Monday, May 16, 2011

Out With The Old, In With The New

The past two months have been filled with change for Gavin and I.

A new computer.  Grovelling works wonders: I finally got Gavin to enter one of Saigon's ubiquitous, techno-blaring electronics superstores.  These are the types of neo-consumerist blights that repulse many and delight others - a polarizing experience throughout.  It is easily overwhelming.  They are reminiscent of a brightly lit ant farm adorned with large, razor-thin televisions. Wide-eyed, overdrawn employees vastly outnumber customers and due to the lack of real credit options in Vietnam, there are wheelbarrows of VND notes hauled to the payments desk for some of the bigger items.  Our Samsung was on the cheaper side of things, yet when Gavin had to run to a nearby ATM (which only dispensed 50,000 VND notes) he returned with cash spewing from bulging pockets.  (Note to self: go to a legitimate bank prior to large purchases and extract 500,000 VND notes.)

Sleek and sexy she is.  Hot-pink, light-weight, and uber-functional; I love my Samsung Netbook.  A less grumpy and bulky traveling companion than Gavin and equipped with wireless internet, fitting the modern world better than the eight-year old Dell clunker we've been using for a couple of years.

New motorbike.  After some over-heating problems and an unnerving string of flat tires, we thought it was time to upgrade our bike.  Sorry old friend, we had a lot of great adventures with you, but it was time to step it up to a newer, faster Yamaha Nuovo.  The new addition is an incredibly voracious gas-guzzler, sluggish in traffic, and a bit ostentatious-looking (like something Bruce Wayne would drive); however, it has great shocks to compete with rugged roads and is comfortable for the two of us.

New school campus.  After a few harrowing, mid-traffic robberies on my drive to and from work and tiring of the dusty, suburban existence near the airport, we thought it was time to change school campuses to get a refreshed outlook on Saigonese life.  The plan was hatched months ago as we formally requested to move to a new branch.  Ever-accommodating and professional, our company never balked at the idea and we have since relocated to a more centrally-located campus in District 1.

New apartment.  With the campus move slowly approaching, Gavin and I started apartment hunting.  With little luck the first few weeks, we struck gold with an awesome realtor (Dan the Man) that showed us not one, but two perfect apartments that we had to painstakingly choose between.  We are about 4 minutes from our new place of work, 8 minutes to our favorite sushi spot, and in an overall more lively area.  (I guess anything beats the post-industrial wasteland and seedy massage parlor our old building was located next to.)  We are quite pleased with our new neighborhood, Phu Nhuan, and the apartment itself.

Rather than settling for another towering, aesthetically-dead apartment block, we are now in a privately-owned house divided into three apartments.  We occupy the top floor (besides the rooftop terrace) and I have really taken to the place: an airy kitchen and dining room, a cozy living room, front balcony, walk-in closet, and two modernist bathrooms.

We even have a luxuriously massive bed; which I have to literally leap into each evening.

And, like most furnished apartments in Saigon, this one also came with a ridiculously large flat-screen TV.  Gavin is constantly scolding me for the amount of time I'm glued to mindless programming...

1 comment:

Carol said...

Love your new apartment! Do you have a second bedroom? Hint Hint....