Thursday, November 1, 2012

Halloween Vietnam style and Highlights from October

All right, so while we saw some Halloween stores and costumes in Malaysia and Singapore, sadly there just isn't much of anything here in Vietnam. Gameloft tried to get something going by having a costume contest, but we were so tired after getting home from our trip that Michael was unable to participate - that and they had the contest/celebration the day BEFORE Halloween, on the 30th of October. It was weird. In the end - Michael said that all 6 people who ended up dressing up (6 out of about 300+ people) were dressed as Zombies. E for Effort, right? And then to celebrate the occasion the office gave out Cheese flavored wafers (like wafer cookies back home but with cheese instead of chocolate or vanilla frosting stuff - kinda strange) and fruit (Vietnamese don't really like candy). So Happy Halloween Vietnam style!
Our friends that were celebrating were going to a pub where foreigners accumulate called the Golden Pine - they were having a costume party there with lots of alcohol - but we didn't feel like that would be a good place for us so we had our own festivities at home. I made apple cider, and our neighbors Harouth and Alfa joined us for some pumpkin carving, treats, and a viewing of The Nightmare Before Christmas (our first download from the internet, woot!).
Here's a view of the cider - man it made the house smell good! It also made us very homesick to smell the spices of fall and look outside and see palm trees and sun...

Momma Nielsen sent us a really cute Halloween card and postcard for our fridge, and I got a little creative with some oranges that were on sale this week. I was attempting to draw on them with a pen, but in the end they turned out better than I expected.
Here's a photo of one candy bowl - lots of M&M's and Power Ranger Chocolates! Some of the rangers were milk chocolate flavored wax, and some were white chocolate flavored wax, but it was really fun!
Here's our table with the movie, bowls of candy (I experimented and bought a few different things from the store, none turned out too good sadly enough), and the weird pumpkin-looking-squash-things we were determined to carve anyway.
Me attempting to carve the squash.

Me and the finished product! I was quite pleased with my little face. It was lots of fun, and it looked like some variety of pumpkin.
Here are our two pumpkins on the doorstep, Michael did the one on the left.

After Harouth and Alfa came over, Michael helped Harouth carve a Batman symbol. Harouth is Dutch and had lived in the US for a few years when he was younger, but had never carved a pumpkin before, so it was an experience for him. It was a lot of fun.
"Hey! What are you looking at?"
I put the pumpkins in the fridge to use later, and the light lined up just right!
Alfa is such an amazing cook. With only an hour notice or so she whipped up a batch of finger cookies for our get-together. They have raisins for fingernails and they were some of the best lemon cookies I have ever had. It really pays off to live next to someone who is so good at cooking!

Here are some Highlights from the month of October -
michael chewing on a frog leg
cats on the porch
anything else in the photo folder
Can you tell what this is? It's Michael's new favorite food - the name rhymes with Bog and it would normally be using that appendage to hop around... Frog legs, anyone? I still can't bring myself to eat something I have always considered a pet and too cute to eat...
We were visited by a lovely mother cat and her two kittens this month, we are trying to feed them as they are skin and bones, so hopefully they will come around more. Here is one of the babies.
Here is the other baby. He was really skittish. What amazed me was that even though they were all noticeably hungry, the mother cat waited until both the kittens had eaten their fill before she went over to the food pile and ate. It was really touching.
Now we know where these came from - this is our kitchen table. We don't get them anymore though since we put a mosquito net in the window.
There was a tropical storm warning early this month for our area that kind of got me all freaked out. So, I did what I'd been taught to do - I made 72hr kits! Our friends said if the storm actually hit (a lot of the time the warnings don't mean a storm will come) we could be without power or water for a few days, which means no toilet, shower, or anything. To prevent issues, we now have enough food for 3 days for each of us - not huge meals but easy enough to carry - and there's about 10 5 liter bottles full of tap water to use for sanitary purposes stored under the stairs. I feel like a real Prepper now! The oreos are just in suggestion to have one fun treat in the kit to help you feel more normal - plus I always keep some sugar on hand for Michael in emergency situations. :)
Women's Day was celebrated across Vietnam this month. These flowers were really pretty when they were alive - a gift from Michael. I actually liked the holiday - it celebrates all women, regardless of if they are mothers, secretaries, married or single, you just have to be a woman and you get a present. It's pretty big out here, Michael was even assigned to pick out a gift for someone at work. They gave him 200,000 VND to spend - he ended up getting a fishbowl with some fish in it - and apparently it was a really sought-after prize for the ladies at work.
About the same time our kitties were coming around, Xavier and Geraldine had a really young baby kitten dropped at their door in a rainstorm last week. He was SO cute! It was fun to play with him during lunch, he was so popular at work they had over 20 people request to keep him as Xav and Geraldine are allergic. The new owner was rather excited. We were offered him early in the morning, but alas, we haven't made up our minds about trying to keep an animal clean, safe, and fed while we are here. But, maybe in the future.


Mike, Mary, Maggie, and Max said...

Sounds like you had a fun Halloween, all I can say is crazy Vietnamese not liking candy... the thought of it.

Tabitha said...

I love your carved oranges and your "pumpkins" turned out great! Fun pictures of kitties and such! I'm glad to hear you're having some great times!