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Notice to vacate 18 August 2011

Posted by uggclogs in Travelling, Vietnam.

I have been neglecting you, dear readers. And for that, I must apologise. It has been more than two months since my last post, and what an emotional rollercoaster it has been.

Firstly, if you are following me because of my deeply valuable (ehm…) insights into the magical world that is Hanoi, or because you have added me to a Hanoi blogs aggregator (here’s looking at you, ourman), I must sadly disappoint. For no longer will I be able to amuse, entertain and baffle you with tales from the land of Viet. You may want to delete those bookmarks and forget about this site, at least for now. I will be back, I assure you, but not for a while. Sadly, after three years, I have left Hanoi.

If you are family or friends who were roped in to following me because you had no other choice (or because I am terrible at keeping in touch and sending personalised emails would be too much of an effort) then fear not – the blog will continue from it’s new location of Canberra, Australia. And perhaps I will even be able to start an “Only in Australia” series!

So, to summarise, the last two months I:

– Had numerous goodbye parties, lunches, dinners, karaoke sessions (yeah baby)

– Did some last-minute shopping (who says that I did not need that gramophone?)

– Went past all my favourite streetfood stalls to eat, and fit in a couple of trips to the trusted old western coffee shops, and discovered the Hanoi Social Club (not bad)

– Supervised the movers packing up

– Spent a week in Thailand relaxing on the beach

– Returned to Australia, adjusted to the cold weather, spent long hours at the national library, found a job and started it

– Caught up with old friends and slotted back into life here

And so the world turns. It is frightening how nothing has changed in Canberra – even though we do now have a wind farm (ok, that does excite me). More frightening is that after only three years, and without any changes, I still manage to get completely lost and disoriented in this city. What happened to me?

And things seem to work – traffic jams hardly happen, and when they do, they slowly disolve. Cars give way. And I am taking a bus to work every day. But I miss my motorbike.

It is confusing, by the way, how much I am liking being back. I loved Hanoi. At the end, I did not want to leave. My partner and I were a couple of long faced goonies on our way to the airport, and as the plane took off, we gloomily looked out of the window and said our goodbyes.

Thank you Hanoi. I sincerely thank you for all the wonderful moments and fantastic times. I acknowledge that we sometimes did not see eye to eye, and about nine months in, I was ready to leave you for ever and never return. But I outgrew the teething pains, and the country as a whole has got under my skin. North Vietnam, with its glorious mountains and healing powers will forever be my “happy place” – the place I go to for sanity and tranquility when things get tough. The Vietnamese people are kind and welcoming (most of the time) and I will miss my colleagues and friends. Even the expats that we shared our journey with are special and dear to me.

Yet I love being back.

Canberra put on the charms in the first weeks, enticing me with cherry blossoms and glorious (and I mean GLORIOUS) blooming wattles everywhere. The brightest of yellow bushes throughout the city, big blue skies, kangaroos and picnics on the lake and a few friends whom I have not seen for a long time.

I know I will miss Hanoi. One day soon, it will hit me. I will be struck with homesickness that only a bowl of proper, northern pho (with quay) will alleviate (here in Canberra, I have only found the southern version, which is not bad, but it does not come with the same memories for me). And Hanoi will remain a part of me, albeit I know that I will no longer be a part of Hanoi.

So for now: Hello, Canberra!

Thank you to those of you who have followed and supported my journey. For encouraging my blogging and commenting on my stories. I will be writing more, so stay tuned.



1. buddhafulkat - 19 August 2011

glad you’re back to blogging and congrats on the new job – can’t wait to hear more about it in a text or another blog – hugs!

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