Asia | South East Asia | Vietnam | Central Provinces | Hoi An – The Aim – Research and Shopping
The TEFL course seems to be determining our next move. After the typhoon passed, which ended up being only one night of heavy rain, we flew back to Saigon. The mission; explore and observe to access if a month in the city doing the course was for us. Nick, our new friend, kindly put us in touch with a few of his expat mates. Unfortunately though none of them could shed any light on courses, but one did point us in the direction of weed. A welcome surprise, two weeks without any its no wonder we’d turned to beer and Internet cafes. As expected it was cheap but low quality, but had the desired effect. The minds were once again being fuelled and the trip was beginning to take shape. The ‘Pigs not Sheep’ were flying high again.
What with the web being one huge rubbish dump, researching the TEFL course proved to be a more arduous task than we’d bargained for. We had no idea there would be so many different types of courses, let alone options of places to do it. Saigon, Thailand and Spain are all in the dock, but for the time being the jury’s out. The ‘Pigs not Sheep’ need to siphon through the shit first to find that golden nugget.
So this time in Saigon we began to look past the obscurities we first encountered. The city now seemed no different to other big cities. Noisy, frenetic, with pockets of rich and poor. Just it seems on our first visit we’d only encountered the poor. Venturing into its heart we saw a more modern Saigon. Wide avenues lined with large European buildings leftover from the French, buzzing with tourists. As well as numerous markets selling nothing other than cheap tack, we found boutiques selling high quality western clothes at a fraction of the cost back home. Overloaded on research, and swept away with the western familiarity, we spent a day pampering ourselves. Manicures, pedicures, and shopping. Finishing of the day nicely in an Italian restaurant with a glass of wine. No wonder expat’s like it here, their meagre teaching salaries afford them to have a good lifestyle. However I’m still not convinced Saigon is the place to do the TEFL. Would studying here distract from, or benefit our ultimate aim, to live and work in Barcelona. From stories of the Expat’s partying exploits I can’t help but think it would distract. Would Saigon end up being like London, just same same but different?
Back in the reality of our $10 room we reasoned our purchases by telling ourselves they were beneficial to the aim. After all we’ll need to smarten ourselves up a little if were to get teaching jobs. With this in mind, Hoi An in Central Vietnam was to become our next destination.