Friday, January 29, 2010

Life is far from perfect, but I'm having fun anyway

Okay, so remember in my last post when I said I'd seen no evidence of rats living on my floor? I totally and completely jinxed myself by saying that. The past two nights I've heard a rat running around my room trying to eat my food. And two nights ago I could even see it, which was actually better than not seeing it because I could definitively see that it was on the opposite side of the room from me. Needless to say, however, I was still rather freaked out by this. Last night was significantly better because it only woke me up once. Unfortunately this was because our shower broke a few hours before I went to bed, so it was noisily running all night. We couldn't get it fixed until this morning, at which point they worked on it for three hours. And now, upon returning from class, they're working on it again. So basically, I have the most unlucky room ever what with things breaking and gross creatures running around.

For the most part this week has been uneventful. Class has been a bit better than usual- we went to a few museums downtown as part of our history Vietnamese studies classes. For my Vietnamese language class today we took motorbike taxis to a market and had to bargain with vendors for a good price, which was easily more fun than sitting in a classroom trying to understand, well, anything. Vietnamese is fairly simple as far as grammar goes, but the pronunciation is really really difficult. Also, everyone in my class seems to experience a phenomenon in which we can understand everything the teacher says until he asks one of us a question, at which point it all turns to gibberish and that person's brain tries to melt out their ears. It's very annoying, and makes us all feel very stupid.

Last night we cooked dinner for our roommates. We found a grocery store that sells western food, and rented the kitchen at our school for the evening. (Our school has a kitchen, but our guesthouse doesn't. How weird is that?!) Because the ingredients we could find were somewhat limited, and ovens just don't exist here, we ended up cooking a lot of breakfast food (chocolate and banana pancakes, bacon and eggs) in addition to our dinner food (pasta with marinara sauce, mac n cheese, mashed potatoes). We also had some Norwegian rice pudding for dessert, because one of the girls on our trip is from Norway. It was delicious and wonderful and tasted like home. I think our roommates really liked most of the food, though I definitely saw some weird combinations of things being eaten (such as mac n cheese on top of a pancake). It was also great to get to cook again, since we can mostly only go out to eat here.


  1. Does your teacher use hand gestures when talking? I figured out that when my japanese teacher was explaining, I understood half and could follow the pantomimes the rest of the time, but she would stop when she was directly asking a question and we'd all suddenly forget how to answer her. Maybe it's the same asian hand language not at work?

  2. I don't think that's it, we use hand gestures to indicate the tone we're trying to use, but our teacher doesn't really do it until he's really trying to spell things out for us.