My domestic goddess skills are being practiced to the hilt here, in this country which is now my second home for the next year or so. I’m actually thinking of starting a new blog — Becoming Mrs. Saigon - expat wife, not quite — to chronicle the travails of moving to a new country and returning home and having your heart in two places. My friend, Viqui, whose husband, N also works here with H, and I are planning to start some sort of support group for other women in the same boat as we are. There is a growing number of us and I am sure we can learn so much from each other.

Last night, P and I were joking about how therapeutic it is to just stare down at the wash and watch the washing machine spin. Is that weird or what? I guess it’s the movement of the water that makes it oh-so-calming. My relationship with “Yim” is improving, and today I was able to ask her to go to the store on her motorbike (yes, lahat sila naka-bike dito) to buy a hamper and three dozen hangers for, get this, $7.00! A lot of things are really very reasonable here. Food being one of them.

Yesterday, we went to the Phu My Hong area where most of the other Filipinos live, and where we hope to be living by next year, and did some major shopping. We first had some heavenly beef brisket pho (25000 dong or 67 pesos!) at the nice and quiet Garden Cafe and then browsed at a bookstore where I had really good Cafe Suda (iced Vietnamese coffee). You can find almost everything here and more. There are a lot of excellent local products and the kids have been drowning themselves in milk and yogurt products. The noodles (their version of Lucky Me but healthier kasi no preservatives and the meat is just as succulent) in the supermarket are a steal at 6000 Dong which is like 15 pesos only and really tasty!

Milk and yogurt drinks galore!

Yummy and Fab Pho

It really broke my heart to read that the Philippines is planning to import rice from Vietnam. What has happenned to us? Vietnam came out of a war 33 years ago and look where they are now! Where were we 33 years ago and where are we now?

We’re eating much healthier here than we do in Manila. And because of the domestic duties, I can actually feel my pants loosen by centimeters day by day. Wheee. Hopefully, I’ll be down a dress size by the time we return at the end of the month!

The heat here is another thing. You leave your laundry, on a rack indoors, and after an hour or two, tuyo na lahat ng labada mo! Unbelievable. It’s a good thing that our utilities here are paid for so kahit mag-aircon ka ng mag-hapon, you have no fear of going bankrupt.

We now have a car and driver, his name is Mr. Ha. Hopefully, he will be able to speak or understand some English kung hindi eh baka puro “Ha?” ang maging usapan namin. The kids, Itoy and I plan to check out the Dong Khoi district tomorrow and make a stop at the Notre Dame Cathedral to meditate and take some photos. H has a six-day work week here so we are left to amuse and busy ourselves. It was hard at first to try and summon the adventuristic sprit in me. The last time I did this, move to a new country I men, was 14 years ago when I was a tireless thirty. Well, now I’m a fearless 40something so I guess it still balances out.

More sights and photos on the next post. For now, Hen gap lai! See you later:)

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