There are lots of little details that I want to write about, but they don’t fit into a particular time frame or subject to make an individual post about them. I’m going to tell you a few, and then try to do a post every couple of weeks with new annoyances/amusements etc.
After losing the Halloween decoration competition miserably, we felt really annoyed at school for not telling us in the first place that we had to include music, lights and performance into the mix. However, the following week an envelope addressed English Department was on the office table. In it, there was 1,000,000VND (about £30/$47… according to the exchange rate). It was the ‘well done for making an effort’ prize. Pretty much unheard of here.
As a team, we decided we should use it together, rather than split it between us. The only thing they seem to do in Vinh for fun is go to karaoke, so go to karaoke we did. Let’s make this clear. I really really hate things like that. I can’t sing, I don’t like singing, and I don’t want people hearing me sing. Still, karaoke it was. No one can understand why I don’t want to join in. It pains me!! I just don’t.
Super thin walls!
The walls between the even number and the lower odd number are ridiculously thin. I’m not joking, you can hear someone roll over in bed. You can have a conversation through the wall at a whisper, and can join in someone’s skype conversation, without them giving permission. Actually, the walls are not walls, but a bit of board. When you stand in the right place, you can see the light in the room next to you between cupboards. Two of the cupboards in each room aren’t actual cupboards but the back of your neighbour’s. Crazy. No peace at all.
It was fine for the first month of being here. I was in room number 4, and 3 was empty. Then along came the old man. When I say he’s old, he’s old. I’m not just being ageist or whatever since I’m young, he’s OLD. Who, at the age of 75, moves to a completely foreign country? More on him later. But all I’m going to say is that he has no consideration over the thin walls. He’s not as deaf as he could be at 75, so he would know that I chat to family or whatever. I’m not noisy, as such, but it’s impossible not to make ANY noise. However, he would get up around 4am some days and start clattering around. It may not have been loud clattering, but it was enough to wake me up and keep me awake for a while. He’d go through to the living room and use the microwave, with the door open so I could hear everything. He would chat away to himself. The first time it happened he was shouting Be quiet! Be quiet! You hear me? You understand?! I know he’d had some problems with controlling one of his classes, but half 4 in the morning?! I sent him a nice email saying Hi______, I’m sure you have noticed that the walls are paper thin. I got such a fright this morning when you were shouting. It was very early and I was still asleep. His email basically blamed the kids playing table tennis, which they weren’t doing, and they aren’t American are they?!
Last week I moved into the room next to mine – clearly I don’t mean with HIM, I mean the other side, number 5. The thing is that one wall is thick and the other is thin, like all rooms. Now I’m next door to Lizzie. That’s fine. Sometimes she watches stuff when I want to sleep and I can’t, so I make sure I wear headphones when watching stuff or skyping so she can’t say the same! I try and be quiet so that it doesn’t cause a problem. I’ve settled into my new room ok, though everything is the wrong way round, like a mirror image of number 4. I’ve stuck stuff up onto the walls which is more than I can say about my last room.
One of the girls who boards here had her birthday last week. Unfortunately it was the same day as I was testing her class.
The school threw her a party though, and they did karaoke in the cafe here (O’Nest it’s called). She had a cake and sparklers and all of her classmates came back in the evening for it which was really nice.
Like I said earlier, I am going to try and write little and often rather than an essay each time. It’s easier for me that way, and hopefully you won’t be bored by the end!