We have a new house! We signed the contract this morning and are moving in tomorrow morning. It’s 10 min walk from my school and 10 minutes from the ‘going out’ areas and all the restaurants. It’s lovely, it has 6 floors, two roof terraces and is brand new. It’s seriously like a mansion, except it’s costing me about £150 a month. On top of this, it also comes with a maid. At first I automatically argued against this as my brain screamed out words like ‘class system’. ‘bourgeois’ and ‘colonial’. I had this deep seated but undefined feeling that it would be wrong, I’d be betraying my ideals. In addition, I don’t make enough mess to need someone to come in 3 times a week and clean up after me, I can clean up after myself! But the more I thought about it, I realised we’d actually be employing somebody. We would be giving somebody a job, paying them and contributing to the economy. (Not that we don’t do the latter anyway, I pay tax here!) So, this maid will come three times a week and will do cleaning, laundry and ironing. It’s costing 7 of us about £3 a week each. I still feel a bit uneasy about it, that somebody will do my cleaning, but apparently it’s the norm here and everyone else wants it.
So, once we sorted all of this out we hopped on the bikes and drove to see the Jade Emperor Pagoda, a famous Taoist temple. I won’t say too much about it because you can see from the pictures. I don’t know enough about Taoism, so the temple has inspired me to find out more.
After the temple we went to the HCMC Blind Association buildings for a blind massage. Mine was done by a blind, albino Vietnamese lady. It was interesting, but to be honest not that great! The rooms were really brightly lit, the aircon was freezing and the masseuses just chatted really loudly to each other the whole time. Not so relaxing and it was more like she was just stroking my back rather than massaging at all! Still, not bad for £2.
I also saw an incredible dog today. It was a bulldog, wearing a red and yellow Vietnam flag T-shirt and a studded collar. This in itself was amusing enough but the sight was made even better by the fact that the dog was riding a motorbike.
You can buy a baby turtle and throw it into this pond for good luck, it was a very busy pond!
Sunset on Bue Vien, the street where I’ve been staying.