Induction Time, Fears and the Sexpat Dad + Son Team

When I last let the world know my thoughts I had been rummaging in the wild for pagodas and found myself about to go to work for the first time in aeons. Three days have passed and my mind has been spun upside down, every which way and all around. In succession or all at once, whichever you think may be more disconcerting.

The first day in at work began at the semi-reasonable hour of 10am (which will admittedly seem lenient once I’m starting at 7am every Saturday and Sunday from here on out). That said for those of you who know me or have read my blog before I’m big on chronology; possibly partly because I like the world but mostly as I can try to follow my thoughts through my memories in a logical progression which admittedly isn’t something that always occurs.

So with that we go back to a Mexican with Tara and watching the Sexpat’s try to look like sitting with a sub 20 year old Vietnamese girl who is attempting to chew on their ear is a perfectly normal course of events. It is not, buy some porn and don’t let the rest of us suffer with you. Bork.

I went to bed Tuesday with two important missions; the first to get the hell out of the Van Trang Hotel, yes the one of pokey bathroom and warm fridge fame and then to begin my induction to working for ILA. I met up with Tara at 11am and found myself a room in the hostel around the corner from her; Ngoc Hue (Knock Hway in pronunciation), a room was $320US for a month, I had a quick look around it, considered the free breakfast, internet and laundry and quickly accepted.

It’s not quite as in the middle of everything as the previous place but it’s not rubbish, it has water pressure and I’m all of 5 minutes away from where I was previously. That solved it was time for us to meet Lewis for breakfast. We went to an upmarket French stylee place, where I promptly ordered a BLT. The bacon was good but not quite correct, I’m not sure exactly what was wrong with it but it only tasted about 93% correct. I’d give plenty for a pack of Asda Unsmoked Back Bacon right now. I’d consider seven figures if it came with a griddle.

Breakfast done it was back to the hostel for a shower and putting myself in smart clothes for the first time in a long time to start my induction. I arrived and was shown around by the lovely Sara, getting a lay of the land of the school, much needed considering there are over a hundred teachers. Which doesn’t count all the Vietnamese teaching assistant in the classes, Utterly mental.

From there I was passed on to the centre manager, Rachel, who led me through a myriad of form filling and didn’t shout at me despite the fact that the maelstrom of moving places and breakfast I forgot all the documents I needed to have with me. Forms signed I was told that my observations would be postponed until the Thursday and I was free to go.

I headed back to the hotel to chill out for awhile until Lewis finished teaching, at which point we headed for an Indian. Butter chicken a super garlicy naan bread were epic. I was so glad to find decent Indian in Vietnam; it’s by far my favourite cuisine and living without it would have been tough. As an aside for Nicol Perryman it was sadly no Dilshad. I want one BAD!

After a quick drink a quiet night was called which was fine by me as Thursday was to be my first semi-early day, I had to be in at 10am for the first two parts of my inductions. I had a bleary eyed breakfast and a successful negotiation with the xe om driver to get to work for 10,000 dong (roughly 35p). In the middle of my inductions I found out I would have my first observation of someone else’s class that night at 7:40pm which left me with a four hour gap and a dilemma; head home in the sweat inducing afternoon sun or chill out at school for four hours.

I went with school which became four hours of reading my book, chatting to anyone I barely knew and checking my e-mails. Thankfully the time passed and I observed Tara’s lesson, that done with I found Zara and Joe in the staff room who suggested heading for a pint before meeting others for food. That sounded better than another hour in the school waiting for everyone to me so we headed off.

They decided to walk which was helpful for me as it helped my severely lacking knowledge of where the hell anything is in HCMC. From school to the place where all the bars and restaurants we all end up in after work is straight up one road is straight up which was good news for when I didn’t fancy taking a xe om or can’t find one without a drunken idiot at the controls.

We made our way to 185 to wait for everyone else, at which point all the people we were waiting for had headed elsewhere or to bed so went for a Mexican at la Cantina. The food was good but the most interesting/awful story for the purposes of this blog was a table sat close to us. On the table you would have found a father/son American combo along with two girls who were clearly Vietnamese hookers.

What kind of son thinks its a good idea to go cruising for whores with his Dad and what kind of Dad thinks “I know I’ll treat JimBob to a brass tonight”. People are fucked up and that’s a FACT. That’s how this place is, everything is legal if you have enough cash. Even if it’s all kinds of fucked up and possibly slightly incestuous. Eww.

From there it was back to my room and an attempt to sleep. However sleep was not to be forthcoming, Vietnam is not an easy place to adjust to if you’ve never been to Asia before and admittedly my head has been spinning since arrival. I lay awake unable to come to any form of sleep and decided to call home; Mum.

She answered, at a reasonable early evening time at home lest anyone think me terrible, and I talked to her for ten minutes or so about how life is out here and my aspirations, hopes and fears for my time out here. As always she assuaged my fears and boiled it down to the fact that I had to give it some time and see how I felt before jumping to conclusions. She knew as well as I do that I need to settle into teaching and make friends here before coming to any kind of sweeping judgment but I needed someone to say that to me rather than tell myself.

Feeling better I ticked over to sleep but felt like smashing my phone six or so hours later when my phone went off to let me know it was time to get back down to ILA for induction day #3. I managed to drag myself from my bed for a shower and getting dressed with little signs of actual conscious and more signs of sleep walking.

I woke up during the xe om ride into school thanks to some erratic driving on the part of the people in Vietnam. I still have no idea how there aren’t thousands of accidents a day, you have to see this to believe it. At school I had a couple more inductions lessons which went really well and were actually a lot of fun. I was even told that I would be an excellent “Jumpstart” teacher (4-6 year olds) which was ace; although that may mean that I would make an excellent glorified clown. Which is probably quite accurate lol.

We got free lunch courtesy of the school which was thoroughly enjoyed and then into another class. From there I had no observing to do today so I headed back to my place. After a few hours messing about Lewis called to say he’d be round in a few to pick me up and head to the new Mexican restaurant opening that night.

What I didn’t realise until arrival was that food and drinks were on the house. I probably didn’t eat enough but I took advantage of the free grub and four free bottles of Corona (normally the equivalent of nearly £3 out here) before we headed off once they ran out of beer.

We headed into Lily’s next to 185 where I met more people, was presented with a toilet which was full, for some reason, of ice and then watched Zara’s rematch of rock, paper, scissors with the street seller girl who can’t be older than eight or ten. I find the fact that’s how at least part of the young girl’s life is conducted out here, selling flowers, chewing gum and tissues on the streets late at night, more than a touch wrong but that’s life out here and she’s one of many.

Shortly after that the rain started coming down; apparently for the first time in months and come down it did, we decided to have another drink to avoid the rain, which was absolutely pinging down and chilled out awhile while the storm subsided. From there I had a stroll home with Zara and find myself here, this blog is going up and I’m taking my sleepy head to bed before I get up for more observations in the morning.

Love and Sexpats

J. Xx


9 Responses to “Induction Time, Fears and the Sexpat Dad + Son Team”

  1. Hope you can settle in soon mate! Will be interesting to see how much of the culture you adopt and how life will become somewhat less English as a result. I was talking to my colleagues from various countries today about how I have almost no idea about what’s in the news back home. Oh and don’t bother coming here for curry, I haven’t tried any yet but there are few restaurants and from what I’ve heard from a fellow Brit it’s pretty poor! Might be better in the bigger cities…

    • Yeah me too lol, im starting to get there I think but it probs won’t be instant, it’s too different!

      I don’t know about adopting culture, i will certainly find it a shame back in the western world not being able to barter on the price but I reckon I won’t miss the traffic lol.

      I have no idea whats going on in the world anywhere other than in sports which I keep up with 😀

      Dont reckon I could live in Germany for too long then, I need a good curry evry now and then!!

  2. You seem to attract weird people wherever you go – the sexpats are just one pair in a line of many XD

    Keep smiling, Bruder xx

    • Lol there are weird people everywhere, thankfully I didn’t have to speak with these weirdos so thats a blessing i guess lmao!

  3. Don’t go attracting sexpat kinda weirdo’s they sound just plain sleazy! It was 7pm when you phoned a very civilised time and it’s always good to have a sounding board x mam

  4. Orite mate just thoght id keep you up to date with the latest hockey results. We lost 3-0 to redcar. We didnt pass very well and lacked ambition and firepower on attacks. Hope work wonty be too hard for ya mate. All the best Phill M

    • Was that the last one for the season? Wish that one hadn’t been rearranged, was looking forward to that one! How did we finish in the league? Third? It looks like its going to be a lot of fun with some hard work, im looking forward to getting in the class room! Hows things at your end?

  5. Aye mate it was and yea we ended up third. Three points from second and about five form top spot. Summer leauge wil be fun like, but we need to find someone to replace to firepower we lost up front. When do you find out when you get put in the class like? and yea everything is good here apart from the weather :|. Am in the process of meeting coursework dealines and saving for leeds fest 😀
    All The best Phill

    • Ah I bloody love summer league, gutted I will be missing that completely!!! I dunno who Andy is planning on playing upfront, its a good question for next year, maybe try a few options out in the summer?

      I got my class timetable today, im teaching 2 hours tues, 2 hours thurs, 8 hours sat and 8 hours sun + lesson planning and marking its going to be a pretty full schedule!!

      Lol the weather here is ridiculous, its so hot, but often too hot, you start sweating in seconds here!

      Coursework? Fun! What subjects u doin it for? Leeds fest is mint! U will love it! who is in the lineup? I went in 2007, it was epic!

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