Spoiler alert: we found a house!
It was not the easiest time to arrive in a new country and try to rent a house for three months. Max and Henry were both sick and, as a result, in a state of general grumpiness. I’ve been apprehensive about committing to three months in a place I’ve never been before. And it’s been raining buckets, every day. All of these things, and the significant language barriers, added some complexity to our search for a place to settle ourselves for the next few months.
Fortunately, we were in a lovely hotel, the Green Apple, that has a generous buffet breakfast, the nicest, most helpful staff you could imagine, and was ok with us extending our stay each day.
We looked at half a dozen houses, ranging from sort of dark and a little smelly to bright, brand new, and with a pool. Guess which one we all liked? It was, unsurprisingly, the most expensive one we looked at, too. Kyle was able to negotiate the price down a little, and “expensive” is a relative term for us, coming from the Bay Area. We’re essentially paying about a quarter of what we used to spend in San Carlos.
The rental process here is a little different from at home. There are no credit or reference checks, but you do usually have to pay three months rent at a time. And fingers crossed that the notarized contract Kyle signed doesn’t contain any hidden surprises. Or non-hidden surprises – the whole thing is in Vietnamese, of course.
In between looking at houses, we’ve done a little bit of exploring, but not too much yet. I’m looking forward to getting settled and getting to know the town a bit. Not to mention the beaches, if the sun ever comes back out.
We’re also doing a lot of eating. Henry is ecstatic to be in the land of pho, and back in control of the spice levels of his food. I’m appreciating the high caffeine content of the Vietnamese coffee. And everyone’s enjoyed the bánh mì – especially when we eat in the company of an iguana.