The Travelling Bishops

Jubilee weekend, and we have been in Saigon for two recovery sleeps now, since arriving back from our trip to the UK on Thursday.

We left behind us some of the most glorious weather England has been drenched in for many months, as well as leaving a general maelstrom of children’s debris and overloaded dishwashers everywhere we went.

Ten different friends, family, and hotels helped host our fly-by visit, and although executed at break neck speed, it was all incredible fun and the memories will live on for a long time.  Thank you to everyone who helped make it so.

Never to be outdone in a game of “how hot is your balcony”, Saigon greeted us off our 16 hour flight last week with 35 degree rays, smouldering humidity, and hordes of commuters biking to work dressed as if there was a chill in the air. Continue reading

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The Year of the Dragon

Around about this time in January the UK press tend put out articles naming the year’s official most depressing day.

Their logic cites a combination of things such as the dreary winter weather, or the inevitable financial whiplash of Christmas spending.  More often than not the offending day in question is January 23rd (which is unfortunate in our household as this is, and has always been, Lou’s birthday.)

This year in Vietnam will be a quite different affair though, as 23rd January is Chinese New Year and subsequently, due to Vietnam being one of the many countries embracing the lunar calendar, local life in Saigon over the past weeks has been 100% focused on celebrating the beginning of Tễt (the official name for the New Year here) and the 4 days of public holidays which accompany this.

As previously described in this blog, December here was wall-to-wall Christmas eye candy.  On every street you’d find precariously hung fairy lights, young Vietnamese men dressed as Santa and smoking cigarettes, shops and restaurants blaring out festive carols on a 24/7 loop. Continue reading