Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Hanoi Andrew, the video

This is a video project I completed as part of my Vietnamese Language final exam (including a loose translation of the text, below):

After extensive name testing with control audiences from all around northern Vietnam, andrew abroad studios is pleased to present:
A Day in the Life of Andrew in Hà Nội, Việt Nam, the Movie
(trust me, it sounds better in Vietnamese)

            My day starts early. Since I live far from school, I need to be up and awake by 6:30 (which is early for me at least). Normally at this time my family is still asleep, and I am out the door by 6:50. Even though I have been here for 9 months now, it’s still a game of hit or miss trying to get a taxi. Some days there’s one right away, sometimes it takes 10 minutes, I never can tell. Eventually though I do get one, and am off. The streets are chaotic, but I have learned that if I just plug in my headphones and drift off to a happy place, it makes the ride a lot less terrifying.

            I arrive at school around 7:30, just enough time to cool off and rest before class. Since I’m describing a Monday, we have a Monday morning meeting before the first class. Here we have a chance to meet as a group and discuss any issues. Once the meeting is over, we head to Vietnamese class. We have a revolving schedule with 4 different teachers, who are affectionately known as “The Cô’s”. Co Lan is the head of Vietnamese at SYA. We have Vietnamese 5 times a week for an hour and a half each class, so needless to say, that's a lot of Vietnamese.

Vũ-Đức Vượng
 SYA-VN Program Director
 and our beloved history and culture teacher

(fictionalized representation)
            Next up is Vietnamese history and culture, taught by Thay Vuong. In this class we learn about everything from history to current social issues. Learning about Vietnam is fascinating. It’s so eye opening because the only things that most Americans know about Vietnam is war related. To actually come here and learn about the country is very insightful. After VN history we join Thay Chuck for economics. Though I wouldn't call economics my favorite subject, I still enjoy the class. Following econ is lunch. As you saw in the video, our favorite food is doner kebab. It’s incredibly cheap and quick. One doner is 16,000 VND, or, about 76 cents. There are also other places we eat, like the cantina, but nothing quite beats doner.

            After lunch, I have 3 more classes. First up is math with Thay Tuan, where I am taking pre-calculus. Then it's on to English with Co Becky. During this particular class, we had a group of Vietnamese students join us to learn about the American class system. We analyzed poetry together, and they really enjoyed it, as did we. We wrap up the day with a little AP environmental science. The class is also an hour and a half long, as we only have it 3 times a week, and it can be a bit of a drain, especially after a long day. This class is also taught by Thay Chuck.

            With the school day over, I look for a cab, and head home. I work or study before dinner for a few hours. Dinner is always at 7. During the weeknights, my dad and sister are often busy with work and school, so it’s often just my mom and I eating together. My sister takes night classes 3 days a week. Dinner is always delicious, and there is always a wide variety of dishes. We typically have beef or chicken as the main dish, then either noodles or rice, fresh vegetables straight from the rooftop garden, and a soup. Tonight was noodles and beef, with greens from the roof.

            With dinner over, I head back to my room and work some more. I am usually ready for bed by around  10. Well, that’s a day in the life of Andrew in Hanoi. I won’t have many more of them, and I can tell you I know I will miss ‘em!


  1. I can't believe you ate a Tarantula.

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  3. Hi I'm in Jim and your dad's human geography class. I think your blog was put together very well and it is very interesting.

  4. Wow, your blog is so cool. It is really interesting! - reina in your dads class

  5. Hi. I'm in Jim and your dad's human geography class. I think your blog was out together very well and it is very interesting. This is such an amazing experience that you've had.

  6. Cool story bro... Great traveling...

  7. I was really amazed on what you experienced! I thought the part about when you were a referee for a Vietnamese soccer game was really cool! Your blog makes me want to travel more:)
    -Hayden in Jim's class

  8. The food looks delicious! A rooftop garden must be really cool.

  9. This is a really cool blog and your traveling inspires me to go visit more places!

  10. I agree with Hannah (See above) your blog makes me want to go to places I have never seen before.

  11. That so cool it makes me inspired to travel !!!

  12. Wow, I think it is amazing how you were able to go to a school in Vietnam kind of similar to schools in the U.S. That program seems amazing.

  13. Hi Andrew, It's me Jim, here at SBMS.
    To the Journey!