What a Wonderful Start @ Vietnam!

It’s been a week since my big move to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam and so far I’m loving it! The sense of pride and accomplishment in settling down in a foreign land all by yourself can only be experienced and cannot be translated into words. Your first-times will always stay special and here is my list of “first-times” in HCMC :

  • Took a motorbike taxi. 😀 Perfect for solo travelers. You can find them in every nook and corner of Ho Chi Minh. Initially the ride was a bit scary, given that it is a complete stranger you are riding behind and add to it the heavy traffic and no-rules attitude. ( Having not ridden my bike in India for almost 2 years made it harder). But I got used to it already since its cheaper than taking a taxi, more convenient & perfectly safe.
  • Had my first Vietnamese street food. For the first couple of days before I had found my own place where I can start cooking, I was heading only to fast food chains and did not try the delicious looking dishes in the street restaurants for the  fear of catching a stomach infection. I wasn’t sure if my gut was geared up for this gastronomical adventure. But finally on the 4th day of my landing in HCMC I gathered up my courage and had the famous “Pho Ga” in a imagesroad side shop. It was basically chicken noodle soup with a slight flavouring. The interesting part of the experience is having a spoon in one hand and chopsticks on the other and managing to mimic the locals after a few slip-ups 😉
  • Walked 22 km in one week. I don’t think I have walked this much in a very long time! Exploring every street while learning to pronounce its name, along with my terrible sense of direction proved to be a big challenge but was hugely rewarded. I now know where to get the cheapest footwear, the freshest veggies and the most exotic fruits 😉
  •  Experienced kindness in a unique way that re-enforced in me that language is never a barrier! During one of my several walking expeditions, my loyal yet worn out slipper finally breathed its last and I was stranded in the middle of the road (I was just on the way to buy a new one!). While I was desperately trying to hire a motorbike taxi for the last 500 m stretch, 3 kind souls who were the doormen for the nearest hotel understood my pathetic situation and helped fix it temporarily. All I could do was to repeatedly bow to them to show my gratitude since they didn’t know even a bit of English. One of my best experiences in the city!
  • Spent 1 Million in a super market 😀 Oh yeah, 1 Million Vietnamese Dong roughly equals 50$. It is weird dealing with such large sums of money even if their value is less. My division skills are tested every time I go out shopping!

There are more to come on my experiences in this land of surprises. This 6 month stint also gives me an exciting opportunity to explore the beautiful South East Asia! Will share my bucket list with you all soon and let’s see how many I am able to cross off by June! Happy New Year folks and stick to your resolutions just like me 😉

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27 thoughts on “What a Wonderful Start @ Vietnam!

  1. As always you are awesome shm!!
    While reading, One could feel the excitement about being in a new place, and a tinge of uncertainty of being in a foreign land all by yourself, adds charm to it !
    Perfect travelogue, in the sense it captures a piece of everything about being in a new place, the food, people, language and the local life! looking forward to your next post!:)

  2. Your blog is tempting me to start writing again. One of the biggest struggles you might face once the initial craze has faded would be the internal resistance to write, the gnawing feeling that nothing you write will ever be as good as what you wrote in the past – don’t let any of this masquerade under the umbrella of ‘writer’s block’ – just get the pen to paper and start scribbling ( I should practice what I preach 🙂 )

    Brilliant attempt – I loved your post!

    • I love reading what you write, even if its just a comment! You write so beautifully Appy and you should definitely give me this pleasure more often, so start writing again 🙂 And yes, I do hope to fight back Writer’s block in any form! As long as you keep reading and commenting I will keep writing 🙂

  3. A very nice start. .. loved the way you write… A very clear form of writing. It was like walking along with you and your experience. As Appy said just don’t stop writing. .. and yes as far as you write we will definitely read…
    All the best dear. ..

    Ragav

    • Thanks a lot for your kind words Ragavia 🙂 You should also write! I remember reading your poems and they were so lovely! Do update your blog and I would love to read 🙂

  4. Remember what we said.. No selfi pictures… Wanna see Vietnam through your camera..
    Good start sister… Keep writing.. Take care of yourself
    Gokul

    • Hey Akshay! Thanks for the comment 🙂 You should definitely start writing again in your blog. That way you get closer to your lifelong goal of publishing a book, right? ( If that’s still in your list! ) You’ve got some pretty interesting posts there 🙂

  5. Shmu I think its a really nice Blog!!:) Very well written and I almost felt I was experiencing all that you wrote! All the very best and Keep writing! 🙂

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