Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A Weekend in Vietnam

Clark and I had the opportunity to visit Vietnam over the weekend with two other friends of ours. We were all way excited and couldn't wait to get there. The plane ride was short and the taxi driver in Vietnam tried to rip us off. Needless to say, we paid the price we wanted and drove off in the crazy streets on Nam. People drive mopeds here and it looks like there is no driving system here but they all use honks as a way to communicate! I swear we almost hit 390 people before we got to our hotel.

The next day we took a tour to the Cu Chi Tunnels. These tunnels were used by the Vietnamese soldiers to hide from the French. The tunnels spread out for miles and were very cramped inside. The had everything from bedrooms,kitchens, and traps down in the tunnels. Our tour guide used to be in the US Navy, fighting along with us and not the Viet Congs.

The next place we hit went to after the tunnels was the lacquer factory. At the factory they make very beautiful art work from egg and seashells. They have a whole assembly line and each person does their part.

Later that day we were all longing for massages since they are sooo cheap here. We all ended up getting a deep tissue/ hot stone massage for 1hr and 15 mins! Not bad for $30!!! Clark and I got the VIP couples room. It was sooo nice! The next day we headed back and got pedicures...yes even the guys! If I ever go back to Vietnam I will def. hit up Q Salon and Spa. That night we headed to the market where we bought some souvenirs.

The next morning we went to the revolution museum and the war museum. Let me tell you...I have never seen so much Vietnam Propaganda. I mean there was a purpose for the Vietnam war and the US was not the only people at fault.
Later that night we headed to the trendy club in Vietnam, Apocalypse. The music was okay but the smoking made it unbearable!

Our last day was spent walking around Vietnam and eating all the great food. We ate at this Vietnamese place called Lemongrass! mmm YUMMY! I mean who wouldn't want a 3 course meal for $5!

All in all we had a great time in Vietnam. I am so happy that our friends invited us to go or else we probably never would have. I feel so fortunate to have what I have and live where I live. However, people can be happy where ever they are! I hope you enjoy the pictures! I tried not to write a lot but this blog is like my journal! If you want to see more pictures then go here.

Monday, August 18, 2008

You think your grocery and gas bill is expensive in the U.S.?

I was thinking about our 'world economy' and how the U.S. economy is so 'dark and gloomy'. Gas prices are high, your grocery bill has gone up, a gallon and milk costs just as much as a gallon of gas, you hear words like 'inflation' and 'recession' and your savings every month is a bit smaller and you don't eat out as much. Oh, and lets blame is on the government while we are thinking of it.

Now, having traveled to about 8 countries in the past year and living overseas I get to hear about what is happening outside the U.S. in the local media. Guess what....every single country is having the same issues. It is not just the U.S., in fact, I would still say that the U.S. if affected very minimally compared to the rest of the world. Just to give you an idea on how CHEAP the U.S. is I will lay out a few examples. I will speak mostly about Singapore prices which are a fair representation of the rest of the developed countries (except for rent is a bit higher in Singapore). So relax, have some faith in the U.S. of A. You are doing better than you think!

I have converted all prices to U.S. dollars with a very favorable exchange rate as the US Dollar has seen about a 15% gain on almost all foreign currencies in the last 45 days which is very big. So right now, my U.S. dollar buys me about 15% more than what it did when we moved here. (No Jenna, this does not mean you get to do 15% more shopping.)

Gas (per gallon)
U.S. - $4.00
Sing- $6.00 (most of Europe is a bit higher)

Milk (per gallon)
U.S. - $4.00
Sing- $7.08

Rent/Mortgage (per month)
U.S. - $1,500 (approximate mortgage on a 2,000 sq ft home)
Sing - $1,400 (for our 450 sq ft 1 BR apt. Most expats pay about $3,500 for a 3 BR apt)

Ben & Jerry's Chocolate Fudge Brownie Ice Cream (per 'little container' - 1 pint)
U.S. - $4.00
Sing- $9.91

1 lb of Ground Beef
U.S. - $4.50
Sing - $8.75

Now, there are some stuff that is cheaper here in Singapore mainly seafood and vegetables. I hate seafood cause that is just gross. If you don't believe me, just look at the Octopus picture Jenna is eating below.

Lastly, for those of you who do not like to read blogs but just looks at pictures (...Moe), I came across this today. It just goes to show you how others view you versus rest of the world. It is an interesting perspective on how 2 people can differ in opinion but still be correct -- it all depends on the perspective.

This is an Australian Map of the World

(for the bigger picture click the link)


Sunday, August 17, 2008

Vacation Squared

So why did I name our title "Vacation Squared"? Clark and I thought the name suited well because Singapore is a vacation to us and so was going to Indonesia! Don't you like going on a vacation while on vacation!?
Clark and I loved going to Bintan Lagoon Resort in this past weekend. Its great working for a company that owns the place! We arrived on Friday and ate some grub...a huge burger I might add then we headed to our deluxe room and went to sleep (we had a long day along with an hour ferry ride).
Saturday morning we got up at 7:45am...yeah our cell phone clocks were wrong (sorry Clark for waking you up so early). We headed to breakfast and then to the beach where it was gorgeous! I wanted to snorkel since it was really cheap so we signed up and went out for an 1 1/2 hours! We saw so many fish that would even eat out of your hand. I saw one jelly fish (thank goodness) and a eel looking thing that pops it head out of the coral to eat fish. The ride back on the boat was so fun because the sites were great.

Mark, the Club Manager, let us take a golf cart out to ride around on the Jack Nicholas course! The course was sooo beautiful and the ocean in the background made it just breathtaking.

Later that night we were eating at the buffet and I decided I would be daring and eat a baby octopus...yeah it kinda tasted like rubber. Clark tried the vanilla ice cream...wait I mean pineapple ice cream...wait I mean CORN ice cream! GROSS! Haha Clark was like what is this...!!! I enjoyed the tasty strawberry and chocolate deserts instead.

Sunday morning we ate breakfast and headed to Pasar Oleh Oleh, which was a few miles from the resort. It was a very touristy place but we didn't mind. We walked around and looked at all the wooden sculptures and fake prada, gucci, and dooney and burke. Clark bought 2 nice Polo shorts for a total of $7...you can be the judge if they are real Polo's. After Oleh Oleh we headed back to the beach and pool to soak up some rays.

The end of our vacation had come...back to the ferry we went. How was it that the only people who blew chunks on the boat just happened to be the people that Clark and I were sitting next to?

All in all it was a great vacation getaway, or as I call it, a great late anniversary present! I can't wait to go back again!

If you want to see more pictures from our trip then click here.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Only in Singapore...

For those of you who do not know where I work, I am a Marketing Associate at 3 Degrees Asset Management. I really like my job and the location of the building. Here is my lovely building!

I have recently kept a list of the things I notice here in Singapore, take a look, I will update more later when I notice them!

-People where headphones here constantly
-Always playing with their cell phone
-Rude on the MRT train

-Sleep on the MRT train
-Always want to sit down on the MRT
-Even though the women have purses, they only carry their wallets to lunch
-No napkins, you carry your own set of tissues
-One person saves a seat while the other goes and gets something to eat...VERY annoying sometimes
-LOVE to shop
-Louis Vuitton and Guess purses

-Hawker courts
- Cheap Chicken and Rice but very tasty!
-Movie theatres only play a movie for 3 weeks
-Say "la" at the end of their sentences
-Work late hours
-Play handheld PlayStation's
-Love donuts
-Carry coffee in bags

-You can buy blocks of ice cream between sweet bread or wafers ( I LOVE the wafers, what a great treat that only cost $1 Singapore dollar!)

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Do you really need all that stuff?

I recently read on a friend's blog that Coach has been going down hill lately and that everyone seems to have one...I agree to an extent. I like Coach and the way the styles look...but that is beside my point...I have a different complaint! Seriously, how much CRAP do you have to carry in your purse? Yeah big purses may be the trend right now but seriously...they look stupid! I mean I see girls with purses so huge and heavy that their shoulder might pop out of it's socket. Does anyone else feel this way? I am sorry if I know you and you have a honky purse...I still love you :)

Monday, August 4, 2008

Happy 2 Yr. Anniversary!

Today was Clark and mines 2 year wedding anniversary! I can't believe that Clark and I have been married for 2 years! Time has gone by so fast but we both have enjoyed every minute of it. We have been very blessed to travel the world together and be with one another every day. I am so grateful for Clark and I know he is my one and only :) Tonight we went to the "Tuck Shop" and ate some fries and steak sandwiches...it was pretty tasty! We then headed to McDonald's and ate a ice cream sundae! MMM! Delicious! I highly recommend eating one! I can't wait until next year! Maybe our family will have grown by then :) ....by the way I am NOT hinting at anything! geez people!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

East Coast Park

Yesterday, Clark and I traveled over to East Coast Park and enjoyed a nice sunny day. We didn't enjoy the many activities offered there...renting bikes, roller blades, wake boarding (Clark will do that later) kayaking, sailing, tubing, surfing (with what waves?) and many other things. We just wanted the BEACH! I think I might like East Coast Park better than Sentosa because there are more things to do, more room, and more food. Clark took a lot of pictures with our new camera while I tried to get tan again. After awhile we walked through the park and came upon a wake board/ski pond called 360. It is a big pond that has cables going in a circle constantly so you can grab hold of a ski rope and wake board around the pond. It was pretty neat to watch and Clark wanted to try it. Needless to say, we will come back at night when it is cheaper! All in all we had a nice relaxing day at the park/beach and look forward to going back again.

I can't wait for the next couple of weeks and months because we will be traveling and doing things non stop until December! I am way excited...I'm even more excited to go to a resort in Indonesia for our 2 year anniversary...which is August 4th! Can you believe it...2 years!! CRAZY how time goes by so fast! Enjoy the pictures...Clark did most of them and I did the ones more toward the end. ENJOY!

Clark is walking on a foot massage track but it is more like a torture track as all the rocks are sharp and are pointing up. I think he might be in pain?

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