Vung Tau City

Lời chào từ Việt Nam! [Greetings from Vietnam!]

Today was my first whole day in Vietnam! Waking up here was very interesting because I didn’t know where I was at first. We had a few tours today, both in the hotel and the residents side of the hotel where our group stays. Tomorrow morning we will be getting our job assignments, so I am looking forward to working along side some very wonderful people here. I cannot wait to start learning new things!

For breakfast today we ate in the buffet restaurant on the hotel side. We I finally got to have coffee for the first time since the plane ride from D.C. to Japan. I know that doesn’t seem like a long time but when you’re on three flights, one being 13 hours, you need coffee after that even though it’s pretty much midnight when you arrive. I had an abundance of fruit, a small pastry roll, some odd egg and corn soup (which I’m pretty sure was raw egg white but who knows at this point) and some amazing yogurt with sugar syrup and passion fruit jam (totally having that tomorrow morning; I can’t stop thinking about it). When we were able to have lunch, we had phở with this most amazing fish I’ve ever had. They served it with fresh guava, one of my new favorite fruits thanks to Vietnam.

After meeting and speaking with everyone at the Imperial Hospitality School, we were able to have about six hours of free time before dinner so we all went to the beach club across the street. The club is owned by the hotel so we have free access to the private beach directly in front of the club. the South China Sea, or as the locals call it, the East Sea, is absolutely stunning. However, I miss my beaches in Florida because they actually have seashells to choose from. I did find a few curly shells today though (if you’re reading this Katie, yes you can have some… if I can get them back to the US with no trouble). After the swim in the lovely infinitely pool and a short stroll down the Back Beach (there are two beaches in Vung Tau- Front and Back), me and the two other ladies here with me had pink piña coladas; they were grapefruit and coconut coladas. That drink was the first purchase we had using Vietnamese currency, something I still need to understand because one US Dollar is pretty much equal to 22000 Vietnamese Dong. After drinks we headed back inside, a successful journey today because my pale self did not get burned! After the beach we napped. Yes, like old people. I had an alarm set so I could wake up in time for dinner. Who even am I??

On a very interesting note, tonight was our first dinner in Vietnam. We were kindly taken out on the town by one of our Vietnamese hosts and it was a pleasant surprise! We went to this restaurant called Tiger and we ate some things I probably would never have ordered in the United States. The first thing I tried was octopus, but that was the second time I’ve tried it. I liked it this time around. Other things we ate were fried squid, large sea snail with mango, small sea snails that were still in their little shells, pork ribs, noodles with beef and vegetables, seafood fried rice, and many sauces to dip all of those things in. I honestly cannot believe that I liked all of those things; I thoroughly enjoyed them, especially the octopus with the fish sauce. The little snails though… those were fun. You eat them with these miniature two-pronged forks by pulling out the snail and removing the hard foot at the opening. Cooked in butter and garlic, I could seriously eat those little guys all night.

It’s only 9:00 at night here and I can honestly say that I could go to sleep. I’m not experiencing any jet lag which is a shock but the heat here is abusive and exhausts us all. Not experiencing any hot weather in New York before we left did not help any I’m sure. Maybe I’ll bring the hot weather with no rain back to New York in August.

Chúc mọi người ngủ ngon!
[Goodnight everyone!]

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