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Sunday, December 31, 2006

Le Saigon (Day 1)

The place I stayed. Windsor Plaza Hotel.

I'm only blogging about my Vietnam Trip (21 - 25 Dec) now because I had no access to Blogger for the past few days. Probably due to the earthquake in Taiwan, the internet connection to Blogger has slowed down tremendously. Nevertheless, I want to capture the special memories I had in Ho Chi Minh (Saigon) in words while they are still freshly linger in my mind.

Vietnam - a destination filled with vibrance and mystery. Indeed Ho Chi Minh City turned out to be a stunning package(I had never expected that Vietnam would actually appeal to me). On hindsight, I went with little expectation for I always thought that Vietnam was a place flooded with paddy and rice fields; undeveloped and backward in development. This trip to Vietnam changed all these.

For I discovered that Vietnam is 'a land of contrasts' (as Thomas Cooks put it). For there you see history and traditions, side by side with economic prosperity and development. Indeed, Bangkok to me was a boring place. Vietnam provides the raw edge and charming innocence that I have not seen in other places. Perhaps this can only be offered because the tourist industry in Vietnam has just started to open up. Perhaps Vietnam will be another Bangkok or Bejing in time to come due to commercialisation. However, I liked what I saw and experienced in Vietnam. The lack of packaging, the spectacular scenic beauty and the rich history of Ho Chi Minh has made me fall deeply in love with it.

Anyway, I had only managed to finish setting my re-exam the day itself of departure so packing was the last thing on my mind then. Luckily I didn't forget to bring anything . Anyway the shopping started the minute we entered the dfs lounge. Haha! I bought 2 Clarins slimming cream(1 for myself and the other for bro's gf) and a mosturizer from Jurlique. Met K(a Sec 1 CO student) with her mum along the way and I was rather surprised when she mentioned she was going to Vietnam too! It was such a coincidence that we were on the same flight - SQ178.

The plane was freezing cold as we bundled and made ourselves comfortable for take-off. Anyway, I managed to catch the movie Step Up on KrisWorld (half of it actually).

Step Up to the Groove

Silly me actually felt proud that I was taking the national carrier. Due to budget constraints, it has been a long time since I flew SIA. Anyway, it helped that the air steward was rather cute and attentive!

Upon arrival at Tan Son Nhat Airport, we felt totally overwhelmed by the huge throng of locals and tour guides eagerly waiting for the arrival of their friends/visitors. We were then ushered into a waiting bus nearby and headed for dinner at a Vietnamese restaurant. To us, this was the best dinner we had throughout the entire trip. Perhaps it was the first meal in Vietnam that added to the appeal. However, I believe that it was the hunger and fatigue after a long day that made the meal special. Check out the sumptous feast we had!

The place where we had our dinner

Vietnamese Spring Rolls with Fish Sauce

Crunchy Squid Salad

Succulent Beef Cubes with Putu Mayam (Our family's favourite dish)

Some fresh water fish that reeked of mud. We didn't touch much of this.

Vietnamese Hot Pot

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Vietnam... Here I come
It feels exhilarating to get away from everything, leaving work behind for a meagre five days while I bask in the warm sunshine of Vietnam, slurp my beef pho and sip an indulgent cup of Vietnamese coffee all at the same time.

I'm looking forward to the sights and sounds of Ho Chi Min, the fastastic shopping in Ben Thah Market, the food and of course the bonding I have with my family. Hee.. I'm leaving for the airport in 15 minutes time.

Meantime, Merry Christmas! May this Christmas be special for you as well.

An excited Nana =)

Thursday, December 14, 2006


Books Galore!!!

After a hard day's packing, what you see is what you get! Managed to transform my messy table into its original and chic state. Hopefully this can last me 3 months. *Prays hard*

The remaining pile of books I have on my table.

Friday, December 01, 2006

A Faithful Servant; A Loyal Friend
His master said to him, `Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a little, I will set you over much; enter into the joy of your master.'

Matthew 25:21

Nicky breathed his last today. He lived a wonderful 14.5 years(equvalent to a 101.5 year old man) with us. It was a heart-wrenching decision to have to put him to sleep.


That was how we felt simply looking at him waste away the last week. He couldn't walk, urinate nor stand. Instead he simple lay on the grey granite floor, whimpering in pain, with a faraway look in his eyes; almost as if he knew his time was up.


It was simply painful watching him suffer in silence as pain wrecked his entire body. He had no way of expressing his pain, except by whining the entire night. Bro sat with him the night before, offering him words of comfort and tried to pat him to sleep. Watching him suffer was the worst thing.

I remember when I gingerly cradled him in my arms for the first time. I was in Secondary One and eagerly selected him from among the entire litter of eight pups. He was the chosen one and was named Nicky as I always wanted a white dog by that name. I remember his fluffy white fur and the curious way he used to sniff at me each time I came home from school. I remember that he was never one to be intimidated, for he even took on dogs much bigger than him. He has definitely brought the family much joy with his whimsical antics, 14 years of loyalty and friendship. I remember vividly the time when we cornered a rat in the house and how Nicky valiantly took on the role of an aggressor. These were the beautiful memories.

Sadly, I did not have the opportunity to see him off.

I wished I had.

There's this weird atmosphere in my house for the loss of a family member is never easy. Bro's gf cried so hard.

I'm glad that he has found the peace he deserves. For all dogs go to heaven. I believe Nicky will too.