Can I take you for a ride / On my motorbike

Motorbiking, clubbing, breakfast, and cleaning – not all at the same time… I’m good. But not that good.

Motorbiking is so much easier when it’s an automatic bike! M&M makes an excellent instructor and our neighbourhood is really good for practicing. It’s very quiet. But there are enough things to worry about that it’s a good place to practice.

M&M showed us a thing or two about the mechanisms of a bike and gave us tips about traffic that we may not have already noticed. Then it was time to take us on the open road!

Bagheera hopped on the back of M&M’s bike and I got on our lovely Honda and we started out into traffic. I followed MM and Bagheera acted as the lookout. Imagine wakeboarding or tubing and having a spotter… that was Bagh’s very important role.

The main roads were fine. It was when we turned into the narrow streets of the market with oblivious pedestrians and unpredictable children that the experience started to get interesting.

I remember our first night here when Pistol told us that you can’t “gap out” for even a second here or else you’ll hit someone or get hit. Saigon driving puts my defensive driving lessons to the test. Constant vigilance. That is key.

M&M wasn’t concerned that we’d die so with this ringing endorsement, Bagheera and I are ready to start biking. So in the next couple of days we’ll be taking possession of the bike and hitting the open road!

We invited M&M in for a late lunch and then Bagheera and I had to make our way to work. After a very rewarding night of work, we were invited to go and meet up with a Vietnamese friend of ours for coffee.

Coffee morphed into Ladies’ Night at a local nightclub. We hadn’t been clubbing in what seemed like eons and, boy, did this place ever deliver. We had a ton of fun and were more grateful than ever waking up this morning with the realisation that we didn’t have to work tonight.

With this load off our mind, we hung out in my air-conditioned bed chatting about life lessons and the growth we’ve made over the past six weeks or so since arriving in Vietnam. We finally dragged ourselves into the kitchen around 14:30 with tummies rumbling and I made French toast for Bagheera and an omelette for myself while Bagheera struggled to make us iced coffees in wine glasses.

Cà phê sữa đá (Vietnamese iced coffee with milk) in a wine glass.

Cà phê sữa đá (Vietnamese iced coffee with milk) in a wine glass.

Yup, those are regular glasses but they're boring. Wine glasses are more fun.

Yup, that is our cupboard fully-stocked with regular glasses but they’re boring. Wine glasses are more fun.

"2% real maple syrup" WHAT?!

“2% real maple syrup” WHAT?! This just kills me!

Nom nom nom! Breakfast of champions.

Nom nom nom! Breakfast of champions.

Yes, we had glasses in the cupboard but it’s just not as fun. We made a massive mess, ate everything on our plates and then somehow got a burst of energy and went to town on the flat. Every nook and cranny of this place has been thoroughly scrubbed, included the floors, in the hopes of ridding ourselves of the pesky ant problem that has cropped up over the past week or so.

After all that work, it became crystal clear that hiring a maid is essential! Everything gets so dirty so quickly here that keeping on top of it while working and exploring is not practical. Plus, we’d be supporting the Vietnamese economy by employing women who, by the way, make this country run.

They work the hardest and the longest hours in order to put food on the table for their children and keep their households running smoothly. I’m in awe of every single female worker I come across in this country, whether they’re selling souvenirs on the streets in the backpacker district, making food in family-owned holes-in-the-wall, or working as an officer in a bank.

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