And my next adventure is…..

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I will miss my students here in Vietnam. This is a typical class of 7-8 year olds. I had expected to teach mostly adults and be working on SAT and college prep courses. They never got them going, obviously. Not sure there was ever an intention to do so. But, turns out, I like teaching kids.
I will miss my students here in Vietnam. This is a typical class of 7-8 year-olds. I had expected to teach mostly adults, SAT and college prep courses. They never got them going, obviously. Not sure there was ever an intention to do so. But, turns out, I like teaching kids.

Turkey! I’m going to a new job at the beginning of March.

I’m leaving Vietnam at the end of the month to start a new job in Istanbul (not Constantinople). I have been to Turkey once as a tourist. I loved the people, the history and especially the food. Lots of wonderful cheese, olives, baklava, kebabs, manti (a dumpling), yogurt with rose syrup, stuffed eggplant, dolma, mezes (appetizers), doner, lahmacun (Turkish pizza)….

I am going to get so fat.

The school here in Vietnam finally put out a schedule and my last day is Wednesday. After that starts the Tet Holidays which I’m interesting in experiencing. I’ll be leaving Bien Hoa shortly after for Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), where I’m trying out a capsule hotel. It’s inexpensive–about the same price as a hostel–but with more privacy. There’s little space and shared bathrooms, but how much space do I really need, anyway? It’s located right where I need to be, too. I’ve got a few day-tours earmarked and even a cooking class that I’m interested in. Plan to spend much of the time reading, working on my writing, and it’s time to do some work on the blog, too. So I’ll be busy.
Turkey: I fly out of Ho Chi Minh Airport and arrive the next morning in Istanbul. Someone from the English school I’ll be working at will pick me up at the airport. I have a Turkish Visa already and a brand new (52 pages!) passport, so anticipate no issues. The school has an apartment/dorm, but I don’t yet know where it is. They have 10 different schools around Istanbul. Nine are on the European side, so that’s likely where I’ll live. (And where I want to be, too. Public transportation is better on that side and it’s near several historic sites.) The accommodations will be near the school where I teach.
In the meantime, I’m reading up on Turkish culture and trying to learn a few words. Merhaba, everyone! (hello)
Please don’t worry about me. My life probably looks pretty messy from the outside, but it’s really all working out. I’m OK. It’s an adventure, remember?
2041085_635245273355095000-Ver2-1Expect lots of pictures of Tet–Lunar New Year. (there are several at the bottom of the page) Chuc mung nam moi–happy new year!
Other boring details:
I may be a crazy traveler, but I’m not stupid (despite the rumors). I do take precautions. I’m registered with the US State Department’s STEP program, so I get travel alerts. They also have the information about where I am and when I’m traveling. I’ve listed my brother as my “in case of emergency” person. Sorry, bro.
THERE ARE NO TRAVEL ALERTS FOR TURKEY. It is listed as a place about as dangerous to visit as NYC. Actually, there’s less violent crime and fewer people have died in terrorist attacks in Istanbul than NYC in the last couple decades. I promise I will not get anywhere near the eastern border of Turkey–those areas are simply not safe for a pasty, white girl, like me.
Holiday decorations at Pegasus Center in Bien Hoa. Lots of red and yellow!
Holiday decorations at Pegasus Center in Bien Hoa. Lots of red and yellow!
A "flowering" tree in Bien Hoa, decorations for Tet.
A “flowering” tree in Bien Hoa, decorations for Tet.
They get substantial tree branches and cover them in silk flowers, like this, to look like flowering trees. The red envelopes are stuffed with money and given to children. No wonder my students are restless about Tet!
They get substantial tree branches and cover them in silk flowers, like this, to look like flowering trees. The red envelopes are stuffed with money (I’m sure these are empty) and given to children. No wonder my students are restless about Tet!
Holiday prep in Ho Chi Minh City!
Holiday prep in Ho Chi Minh City!
This will be the year of the goat! Decorations in Ho Chi Minh City.
This will be the year of the goat! Decorations in Ho Chi Minh City.
Tet decorations in Ho Chi Minh City. In most cases, they seem to have left up the Christmas decorations (minus most of the Santa Claus and trees) and simply added more red stuff for Tet. This is the big holiday in Vietnam--schools and offices close for 2 weeks.
Tet decorations in Ho Chi Minh City. In most cases, they seem to have left up the Christmas decorations (minus most of the Santa Clauses and trees. I saw a few reindeer, though) and simply added more red decorations for Tet. This is the big holiday in Vietnam–schools and offices close for 2 weeks.
This is how they do train crossings in Bien Hoa. Two men actually stand at the tracks, all the time. When I train goes by, about every hour, they stop the traffic and roll out metal screens across the tracks and wait for the train to finish.
This is how they do train crossings in Bien Hoa. Two men actually stand at the tracks, all the time. When a train goes by, about every hour, they stop the traffic and roll metal screens across the tracks and wait for the train to finish.
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Beth

I'm a professional vagabond. I quit my cubical job in January 2014. Since then, I've hiked the Appalachian Trail, The Camino, and taught English in Vietnam, Turkey, Russia, Spain, Mexico and Peru. I'm exploring the world and you can come too!

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