Thursday, June 15, 2006

Secured our plane tickets, and visa too!

We just secured our plane tickets and visa to enter Vietnam. I'll be there within a month.

I will try to get Skype hooked up so as to make travel arrangements for my time there - exchanging emails is imperfect for a task like this, especially given the nebulous, play-it-by-ear nature of my travels.

When I went to download the software for the service, I discovered that you pronounce it 'sk-ype,' rhyming with "type." I was calling it 'sky-pee,' like an adolescent prank with parachutes. I like my pronunciation better.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Background info via Blogs

Here's some background reading on the state of Vietnam in 2006:

Noodlepie (southern Vietnam - read Saigon/HCMC - food blog)
StickyRice (northern Vietnam - read Hanoi - food blog)
VietnameseGod (blog by a Vietnamese in the hospitality industry)
Down and Out in Saigon (American ex-pat in HCMC, teaching English)
Hanoi Days (American ex-pat in Hanoi, working at a Vietnamese newspaper)

There are quite a few others, obviously, but this gives you the flavor of the ex-pat [for the nephews, that is shorthand for "ex-patriot" - no, not an American deemed an enemy combatant by Bush, but a general term for any foreigner who comes to a country, say Vietnam, and lives and works there for a period of time] experience.

For those who are bewildered by the cost of food and other consumer items mentioned in the blogs above, this calculator provides a handy resource. The currency in Vietnam is the Dong (yeah, it's kinda funny Freddy Smoot), and is abbreviated as VND. At the current exchange rates, $63 U.S. Dollars (USD) would be slightly over $1 million VND.


About this blog:

Who: me, a sports junkie.

What: to travel from Virginia (that would be "VA") to Vietnam (the "VN") and document my adventures.

When: sometime in Summer, 2006.