Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Thoughts from VA

Here's what VA wrote, in the comment section of Hanoi Mark's blog, encapsulating her thoughts as of today:
Wow, I can't believe I just read your whole blog in the span of a work day morning. I should be ashamed of myself, especially since I work for the government. I was actually looking for some blogs to give me insight into what I will be expecting in Jan '07. My husband was offered a job in Hanoi, and I was pretty much willing but not ecstatic from the beginning to have both of us move there for at least two years. I did visit a month ago and didn't exactly fall in love w/Hanoi but wasn't offended by the idea either (except for the cockroach which crawled on my face the first night). This past week I've been thinking of all the things I'll miss about living in the States (D.C. to be exact) and all that I'll have to do before moving and in turn started to dread leaving. So this morning I looked for blogs about the expat experience to hopefully find some comfort and came upon yours. Thank you for providing a source of comfort and confidence for me. I'm determined to not be like those Austrailian Youth Ambassadors and move to Hanoi with an open-mind. Wish me luck!
Hopefully, things will turn out better than she expects. I'm cool with her low expectations, actually, as it'll be easier to meet them. She's more easy going than I am, so I'm sure it'll be fine after about a month or so. I just gotta find more sushi places in Hanoi, other than this one.


HanoiMark said...

teiVery glad you found and liked my blog. It's gratifying that you found it useful in imagining your new life in Hanoi. I am envious. Hanoi is a fabulous city and feels very much like my second home. I wish I could go back and spend more time.

As for sushi - I am a big sushi fan here in Toronto, but didn't bother seeking it in Hanoi. There are places (I would often pass one swanky place on Ba Trieu, and I hear some of the hotels had good sushi), but I was mostly just preoccupied with the incredible Vietnamese food, so I never really missed it. It's important to get street food literate so you can recognize the dishes that are posted up and down every street. See Sticky Rice for help on that.

My main advice is the "when in Rome" platitude. Don't try to recreate the details of your current life in Hanoi. If possible just be open to the possibilities that Hanoi presents, which may be very different from what you are used to. Learn to ride a motobike, eat local street food, take some vietnamese classes, make viet friends, etc.

If you want to write for any suggestions or tips, you can write me at

D. said...


Thanks for the comments, I'll pass it along.

I'm curious, how did you manage find our blog?

HanoiMark said...

Hi D.
I found your blog because you linked to mine. I use MapStats on my blog which shows me how people were referred to my blog. I can follow the referring links backwards. Sneaky huh? Click on the MapStats link on my blog to see what I mean.

Kathrine said...

I recently went to Asahi Sushi on Ba Trieu -
- sorry there's no pics.

Another link that might come in handy if you crave sushi

- Kath