Hanoi (Vietnam) First Impressions. Get to know all about it!

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Hello everyone!
Im back today with another Travel/Lifestyle post, this one’s all about my first impressions of Hanoi Vietnam.

Travel:

Think of the busiest place you know, Westfield shopping centre, being at the front of your favourite festival, leaving the stadium after the match finishes. There, Hanoi. Put all those people on bikes and take away most of the rules when it comes to driving and you can fully understand how it feels to be on a scooter in the middle of the Old Quarter. It is mayhem to a new driver. Everyone needs to get somewhere and an inch of space is the perfect opportunity for someone to sneak by you and disappear up the road. I think the only way i can describe how it feels to be on a bike in the middle of Hanoi is, it’s like being in a real life Crash Bandicoot game, anyone could swerve around and in front of you at any minute, there may be someones cardigan dropped ahead that you need to swerve from and U-turns are a given here, so watch out for those bikes coming towards you down that ‘one way’ street.
That being said, after you get used to the mindset, being a driver in Hanoi is actually quite enjoyable. It’s always fascinating to see new places, as you drive around. There’s a sense of accomplishment too, like YEAH, i CAN do it. I CAN drive here!

Food:

Oh my, now the food here. Hanoi is overwhelmed with smells. Both good and bad but find a good place and the food is just incredible!
We have eaten at so many different places here in Hanoi both traditional and Western. Moving to Hanoi i was originally very nervous about what i would find to eat. This is because i am somewhat  picky with food to start with. I don’t eat red meat, i barely like any spices, i don’t really like dressings or sauces. I’m a foodies worst nightmare. So you can imagine when i see ‘mixed meat’ on the menu i am less than excited to know what they class as mixed meat, however I’m currently trying to live with a ‘well you only live once’ outlook on life, so you know what i ordered? That mixed meat rice. It was delicious. I did only notice tofu and chicken in it (which was lucky) but it was truly yummy. Naomi has taken to eating Pho at any opportunity and for only 30,000vnd a bowl (that’s £1.09) it’s more than incredible value.
One day after work we went to a Vietnamese place with work friends and i suddenly realised i am actually no where neat as adventurous as i first thought. As they brought out Goat, baby birds, stingray and other impressive and petrifying foods. I felt myself coward back to the comfort of my tiger beer and rice paper rolls. I tried some of the sting ray and i must say it was tasty!

Sights:

Hanoi is rich in culture. It’s such a beautiful place to explore. I love our journey to work because we travel about half an hour away from our little Tay Ho bubble and in that journey i notice new sights every trip. If you have a bike take some time to go explore. There’s so many wonderful places to seek out. Including but not limited to the museums. Within our first week in Hanoi we had done three museums, in particular i enjoyed the Women’s Museum. Learning about the history of the Vietnamese housewife, the mother, the dress makers and the women who served in the Army. I felt incredibly emotional come the end of the museum. I really recommend going to this museum when you are in Hanoi.
I must also point out one of my favourite ‘sites’ to enjoy en route to work are other people’s bikes! It’s amazing how much people load onto two wheels.

I wanted to share with you some of my other favourite sights below;

The Districts:

Within Hanoi the city is broken down into smaller chunks, these chunks are known as districts. The most popular two you may know about before arriving at The Old Quarter and Tay Ho. The old quarter is what you want to explore if you’re travelling here. The old quarter is home to Lake Hoan Kiem aka ‘lake of the returned sword’.

Here is where you can sit and watch the traffic zoom around whilst having a beer up on the rooftops. You can wander for hours down the different themed streets that are adjacent to Hoan Kiem. You can watch the  water puppet theatre shows, get your hands on the best kinds of souvenirs and find some incredible places to eat. Perhaps what I love the most about the Old Quarter is the people, Vietnamese run businesses are the only kind here. Very traditional.

Tay ho on the other hand is quite the opposite. It’s known as the bubble here because of the ability to live in Hanoi without leaving Tay Ho. Here is home to most of the expats. It’s full of teachers, i say this as i too a new teacher now live amongst all my colleagues here in the Tay Ho bubble. Around here you are likely to hear more American, English, and South African accents than anything else. Unless you meet our door man, he speaks no english and our conversations are beautiful engagements of us nodding and pretending to understand each other. Tay ho has some amazing bakeries, inspired by the french, there’s a few places i have come to love along To Ngoc Van.

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I could honestly go on forever about how i feel living in Hanoi but i will leave you here for now. If you would like to hear more about my life here, do leave a comment and don’t forget to follow me on Youtube! because that’s a thing I’m doing now.

Thanks for reading

Danielle Jade.

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Top 5 things that suck about being a girl!

 

Hello, for those of you who may not already know, i’m Danielle and i have decided today’s post is going to be a list of my personal top 5 reasons of why being a girl SUCKS!

1. PERIODS.

Thats right, you knew it was going to all start here.

Periods, suck. Big time. I have never heard any one describe being on their period as a delightful time. It’s not exactly something you’d compare to a stroll in the park. It’s more like trying to make it over hot lava on fragile stepping stones without sneezing or coughing for a week or sometimes maybe more.

Being on your period sucks. The cramps, the mood swings, the want to eat everything and also nothing at the same time. The back pain, the spots the unexpected arrival. Everything about periods suck.
Guys will never, ever understand just how horrible periods can be.
Also did i mention the added expense of periods? Tampons aren’t cheap you know, it costs a lot for this luxury of ours. Feminax will also need to be purchased. I’d say the average period* can cost easily £15 and this happens once a month! So overall we spend approximately £180.00 a year on making it a somewhat more bearable experience.

*average period based on cost for tampons when changed every 5 hours for one week. Totalling 3 boxes of tampons and one batch of Feminax Express. Not including the added cost of chocolate to stop me from acting like a bitch for the week.

2.SEX.

The fear, the fear of losing your virginity. Thinking about sex as a teenager is some scary ass shit. Why on earth would i want that?! We are told that we are going to bleed, it will probably hurt and then maybe end up with a baby i never planned. SURE! That seems like a great idea. Admittedly as you get older and wiser you realise this is not so scary after all, in fact you will grow to love it, because there are many ways you can help prevent these unexpected babies. Which leads me to contraception. As a girl, we have again got the short end of the stick here. A man that doesn’t want babies? Here whack on a sock of latex and go to town…did i mention you can get condoms for FREE from your doctors so don’t worry about added expense lads. For girls however it’s way more difficult! Now, we do have choices when it comes to contraception, and i’m not going to say they aren’t miracle workers but they aren’t exactly as appealing as a condom.

We can choose one of the pills, now would you like the mood swing pill? The weight changing pill or the pill that you will of course forget at one point during the course of the batch because remembering every single day is quite frankly hard to keep up with sometimes. We cant just take one pill before sex like guys can put a condom on, though i bet a lot of girls wish we could!
Pill not for you?
Try the coil then.. Now, do you mind not being able to sit for a few days after whilst it’s inserted? (guys, google it)
Then if all else fails have the implant. Not only is it inserted into your body you can physically see and play with it too! Here’s to a free toy everyone!

I just think as incredible as female contraception is, guys do still have it a lot easier.

3.THE MEDIA.

The media is tough on girls, and i literally mean every age group of girls. The media is warping our minds into having expectations that are quite frankly ridiculous. If i see one more celebrity sharing their ‘secrets’ on how they got that (insert, hype of the season) look, then it turns out to be plastic surgery, i will honestly cry.
Teenagers don’t look like teenagers anymore and i fear about what they are missing out on because of how much time they spend admiring unrealistic goals. To say girls should wear less make up would be extremely hypocritical of myself because lord knows i love my make up but i do wish that i didn’t care so much, but i do…and do you know why i do, because everyones seen those column in magazines like ‘CELEBRITY ON BEACH LOOKS HOMELESS WITH NO MAKE UP’ or ‘CELEBRITY HAS NEVER LOOKED WORSE GOING TO GYM’ and because of these attacks on people i admire i have become scared that is how the world will also see me. I know i will never have a Kardashian figure, i will never have hair like Jennifer Aniston but still i like, i comment and i follow their lifestyles on social media, i myself stalk their lifestyles one click at a time and i cannot see the point in stopping because i think now, you cannot escape media and if you do FOMO kicks in and you will go running back. Being a girl sucks, when you’re not the ideal version of yourself.

4.GROOMING

Being a girl sucks because of the expectations on grooming, i remember when i first wanted to start shaving and how my mother warned me once i start i will have to carry on for the rest of my life. Like many of mum and i’s conversations i didn’t take the FOREVER part seriously. I should have listened, because it’s true. Grooming is an essential part of any womans life, unless you are one of those women who feels entirely comfortable not shaving then YOU GO GIRL! i wish i could feel like you, but i cant. I cannot stand the idea of not shaving, but i cannot also stand the idea of how long and how ridiculous the upkeep of shaving is. So i was told waxing is supposed to last longer, i remember i went for my legs and eyebrows done at the same time. Thats right i willingly let a stranger pour hot wax on my face and rip it off, just so i could feel less like Chewbacca. Surprisingly my eyebrows didn’t hurt, my legs however was a horrible experience that i have never returned to. Not only that, what i thought was a pain free face experience turned out to make me the laughing stock in the family as my face turned red from the wax. Not the best of times. I remember my mum bought me an epilator one year after i basically begged for it, the woman on the advert made it look so effortless, she must have had the pain threshold of a rock because having a tiny machine rip out every hair was again not the solution for myself. Grooming is hard and the only way to find what works for you is experimenting! At least winter is our friend, you can bet for sure i am NOT shaving my legs under this wool bottoms throughout December. 

5. CLOTHING WARS.

Finding that perfect outfit as a girl sucks, and don’t even think about getting a dress for a party from Topshop anymore because you can bet that at least 2 other girls will be wearing the same. I find personally that finding an outfit i feel amazing in can usually be a less than enjoyable experience. So here’s a list of my least favourite things about being a girl when it comes to fashion

When you finally try on the perfect dress and it’s nothing like it looks on the model. When you order online and the colour is completely different upon arrival. When you have to get a size bigger than you thought you were. When your jeans are too long/too short. When the waist fits but your boobs are too big or in my case when the body fits but it’s too baggy around the boobs. Cameltoe. Need i say anymore? Crop tops after a meal. Those bikini’s that have tiny straps cut out that make your legs look like a piece of ham from the butchers with that string on it. Coats where the hood refuses to stay up. SUEDE, why look so good but then resent the english weather.

Sidenote; yes i was on my period when i wrote this, i do actually believe being a girl can be awesome too but i am not in the mood for that today. Boys, i’m not saying you have a easy life, i’m sure you too have your troubles just get back to me when you can feel the pain of giving birth. Now where is my ben and jerry’s 

 Danielle Jade x