Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Feel like a failure

A few days ago, we celebrated our Lunar New Year, so I should have written something nice or happy but I don't feel good enough to write about those things.
Even though you know things don't happen in the ways we want they to sometimes (actually they don't usually) for damn sure, they still disappoint you just because you have put so much hope in them. More tragically, you know you could do 99375764223 times better than the result you received, but the fact just turned you down. It's so cruel and heart-breaking and you have to accept it as you have no choice, but you just can't do it.


It is ironic as well. If things are totally disappointing, you'll find it easier to react and accept. But they just aren't. The overall result is better than the previous one, but it's not what you expected. Thus, you don't know how to react. Smile or cry? You can't do neither of them. Moreover, everyone has tried to comfort you, saying things that you have heard for trillion times like "it's not the most importance" or "what you have is many people's dream". But IT'S NOT WHAT I WANT. They just don't understand your feeling because they are not you and they are not in your situation. Now I understand how my friend felt when she received an unexpected result a year ago. And now I know why all of what I did at that time to try to console her didn't work. It hurts like a failure.
I just don't know what to do now, so writing seems to be the best solution, especially when you are lost in communication. Gloomy thought would bother me for a day long, even for 2 days, 3 days many days, I don't care. It's warm and sunny today but it's just not a beautiful day to me.


Saturday, October 11, 2014

An unexpectedly free dinner

Yes, it is. Totally free. I'm not kidding. Totally surprising!

I was waiting for the call from the organization I had applied for an intern position, a call came. But it wasn’t the number of that place. I just picked it up and someone at the other end said I got picked for a free dinner at a newly opened restaurant. "What???? Wait a moment! What have I done? How come I have got it?". I asked myself. It turned out I had registered for a free meal test at a newly opened restaurant in the town via a food website on the Internet, and luckily I got selected. I could eat as much as I want for free but I had to write a review with at least 200 words about that restaurant in exchange according to the organizer. A piece of cake! So let's go. 

The restaurant was small but lovely, located in the city center. Its name is Notre Dame, deriving from the name of the well-known church in Paris since the owner spent more than 10 years living in France. We, me and some other people, ate a lot. But I didn't eat meat that day so I ended up eating all vegetarian food. How grateful I was to the owner as his restaurant doesn't serve vegetarian or vegan food but he still made some due to my "special but weird" order. 

And here are what I ate 

From the top left: grilled veggie burger (the strangest vegan burger I have tried but it tasted good, the veggie were so yum), fried spring rolls (I ate some of them as they were vegetarian), black grape smoothie (too creamy for me), mushroom pancake (sadly it was plain), pineapple fried rice and uncaptured tropical fruit salad.

We didn't have chance to taste dessert since we were all full. Our dinner was ended with picture of all of us, including the owner. The food were all good but they weren't very special. The owner should invest more ideas to upgrade the flavor and quality of foods, focus on some foods that make brand for his restaurant if he wants to succeed in the culinary path. Anyway thanks the food website and the restaurant owner for organizing this small but fun event! And all the best to the owner and his restaurant!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Feeling blue - How to reduce stress {WIAW}

What will you do when everything around you doesn't happen in the way you expected?
What will you do when everything seems to be against you
When everyone doesn't understand you...
When what you are about to say all turns in stones and just drops in the thin air...
What will you do?


There was a feeling that was soft, intangible and unnamable. She didn't know what it exactly was but it had stayed inside her and become a stone. She just called it "a block of feeling". It had been around since she reached home after 1 year studying abroad. 1 year living on her own, doing everything on her own, she did miss her parents and other beloved ones but she never felt lonely. Coming back home with the ones she didn't see in the past one year, she did feel happy but at the same time, she felt lost. It seemed she didn't belong to this world. She couldn't get anyone around her and neither did them. More sadly, she couldn't put her feelings in words to speak them out as words would turn in stones which makes her and the surrounding people hurt. Finally, she chose writing as a way to express what she felt. When she couldn't talk to anyone, she wrote. Gradually, her blog became her friend, the one couldn't speak but knew how to listen well.


That girl is me and that is what I felt several days ago when I got stressed. Sometimes in life I miscommunicate with the world. I don't know how to talk to other people sometimes since I don't feel any connection between us. So I end up writing all of thoughts down even if I know they are stupid, but more importantly, I need to live, to continue my life. Writing is a way to talk to myself, listen to the person inside me, to understand myself better and feel the inner peace.


Dating with some friends could help to forget stress if I'm not really in a bad mood. Seeing my close friend, spending time with her doing whatever always lightens me. A broken relationship I have had before has taught me how hard to strike up a relationship is, but to work at it is much harder.  I do love spending time alone but also enjoy my bestie's company.

Also , I started doing yoga. Light - but - powerful moves, plus some breathing ways and even meditation have really slowed me down,  found serenity and reduced stress.


Life is not simply and easy to live. It leaves us high and dry sometimes and we feel so blue. And we have rights to do that. It's just don't live with that feeling forever. The better is finding out what can heal your soul. When the outer peace meets your inner peace, you will see sustainability. 


I was in a mood called "Japan sick" as I miss that country and my time there so much. Can you guess what I craved all the time was? It was SUSHIIIIII.  I couldn't stand that craving so me and my friend went to eat sushi together at a small but lovely restaurant in the Old Quarter. My friend ordered a combo while I chose oshizushi. They looked so gorgeous and tasted as good as they looked. Then we were off to a cafe nearby called Cộng Cafe. I have to say I fell in love with this cafe at the first sight. It resembles Hanoi of years ago, which brings an antique and peaceful atmosphere to customers. Time, space, sorrow, everything seemed to stop, just my friend and me together. And I felt peace!

Oshizushi with daikon, carrot and seaweed. Looks beautiful, doesn't it?

Cộng Cafe - my new favorite place, where I found peace!

Coconut coffee - tasted strangely delicious

with my bestie - my everything. How lucky I am to be her companion

Monday, September 22, 2014

Spiritual crisis {WIAW #4}

This time is dificult for due to the crisis, spiritual crisis I have suffered. I thought I would be happy when I’m home, but things don’t happen as the way we expected sometimes.

Who says the final year is least busy?  Pressure is getting more and more everyday, which comes from workload I have to do, from individual projects to teamwork presentations. Lots of things need to be done but I don’t feel I have enough energy to get them started. 

Not only is the crisis about school things, but it also comes from my economic situation at the moment. Just a few months ago when I was in Japan, 80,000 yen which is my monthly scholarship dropped to my bank account frequently. Then I went home with some bucks as my savings during my time studying abroad. However, that money will be gone soon, you know, if you just take them out and spend them without making new one. I have searched and sent out CV to some companies with hope of getting accepted for any part time job position. None of them has replied yet. I foresee a harsh future of the newly graduated. Anyone can be at rish of being unemployed   because it is not easy to find any job at the moment. I feel their pain now. Money is not all, I know, but we do need some to afford to live. All I can do at the moment is crossing my fingers and hope in a nice day a miracle will happen.

Moreover, I got sick due to the freaky weather in Vietnam. It is humidly hot, which screws me up. My energy has run out, mouth has got bitter while the whole has been sore for several days. I do want to make a really delish food, do some workout or even read my book but everything has been against me. It’s not funny being sick. 

And I miss Japan, especially my life in Japan. I miss my solo travels, miss the places I have been to. How badly I want to get out of the bustling city, escape from the dizzying pace of life and live slow for several days. But sadly I’m almost broke. 

I don’t think I’m disoriented at the moment but it seems to be so. There might be so many things I want to do, which turns out overwhelming. Everything starts with difficulties, but I will find out the way to get out of this hard time. I will for sure. But what I need now is genuinely peaceful moment to talk to myself and heal my soul.

Here are some photos of my eats recently, including some homemade ones. Home = Food attack, which is the best of home. 

Avo, red sweet pepper and carrot salad with papaya dressing

Mixed crab and glass noodle with Vietnamese donut -ate while doing a weekend trip with my grandma and my mom

Homemade almond milk

On occasion of reuniting with my bestie, we went for uncaptured Vietnamese traditional food and these Thai sweet  - Thai green tea along with coconut and durian ice cream - the ice cream was too sweet for me.

Green bean and rice porridge with fried tofu and pickles - my most favorite food ever - made it on the day I went vegetarian ( I usually go vegetarian once a week). It was so flavory.

Checking out Loving Hut restaurant in Hanoi. All of them were made from organic ingredients and all vegan. They resemble usual non- vegan Vietnamese food, both appearance and taste. The one on the right top was homemade avocado bar.

One of my breakfast - mango ice cream top with oats, coconut shred and sesame

Nem lụi - Vietnamese food made from pork - grilled pork (ate while I met my girls)

Bánh khọt - one of Vietnamese pancake styles - made from rice flour, turmeric powder and shrimp and peanut sauce. Tasted good but a bit greasy for me.

with my girls - reunion after 1 year being apart

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Weekend Getaway

I'm home after 1 year studying abroad. Home means family, delish food, reunions with friends and school. Before starting the final year in uni, I had a trip to Cat Ba Island with my grandma and mom. It has been a long time I haven't traveled with my family since I entered uni, so it's a chance to make it happen. 

I always wanted to go to Cat Ba island due to its beauty. And the fact is it is unbelievably beautiful. The nature was so breathtaking. Mountain and sea are a perfect combination which made me speechless. Not only my did that, other travelers I met there also said the same. However, I was disappointed about the service and food there. They charged us everything from changing clothes to locker, even going to toilet at the beach. The food wasn't various as I thought and expensive.  Anyway I didn't expect anything better on this island which is quite far from the land. 
Although I had great time with the family, I realized I missed my solo travels so badly. This trip was truly a relaxing trip for me. It was so smooth. Suitable for ones like my mom and my grandma. I need things which are more adventuring and a bit risky. Anyway, it was all good. I loved my time in Cat Ba where I enjoyed the nature so much! 

These photos prove how pretty Cat Ba is! Here you go!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

What I ate in Korea - WIAW #3

I made it to Korea for 8 days and ate loads of food I crazily love. Korean food is spicy, rich in flavor and super delicious. The cuisine of this country is largely based on rice, vegetable and meat. They also have abundant side dishes like kimchi, cucumber, sprout or daikon pickles. Interestingly, those side dishes are served for free at any restaurant in Korea, which means you can eat as much as you want without paying money for them. That's the reason why I ate tons of kimchi which is one of my favorite Korean food. Korean love meat so on the streets are thousands of restaurants serving BBQ. When it comes to street food, they are beyond awesome. There are many kinds of street food ranging from sweet things to savory ones.

I prefer Korean food to Japanese one although I lived in Japan for one year. I found similarities between Korean and Vietnamese cuisine, their flavors, especially spiciness, and even the way we ate. Korea is truly a food paradise for me. 

Savory food

A kind of noodle

The whole meal in a food alley in a traditional market - hot noodle with fried tofu, cold spicy noodle called japchae with egg and vegetable pickles


Pancakes - vegetable pancakes and kimchi pancakes

Another type of noodle with CHinese cabbage, seafood and pork - super cheap  4000 won

This is a chiken meal 

Pork soup - Busan specialty
Close up to the pork soup's ingredients - pork, pork blood sausages, rice, and vegetable

A meal with fried fish and vegetable pickles

Cold noodle - naengmyeon


Snack and street food

Gimbap sold on streets

Sundae - pork blood sausage with noodle, the very popular street food. We have this in Vietnam but we stuff all of the blood into the pork intestine instead of noodle

Street food is various ranging from pork organs including sundae, deep fried things to tteokbokki - spicy rice cake and fish cake

sweet tteok (sticky rice)  with different flavors: cinnamon, sesame, green tea, etc.

hot tteok - sweet fried sticky rice with red bean and sunflower seed

another kind of hot tteok with vegetable as filling and ice shaving with red bean paste on top


I couldn't believe how cheap fruits in Korea are compared to Japan. I bought 4 bunches of grapes with only 3000 won which 1 bunch of grape costs me in Japan. Busan is cheaper than Seoul. I spent 5000 won for a big bag of peaches. It was HEAVENLY AWESOME!

How cheap these lovely fruits are!

Can you believe these giant watermelons are only 2000 won/ one?

For my moves in Korea, check this out 192 hours roaming in Korea