I came over here for some quality Tin-time, but man, that doesn't mean I don't want to have any fun!

Cotton face masks to protect them eyes!
I ninja'd these photos like a boss though, haha.
Had to pretend I was talking on my phone and *click*!

It seems a lot of people in Viet Nam think that having these face masks protect them from all the harmful pollution/smog that envelops the big city. I've even seen some people wear the surgical masks that doctors/nurses/dentists/etc use. I don't think I need to tell you how ineffective these are, but I don't think anybody cares. Heck, the mandated "helmets" everyone must wear is even more ridiculous! They're about on standard with bicycle helmets in the States, except the helmets here are coated with slightly thicker plastic! I mean, when you can pay $1.75 for a helmet, something tells me it's not that great quality-wise. And then there are the people that are totally decked out with fashionable-ass helmets. 

But, that's not what the point of this post was about. I'm less worried about the people wearing the face masks to keep them from sucking down pollution than I am about it obstructing my view! If you didn't know already, lots of people in VN prefer "lighter" skin, so they go through great lengths to preserve their creamy, pale skin if they have it. Seriously, some girls are decked out with arm gloves. leg gloves (?), the crazy face/chest/shoulder/neck masks that you see in 3 of the 4 photos up there...

MAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN, how's someone supposed to take in the eye candy when all I can see are a couple of eyes? But then some also wear sunglasses! So where does that leave me? Stuck paying attention to the road in front of me.

I sure do miss seeing some pretty faces...

Anyway, my CELTA course is winding down. I have 1 hour of teaching left (in 9 hours, actually!!!) and then it's just input sessions and activities until I get my certification!~~! I've got an interview set for next Thursday at the school where I'm training. If all goes well, I should be teaching in less than 2 weeks. PLEASE PLEASE. I need to keep busy. Also...

Cali folks!
Shout out to the Nguyen sisters and their friend Tiana for finding a few hours to visit with me while they spent spring break in Viet Nam! Hope you all had a blast :)

Well, I should be lesson planning right now, but I got home not too long ago from a crazy session of dodge ball. I needs my rest. 


Monday, April 11, 2011

photo dump!

Dear diary,

The next 3 weeks will be full of neglect (as if it weren't already). I spend most of my days (9 a.m. - 5 p.m. & then some) looking at words. Well, I do more than look at words: I read them, I write them, I study them, I speak them, I listen to them, I teach them, I break them apart to better understand, and I play around with them - A LOT. I'm not complaining, I'm just saying my days are consumed with them - and it's been only 6 days of instruction! Seriously though, I'm really enjoying the course. "The more I learn, the less I know." It's crazy how much we don't really understand about our language...just so many damn rules. So, I won't writing much here as I've got enough work to turn in for my class.

Anyway, a week has gone by in the course and I've met some nifty folks from around the globe. Actually, mainly England with a few from Australia, New Zealand, the U.S. and a dude from South Africa. But, young to old, native to non-native speakers, east to west, we're all here for a reason and I'm gonna make the most this time together. I've been learning quite a lot about their cultures and nuances (jandals, anybody??) and am certainly enjoying broadening my understanding of people. And not only do I have my classmates, I have my (world?)mates as well. Couchsurfers of the world, unite! England to Pakistan to Scotland to Canada to NY/SF and everywhere in between, those folks are pretty awesome. I may not have the opportunity to travel the world and immerse myself in a certain place, but couchsurfing is the next best thing. I've had the opportunity to engage in some very interesting cultural exchanges lately and I look forward to much more during my time away from "home".

With all that said, don't expect much more from me in the following weeks, other than photos, of course.

Mother fucking bánh bèo Huế
(steamed rice cake with shrimp, crispy shallots, fish sauce+more)
.65¢ a plate! [Timothy = this!]
I think this is officially my favorite thing to eat.
The guy packaging to-go orders = legit!
This market...oh man! DAIRY! Cured meats, oh my!
For carol & an
Yes, a bunch of wine & beer - this is only 1 section.
nutella, imma buy the fuck outta you when i get some skrill.
Bia hơi (daily fresh-brewed beer ~3% ABV)
+ kebabs for a lunch break from class.
I had 3 glasses for .70¢
Cục Gạch Quán (literally Brick Shop)
Crispy sea bass with passionfruit sauce = WOWs.
Come visit me and we're going here FASHOZY.
Couchsurfing dinner! Alex (behind me) is filming a documentary
while couchsurfing around the world.
Her subject = Love and how cultures experience it differently.
Let's hope my interview doesn't go through, haha.
Day 2 of filming + chauffeuring around the city.
Couchsurfer #2 (from Wales) filming different aspects of life in VN
(fun & games, dancing, sports, ++more for a class project).
Freaking couchsurfer extraordinaire (Adam, English bloke on the right).
Surfed the world for 1,000 days straight, settling in VN on the 1,000th day.
Baby mama cooked dinner and he showed us around his dope ass new house.
Adam's cell phone with a very important note/reminder.
The first outing with my fellow CELTA course mates.
(14 of 18 showed up)
And lastly:

My dad's siblings, all knocked out on the tiles. Noon-time nap in 90° weather.

'Til next time!


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Our first victims!

Dear diary,

Here are my first students:

Beginner level students

They may not speak/pronounce correctly or confidently, but Viet Nam sure does know how to teach them proper grammar. Aside from a few missteps that most usually make (not pluralizing nouns), students here have a very good grasp of the English language. A lot of them have greater technical skills than native speakers.

Which one of them looks interesting to y'all? I have to pick one to interview. You can't tell from this photo, but a lot of them are still rather shy and hesitant in class. But, as soon as I whipped out the camera to ask for a picture, they were all smiles, specially those two in the front! 

We only get these students for a week and a half, about 2 hours a day. After that, we move on to a more advanced group and repeat the process. As you can imagine, interacting and teaching our lessons are the best parts of the course so far. The rest of it is kicking my ass, for sure. All the information they have to cram into each day is mind-boggling. But, it's what I'm here for, so no complaining. 

Off to day three!