The GoGlobal Blog

I Crossed the Street!

I Crossed the Street!

International Travel

My travel time to Ho Chi Minh was 26 hours.  As much as I prepared mentally,  I could never be physically prepared for the longest trip I have ever taken.  Who knew sitting could be difficult?  I have never pulled an all-nighter for school, but I imagine I would have felt just as exhausted if I had.  Despite my excitement to reach Ho Chi Minh, I was in a bad mood.  I blame this mood on my lack of sleep, which is a great psychological factor on mood.  But even with a bad mood I was able to enjoy flying in a double decker plane, the blankets and slipper shoes provided by Korean Air, and the 5 new movies I was able to watch.  Detachment was the best (rent it now).  I arrived in Vietnam at 11:30pm on August 24th and was safe asleep at 12:30am August 25th.

Day One- I crossed the street!

Day one began at 8am on August 25th.  I forgot how tired I had been the day before and was ready to explore with my roommate Oanh.  Our first task was to buy a prepaid mobile phone.  Once that task was complete it was time for breakfast and the time I had been waiting for upon arrival in Ho Chi Minh, crossing the street.  In America we have stop lights and cross signals, but in Ho Chi Minh there are few stop lights and just hands to hault traffic.  The traffic avoids you, you don’t always avoid traffic.  The key is to move slowly, giving the drivers ample time to move around you.  The first crossing to the alley for breakfast was exciting and shocking.  To think Michigan Avenue on a perfect Spring day is chaotic is nothing compared to here.

Day Two- Getting to know all about you.

A key component to studying in Vietnam is the opportunity to live with Vietnamese students.  The students become hosts, tour guides, and long friends.  Many have had the opportunity to host Loyola students once or twice the previous semesters.  My roommate’s name is Oanh.  She is short slender and rocks a bob.  I already notice a slight language barrier, but I have surprisingly have not been frustrated.  The key is to correct the other or rephrase and define.  I have learned to say hello, thank you, and rice paper in two days.  The language is drastically different than English so it is hard to pick up on recognizable phrases after two days.  Beyond language, now that I have arrived I am more excited to get to know all of the roommates and the similarities and differences that we share.  I am already surprised at how much they love Western Pop Music.  Our group totals 14.  7 American students. 7 Vietnamese students.  We share small spaces but I anticipate a lot of fun.  The first group trip will be to the Mekong Delta in Southern Vietnam in September… it is going to be excellent!

I can finally say farewell from Vietnam!  Stay tuned, it is going to be a fast and exciting semester.

Stephanie

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