Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Sick or Homesick

Am I supposed to be homesick? I know I miss my family and friends. Yet I don't like to moon about people and things that I can't see or have. I chose to go to Viet Nam and live in another country. I know that I'll be away for a year or so. So why be sad and mope around?

People have asked me if I'm homesick, if I cry when it's gloomy or rainy, if I'm sad and want to go back to the Philippines. When I tell them that I'm not sad, I think half of them admire me and the other half think I'm a cold, unfeeling you-know-what. But I tell them that it's only been four months and not four years that I've been away. I miss the Philippines. I miss my family and my friends. That doesn't mean I need to cry about them and be sad. Does it?

"How many people are there in your family?"

Family. I don't want to go all melodramatic and try to explain the word but here in Viet Nam, the questions always go like this:
1. "What's your name?"
2. "How old are you?"
3. "Are you married?" or "Do you have a boyfriend?"
4. "How many people are there in your family"

Of all the questions they've asked me, I always find the fourth the most difficult. I can always say that I have one older sister but to say that my family consists of only four members stings...
I tried to explain it to a class once, I don't know how much they understood, though. I tried to explain that saying that my family consists of four members sounds like I'm lying, at least to myself. You see, my relatives on my mother side have always been close. True, there have been rifts from time to time among members, but generally, we see each other regularly and include each other in our ups and downs. I remember summers and other vacations spent at my aunts' houses and my cousins who also stayed at our house for days and even months. We have always shuffled in and out of each other's lives. Furthermore, I have friends who I consider as family. No blood ties us, but I can never deny the link or my relationship to them.

The problem is, answering the question this way causes confusion. Either they don't understand enough English or they think that it's a very simple question to answer. Still, I persist in answering that both my parents are alive and together and that I have an older sister... my family, is way bigger and difficult to count.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Lost 2 Weeks

Yeah, yeah.... Lousy title :D But I couldn't think of anything else to call an update on the last two weeks, so there!

Anyway, I've updated my sidebar and I'm excited because I'll be able to pay my sister next month... That means a lot to me and will really help ease my mind a bit. You see, I obsess when I have debts, I'm always looking forward to the time when I'll be able to pay it off and I constantly compute when I'll have enough money for it.

I'm also happy because I have some savings and will be able to afford a ticket if I suddenly need to go back to the Philippines. I have a credit card but I don't want to use and abuse it :P

Thea and I are no longer going to tutor Sugar. It sucks because the kid is so darn nice and fun to be with. We live near them now and it's so convenient to pop in and visit them but it's awkward... Her mom said that they're going to Hanoi for vacation and they're not sure if they'll have her tutored again when they come back. Anyway, that's also one source of income less, which of course, sucks.

Moon is always busy so we don't see her much. She did drop in 2 Sundays ago and we had fun chatting with her. (note: I still owe her eight 2-hour lessons)

I now have 11 kids under my wing at the Kiddie Group. They range from 2 years 10 months to 4 years 10 months. They're crazy and active. Good thing I have wonderful helpers, Ruben and Ang. I dunno what I'd do without them... Hang myself, probably. Hehe.

It's a good thing it's summer vacation at the moment so I'll be getting about 10 classes per month with NES. It's a big help considering that I'm now making less than I used to. I still don't want to become a full time teacher there...

We're still keeping a tight grip on our finances, but, we're eating better than we used to. Living a stone's throw away from the supermarket is good because we don't own a refrigerator. Thea shops daily and we're not going way beyond budget. We still have a bit for snacks and such. Thanks to my aunt, who gave us some money, we can afford to eat out this month and buy little things for the house. Our old landlord also lent us a small television. Maybe we can scrape a bit of cash to buy a DVD player... Oh well, first things first.

And my favorite is.... I'm getting better at riding a bicycle. At least, I think so.


I've been so lazy this past week to go online, check my mail, visit PTC sites and update this blog. Every time I turned on the laptop, I ended up reading an e-book, one after the other. I got so lazy and addicted to reading again that my laundry piled up! I have a teensy weensy excuse, though. I did get sick last Friday, it was probably food poisoning. Anyway, good thing I bounced back and I was even able to go to work on Saturday afternoon. I was a bit weak, but otherwise, okay.

Anyway, to get rid of that lazy streak and to get rid of whatever plagued me, I've been going to work by bicycle again. (note: For 4 days last week, I hitched a ride with a fellow Filipina and her charge who lives in the same apartment complex as I do.) I've also made a dent on my pile of laundry, I think I'll be able to finish the rest by tomorrow. Yey!