Friday, July 22, 2011

A lot can happen in a month

Today is the 22nd, which means it's been almost a month since I've signed in here to give you all an update on my wee life.

Actually a lot has happened.  First of all, Mummy and Nana finally came to visit!

We failed to pose for a family photo, of course. This is the best I've got of all 3 generations together.

It was quite the family reunion with my grandmother coming from Abu Dhabi and my mother coming from Hamilton in NZ. 

We went to Hoi An, which meant walking in ruins:

My mother wore this orange t-shirt, which was wonderful because she kept wandering off and it made her easy to spot.
I suggest if you have a toddler with wanderlust that you clothe them entirely in day-glo.


Going on a boat:

Some beach time:

And psychedelia with geodes at the Marble Mountain gift shop:

Nana was spotted stuffing dong into the pockets of the girl who was leading her around the gift-shop.  As we were leaving the girl said to me: "Your grandmother very good!".  It was a mutually rewarding transaction - Nana says the Vietnamese are very friendly.

We learned that Mr Martin never naps during the day, much as he'd like to.  Poor dear.

We had a few days in Saigon too.  There was some eating:

Some marketing:

What is this? Spotted at Benh Thanh market. Is it sea slugs?  Is it food?

And of course, a cyclo ride:

On the cyclo, Nana was urging the driver to "Go faster! Go faster!" - so she ended up way ahead of us.

My Nana is 75 years old and managed just fine getting around considering that Vietnam is a challenging environment even for young, fit people.  Of course, the heat was difficult, and we had booked a tour to Cham Island not realising that getting on an off the boat was going to be too much of an ask for Nana's knees, so unfortunately she couldn't come along that day.  However, she was quite happy to have a day resting in the air-conditioning and cafes of the hotel.

Hoi An was the perfect place for us all to go and relax, as the streets are easy to walk on and there are plenty of cafes and shops to stop in where the staff have very good English and are used to dealing with older tourists.  We were very well looked after for the entire course of our stay - especially by the staff of my own apartment building who really went out of their way to make sure they were looked after.  A celebrity in my own neighbourhood, I have been asked by complete strangers in stores and on the street about how my parents are doing, and am still being asked now, 3 weeks after they have left.

My mother is still young and so the trip was not physically too much of a challenge for her, and she seemed to love every minute of it. I think we will probably see her again - maybe next year!

If you have parents or grandparents thinking of coming but who might be worried about it being difficult - encourage them to come anyway.  I am too young to remember the Vietnam War, but my mother and grandmother both do remember (and my Great-Uncle served 3 tours here for the Australian army) and I think for them seeing the recovery in the country and experiencing generosity and hospitality of the Vietnamese was really amazing. And I really can't stress enough how much care and attention my grandmother received from the locals - there was no chance of anything going wrong!

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