Our block

Our block

We’ve now been in Vietnam for about 6 weeks and our post rate is still pretty low. I’ve had writers/artists block and for the past week I’ve been trying to push myself to create something to post.

Elena tells me not to worry too much about context or making the perfect postcard but I can’t help myself.

Today, to loosen up my drawing muscles, I took out my sketchbook and drew the view from our balcony that we see every morning. Our house has an awesome balcony upstairs and we go there after breakfast every morning to drink tea before getting on with whatever we are doing that day. As the view is so great, we usually end up spending most of the morning up here.

View from the balcony drawn

We live in Ho Tay, at the edge of the largest lake in Hanoi. It’s full of Westerners and some savvy Vietnamese have made lots of money by building flats here to let to foreigners at high rates. Overall, the price is affordable for us, and we have fallen in love with our place. It’s the perfect size and has a swing on the roof – what more could you want!

The view from our balcony is of lots of sloping tiled roofs, arranged in a fashion that only makes sense in Vietnam. Here we’ve found it almost impossible to find any address as they don’t have postcodes as such and most roads have “alleys” associated with them. So for example, you may want to find a place, and it’s called “Alley 30, Blahblah Road”. When you turn up, expecting to find a small alley, what you find when you get to Blahblah road is that there’s this “alley” which is actually a full size road, coming off it.

In addition, numbering of places is not that obvious at all. We’ve found that in some places we visit, the number of a place may apply to a whole block rather than to a building so we’ve spent a good deal of time getting lost in Hanoi.

However, every day we get up, have breakfast and look out over this view, so for all Hanoi’s peculiarities, life is good.

View from the balcony

The following two tabs change content below.
An e-learning professional and physics teacher by trade, Andy discovered late in life that he rather likes art. He set up my REAL wall and mailart365 to make and send as much art in the post as possible but spends far too much on postal costs

Latest posts by andy (see all)

By | 2017-01-10T11:06:41+00:00 November 17th, 2013|Categories: by Andy, handmade|Tags: , , |4 Comments

About the Author:

An e-learning professional and physics teacher by trade, Andy discovered late in life that he rather likes art. He set up my REAL wall and mailart365 to make and send as much art in the post as possible but spends far too much on postal costs

4 Comments

  1. BrisChris November 22, 2013 at 11:51 am - Reply

    Hi Andy & Elena – it seems you have settled in! How long do you plan on being in Vietnam? Maybe we’ll get to come over OR maybe you’ll make a trip south. We had a lovely time visiting Rebecca, Stripygoose & Mailart Martha. Always special to meet internet friends in person!

    • Elena Hoang
      Elena Hoang December 27, 2013 at 5:01 am - Reply

      Hi Chris! What a shame we missed you in London. I saw the pics of your trip to see Rebecca and you know that Andy worked with Stripygoose? It would have been great to meet you all. We intend to be in Vietnam for a year perhaps, then we may head downwards. When do you think you’ll be in Vietnam?

      • BrisChris January 1, 2014 at 10:54 am - Reply

        Hi Elena & Andy – we would come to Vietnam tomorrow if we could. I loved Hanoi when I was 6 years ago with 2 girlfriends. Vic & I spent a few days in Saigon about 3 years ago & it certainly whetted his appetite to go again. How’s your Vietnamese, Andy? Who knows maybe we’ll find some extra money & visit you before you leave. While you are in the vicinity, you must come to Brisbane so we can show you our city & I can take you to visit a couple of my artistic friends. I am enjoying your photos & Have just finished a quilt called “Images of Vietnam” using memories & images I took in 2008. It will be going in to an exhibition that will tour Queensland later in the year. I love that you are setting up a group, Andy – your brain must never stop. We enjoyed meeting Sue & Martha in London & staying with Rebecca in Suffolk was certainly a highlight of our trip. Such generous people to virtual strangers. Take care you 2 & I’ll continue to read of your adventures.

        • andy January 1, 2014 at 4:10 pm - Reply

          Hi Chris – My Vietnamese is improving. It’s quite a lot of fun learning, because I stopped speaking Vietnamese when I was 5, so I speak like an uneducated 5 year old!

          Do you have an y pics of your quilt? That would be great to see!

          Our aim is to head south but not sure when. Just come over and see us rather than wait for us! Our couch is fairly cosy :-).

          Rebecca and Sue are great aren’t they! I love how mailart brings people together

Leave a Reply

0

Your Cart