Fellows Blog Posts by xanthisodyssey

Sep 30, 2008 VN Vietnam

I am not a morning person. I know this about myself, but am starkly reminded of this fact when my alarm goes off at 6am. In a zombie trance I get out of bed, put the kettle on and have a shower. I put on the clothes I chose the night before, as I know that at 6am in the morning my brain does not work at its best and there is a high risk I may choose clothes and footwear completely impractical for riding on the back of motorbikes and sitting cross-legged on the floor. Today I head out to Bac Ninh, where SEDA has one of their regional offices and...

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Sep 7, 2008 VN Vietnam

In Hanoi the tourist stalls in the old quarter are crammed with all manner of trinkets for tourists to buy. T-shirts are of course popular and there are many that contain that ubiquitous saying ‘same same but different’. Usually I ignore the persistent hawkers ( while fighting back the urge to proudly declare that I am more than a mere tourist ) but events over the past couple of weeks have made me actually stop and think a little more about ‘same same but different’.

I am first generation...

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Aug 13, 2008 VN Vietnam

I proudly remember how for the first 2 years of high school I was considered quite tall and got to stand for the annual class photo. From the 3rd year onwards however I was eclipsed as puberty prevailed in others. From then on I sat in the front row, demurely folding my hands in my lap. Not that I am short – I am 167cm tall – which by western standards makes me an average height. I would also describe my build as average – you will have to take my word for it as I have no intention of publically disclosing any vital statistics! So I pretty much...

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Aug 7, 2008 VN Vietnam

Beep! Beep beep beep! This is the natural sound of the habitat that is downtown Hanoi. There is an endless cacophony of horns – sometimes short and squeaky, other times longer and more insistent. There is no aggression intended – the horn is to warn the pedestrian or cyclist ahead that their motorbike ( more of a scooter really ) or car is bearing down on you and that you should not pick this moment to change direction. Driving in Hanoi should be classified as an extreme sport. Insert small confession – I have actually ridden as a...

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