When “Me Mam” came to visit South East Asia – part 1 of 3

It’s always weird when you come back from a holiday, you spend ten days seeing things, poking around, being lazy, sunning yourself and lazing around and when you get home you wonder what on earth you used to do with all this time.

I’ve read every website I peruse 3 times over, finishes a DS game, pondered the world, made a few meals and I’ve still got three hours until football tonight (which will be painful after doing absolutely nothing for coming up three weeks, lets hope everyone else was as lazy, fat and alcoholic as I was over our time off work).

However trying to fit the whole time my Mum came to visit into one blog would have resulted in something beyond lengthy and probably become something boring at thousands upon thousands of words. So as my Mum’s trip visited three different countries this blog will come in three parts: Vietnam, Singapore and Thailand.

Part One: Vietnam. Where I live and work, and where I have found that my life has become a cycle that no longer lends itself to blogging (though that is part excuse it has to be said) but my Mum coming to visit, seeing the sights I see and eating the foods I eat was a breath of fresh air.

My Mum always likes to come and visit me wherever I am in the world, she’s already came out to see me in America and Australia and now I’m living here she wanted to see this too, so her and her partner, Ken, decided to come out and visit.

They decided that thanks to a special offer they would treat themselves to three nights in the luxurious 5 star Caravelle hotel because, well, why not? The night they arrived Linda picked them up from the airport and I met them at a restaurant in the city from work. After flying from Newcastle to Skipol to Singapore to HCMC however they were bushed and it was a short night.

As we dropped my Mum back off at the hotel we ran into my friend Pulkit whose leaving do was that night and tagged along for a drink but tiredness and an impending food come meant it was one drink and home.

After a good sleep we picked up my Mum and Ken and took them to see some sights, we whizzed round to a favoured breakfast locale of ours; Au Parc. Took them shopping round the markets, picking up stuff for my sister and showing them the delights of Nuc Mia (spelling?) – raw sugar cane juice. They got to experience life on the back of a scooter in Saigon, which I think made my Mum thankful for her Corsa and the just slightly more relaxed throughfares of Hartlepool.

After they’d been whizzed around more than enough and a slight problem finding Singaporean dollars myself and Linda headed home and my Mum and Ken headed to the hotel pool. We got back and Linda prepared a feast of Mexican food for my Mum and Ken who were coming over to visit our place.

Thanks to my ineffective kitchen help I was mostly given the tasks of sprucing up the place and making it look tidy; staying out of the way of Linda when she is in kitchen mode is a good idea.

Mum and Ken arrived with everything I’d asked for from England and presents for Linda. I now had a new razor, that would no longer try and rip out chunks of my face along with the hair it was supposed to be cutting and plenty of all the chocolates I’d missed from home: Thorntons, Boosts, Maltesers, Terrys Chocolate Orange, Caramel Bunnies, Galaxy – all the good stuff. Alongside a couple of Dolmio Pepperoni Pasta sauces which I’m beyond looking forward to when I get to the supermarket and find some chicken! (Though they may not be the same without the products of Captain Birdseye it has to be said.)

Once gifts were exchanged the other way on it was time to eat the deliciousness Linda had prepared which left us all nursing a food baby as it’s a touch hard to stop eating delicious things! Following that came a few beers and a tour of the place before it started to get on a bit and they headed back to the hotel.

Sadly we were both at work for the weekend before we would be granted real freedom. On Saturday lunchtime I met my Mum and Ken to take them for a bowl of Pho and Pho Le, my favourite restaurant providing Vietnam’s national dish and conveniently around the corner from my school. Afterwards I took them to a café my friend Luke is always banging on about and had a rather nice Oreo Shake before I headed back to my work and they headed on to the War Museum.

After work that night the four of us met at Tandoor, the best Indian I’ve found in Saigon and got tore into some delicious Indian food, we ordered rather too much which meant we wouldn’t have to cook the following night which was fine by me, it would be taken up with packing and other such stuff anyway!

After the meal we waved goodbye to Mum and Ken for a day and a half as they would be heading to Singapore the next day while we got through one more weekend day. The atmosphere at work on Sunday was rather relaxed, a lot of classes were half full with kids already gone for the holidays, most teachers brains seemed to have relocated themselves to the destination of their flight and bus tickets before they arrived physically and it was rather chilled out. One of my classes involved a few competitive games of Jenga even.

Soon enough it was time to head home, pack, eat last nights Indian and try and get some sleep before heading to the airport rather too early in the morning to fly to Singapore and at that point we shall stop, take a deep breath and wait for Part 2.

Which might take a few days as the prospect of a weekend of work looms after football tonight (joy.).

49 days or 7 weekends to go until I meet Disco in India.

Love and Thorntons

J. Xx

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