So before I know it, I’ve been here for six months. Sweaty, stifling October days when I arrived were replaced with months of uniform grey – which in turn have been replaced with sweaty April and now May. The temperature climbs and the rains fall.
The knock at the door wrenched my eyes open at an alarming speed. I let out a grunt in disgust and rolled over to check the time. 7.00am – completely unacceptable. The knock increased in volume, as I rolled out of bed – staggered backwards and forth putting on my trousers, and made my way to the door.
Teacher day was coming. ‘Can we party?’ my adult students asked. Obviously they didn’t know me well enough to know that wasn’t much of a fair question. I responded in really the only way one can when this is put to you. Yes – obviously.
‘Welcome to the Socialist Republic of Vietnam!’ the sign screamed at me. I’d left England two days before and had only just arrived in Vietnam’s capital, Hanoi. It was past 10pm but the temperature remained stubbornly above 30 degrees.