Greetings fellow expats and other expats (English teachers)
I started living in Vietnam in 2013 to be with my then girlfriend, my work was in and around SE Asia so Saigon was a good base for me. We got married the same year and settled in District 7.
Our off the chart adorable daughter was born in December 2015 in Saigon and we were already in preparation to relocate back to the Netherlands for my work.
In August this year(2016) we finally packed up our belongings, said long goodbyes to her family, locked up our apartment in Sunrise city and returned to the Netherlands.
The change of pace and the lack of everyday challenges that we all face living in Vietnam as an expat really comes to light now that I am back in a functional society. My wife is over joyed at the abundance of choice and 'Fresh Air' she bought a coat for the first time in her life and she spends nearly every daylight hour outside with our daughter walking through the pretty streets of Amsterdam without the fear of a motorbike mounting the pavement or exhaust from a dodgy truck polluting her lungs.
One of the things that was a nice experience for her was just how nicely she was treated at the Immigration centre and local government offices when she and my daughter registered for there social number and eventual ID card, everything organised online with an appointment that was on time and relaxed..making her feel welcomed to the Netherlands and not having to grease someone's sweaty palm of a few Dong just to get a piece of paper sighed!
For me I must admit I miss the everyday life of living in Saigon...I had a wonderful time there and did some great internal travelling and found an idyllic hideaway in Hue for occasional weekends (Pilgrimage Village) check it out...great place to take a friend, wife, lover or just on your lonesome...best swimming pool in SE Asia and I've done a few in my time there. I miss the Sunday brunch at the Park Hyatt, I miss drinking a few cold ones in Phatty's bar and eating snails and other street food sitting on a blue plastic stool and supping tiger beer...trips to see my wife's family in the Mekhong Delta(Tien Giang Province) and sitting painfully for an hour or two on the floor eating god knows what...but loving every mouth full...
All in all, I am happy to be back in Europe with my Family and knowing that they will have opportunities that they wouldn't have had in Vietnam, education for my Daughter is something that is a plus, a future for my wife outside Vietnam and the idea of knowing that we will visit Vietnam on occasion
So fellow expats enjoy life and make the most of your time in Vietnam.....it can only get better!