Published on September 23rd, 2011

The Blur Begins (a.k.a. Schizoid Bits ‘n Blurbs)

Little more than a month to go now and already the final blur of impending blast-off has begun in earnest.  One moment I think I have it all under control, and the next… I jump awake in the middle of the night, terrified that I’ll never tie up all the loose ends by Oct 29th.  I HAVE been fairly dutiful in keeping nose to grindstone here – knocking off most of the key chores.  But still…

Soon we’ll be in the final “crunch” time – that ughy window of time where I have to balance the delicate timing of dumping my final few creature comforts here (like, the car, the bed, etc.), against not cutting it tooooo close to get everything sold/stored.

In any case, clearly I have precious little time to peck here (and can barely string together a coherent sentence these days, anyway), so… I’m afraid things will necessarily go downhill here shortly, and worse – likely dribble down to silence for awhile once I board that plane to Hanoi and start my intensive, month-long CELTA course in Saigon.

Ah but do please be patient, as I fully expect that once I’m settled in Southeast Asia, there will be bountiful tales to tell.  And meanwhile…

I can at least share (albeit schizophrenetically) stray bits of “stuff” that’s happening here…

1.  Note the darlin’ talking avatar I created there at the top of this post.  Clearly I had no business taking time out for such frivolous digital whittle, but hey – a girl’s gotta have SOME fun, yes?  But seriously, check it out (Voki) and make one of your own.  They even give you a telephone number so that you too, can record your avatar message – kewl!

2.  Happily, a U.K. lass that’s likewise taking the same November CELTA class in Saigon somehow stumbled into TravelnLass, and contacted me – so it’s nice to already “know” one of my classmates.

3.  Yet another U.K. lass (recommended by ILA, the VN school where I’ll be taking the CELTA) is teaching an online pre-CELTA grammar course that begins next Sunday (8pm U.K. time / noon, Seattle time).  As the CELTA course is legendary for bringing even veteran teachers to tears, any help/prep I can get with grammar – all the better.

4.  A Vietnamese friend of mine (who’s mother and sister are still in Vietnam) says her family will pick me up at the train station upon my arrival in Saigon, and I can live at their home while I take the CELTA.  Only problem is… her family lives more than 30 min. by scooter from the ILA school.  As the intensity of the course will require every spare moment, I believe I’ll be better off getting a room within steps of the school to shave my commute time down to nil.  My friend also says her family’s Taiwanese neighbor already wants me to teach their kids English (!!!), so… who knows?  Perhaps when I finish the CELTA course, I’ll already have a private tutoring job ready and waiting!

5.  Other stray stuff…

– I spent the loveliest of Sundays (last) geocaching with my long-time geopal Carolyn – grabbing caches hidden by our favorite hiders (foremost of which was Dayspring’s ingenius Totally Tubular 9 wherein you need JUMPER CABLES to reveal the cache!)  The fun also included one (called “Dumb Luck Forever”) that she herself hid as a memorial tribute to my own (now archived because of the move) “Dumb Luck Detour” cache.  It’s hidden in Sand Point Magnuson Park – a beautiful spot along the shores of Lake Washington.  Ah Seattle – how I shall miss you!  ‘Tis truly like living in a postcard.

– After (geocaching), I stopped at R.E.I. (huge travel/outdoor gear store) and picked up some nifty new travel toys:  a new water filter bottle (to replace the one I accidently left in the Egyptian Museum on the first day of my trip) – this one a Sawyer (even better than my old Katadyn ‘cuz it NEVER needs a replacement filter!); also a double-sided packing cube (Eagle Creek); a handy compression bag (to squiiiisssshh my bulky packing stuff down by half!); a trio of hi-tech earplugs (each pair connected by a wee cord, and all in a teensy mesh pouch so as to – with any luck – not lose them); and the cutest little “Spork” (clever plastic spoon, fork and knife – all in ONE!)

6.  Oh, and I also went to the downtown Seattle police department last week and got FINGERPRINTED.  I understand a criminal background check (notarized by the FBI) is required for a work permit in VN.  And just for good measure, I had TWO original copies of the tips of my 10 digits made.

Th-th-that’s it for now.  Hard to say when I’ll find a moment (much less a lucid thought) to peck here again next, but do stay tuned…


About the Author

Off-the-beaten-path travel is my passion,and I’ve always lived life “like-a-kid-in-a-candy-store” – eager to sample as many flavors as I can. Indeed, my life motto has long been: This ain’t a dress rehearsal, folks!

2 Responses to The Blur Begins (a.k.a. Schizoid Bits ‘n Blurbs)

  1. Yup, both duly noted – thanks. Indeed, earplugs have long been my Numero Uno travel item to pack (for most any corner of the globe.) But I understand that Saigon will severely test their effectiveness to the limit.

    And that ocean of scooters? Yep, it is the one aspect of this whole adventure that scares me. ;(

  2. Oh you will need those earplugs most certainly. And I would recommend getting a place close to the school, because just wait until you see how they drive in HCMC — it’s a sea of scooters coming toward you at all times. Crossing the street is a fine dance — look ’em in the eye and slowly saunter your way across. 🙂

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