Towards the end

I’ve only a couple of days left here and I’ve not posted in about a month which is poor form. In fairness I have been ridiculously busy and there’s been a lot of routine to the job. In addition, there’s the “what happens in the Bay, stays in the Bay” rule.

So I’ll only tell you a few things to whet your appetites and change the names to protect the guilty. And drunk.

The major story a couple of weeks ago made the local paper back home when I saved a young girl from certain death (PDF file – 386k). Which is not quite completely true. In fact, it was blown out of all proportion, but in the reporter’s defence it was the copywriter who reworded everything. Still, it makes me sound good.

I have, of course, been up to Blue Dragon a couple of times and will be back up over the next two days (weather permitting). The swimming course I was due to help with was, ironically, cancelled due to flooding a couple of weeks ago.

Sarah, one of my co-workers from the last school I was at, visited for a few days towards the end of her trip. I took her up to see the place and meet Mike and she was suitably impressed. I made good friends with a couple of boys, around the 7 year age bracket at a guess.

Mike told me that when one of them came in, they couldn’t tell what sex he was let along get any information from him. His hair hadn’t been cut in months (at least), or his clothes changed in a similar length of time. He would sit in the corner and avoid communication of any kind with anyone.

You would not believe this to see him now. Cheeky, funny and happy to clamber all over me with the biggest smile a small child can produce. He’s bright, and I spent a good while showing him a map of Hanoi which he pored over, recognising place names and asking what the symbols meant. Certainly not the scared child he had been not so long ago.

The tours have been great, but hard work as I’ve said before. Courtesy of a typhoon a week ago we had to evacuate Castaway Island and I’ve not been back since – a shame as I’ve not been able to say goodbye to the guys there. I did have a heck of a last night on the Jolly Roger.

The staff gave me a 50% discount on my bar bill, which is a good thing as no matter how much I drank I just couldn’t get squiffy. Being the new teachery-type I am, I can’t quote figures but trust me, I should have been on the floor. Face down. With marker pen all over me. Pretty much like Tom ended up after Jordan’s birthday on the island.

I can honestly say that despite the stress, irritation, lack of sleep and so forth that come with the job – every day was like working with your best friends. Tricky on the Jolly Roger in particular is a heck of a guy and I’m really going to miss hanging out with them.

Of course, the hostel staff deserve a great mention. Hard-working, fun and always smiling. I’ve had some awesome work colleagues in the past, but this bunch are something else. I’ve even learned some Vietnamese, but not really the kind of phrases you want to be using in polite company or around children.

There have been lots of little events and I might document them one at a time as they come to mind or this post will get to a stupid length. I’ve got two “Bar PM” shifts and a day off before I head for Bangkok / Pattaya and I’m going to make the most of the remaining time here.

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