Culo inquieto

Ya han pasado dos años desde que llegamos a California tras un paréntesis de otro año viviendo y trabajando en Madrid. El blog sigue su curso, esta vez más centrado en este "life'changing event" que nos está pasando. Y como siempre (o casi)el blog sigue llegando...¡¡¡EN ESPAÑOL!!! Sumamos y seguimos, y añadimos un nuevo miembro a nuestra familia: Sarita Do-Fernández.

jueves, 26 de mayo de 2005

The time is here

My eyes got all watery this morning. For many of my co-workers there won't be a farewell party at which we can formally say bye, so I had to do so on the go, in the fornt office, between people coming in and getting out. And I knew that was it, there was not going to be a party for Annette, and it was right then and there when a pang of sadness came along. I might not see her again. Yeah, we say we'll drop by and visit, but who knows...

lunes, 23 de mayo de 2005

Linh Chi

This is Linh Chi, my oldest niece. She is 5 years old, currently in kindergarten but about to begin first grade in a few more months. She is by far the cuttest kindergartener I have ever seen. She is sweet, silly, very loving and protective of her sister, Quynh. I can't help wondering whether she will remember Vinh and I the next time she sees us. Who knows, she might even be in second grade already when that happens!
Linh Chi Posted by Hello

viernes, 20 de mayo de 2005

My new family

Even though the pictures are not necessarily up to date, this here is my new family. Left to right and front to back we have Johnny, To and Linh Chi, Lu, Hoang, Vu, Ut and Vinh. I am already looking forward to writing letters to them and to cathcing up the next time we come visit.
They seem to have passed on to Vinh the legacy of emigrating, but I think that's just a relative concept that only applies in particular cases.
I honestly believe in the idea of being a "citizen of the world", and to me, as long as you feel a part of where you live, you're not an emigrant.
Have I felt like an emigrant myself in the EE.UU? I would say yes, as unfair it might sound, because there are so many things I can't identify with, mostly its people (the majority of whom I've gotten to know). But at the same time I know for a fact I could still live here (humankind can endure that and much more), though I wouldn't wish to. I even feel ownership over this place to a certain extent, because through my experience I have made it mine in some bizarre ways. And that's something good. Even more so because despite of feeling this ownership at least I have not grown profoundly attached to it and I can easily let go.

Anyway, I am so glad things and inmigration and emigration turned out to be the way they did... thanks to it there's the most interest combination of people in all corners of the world. Without going any further, we're about to make the Vietnamese-American population in Madrid one person higher. And not caring about statistics, what is for sure is that this metling pot the world is becoming, has made my life way richer than it was, it has widen my horizons and it has made me the luckiest person in the world for having Vinh.


Wrapping-up - My First Year in California

Boxes have been sent, papers taken care of, good-byes said and last Vietnamese food eaten. Now it is time for the balance as I get on step closer to stepping on that plane that will fly me away from this place.

It has been 5 years in which I have done so many things, gone to so many places in and outside of the USA, so many people met and with it all, so much learnt.

From my first year I keep a bitter-sweet taste, and with exception of a few things, I don’t like the overall picture I see right now. Let’s see: I remember Christoph and the hardship and fun I endured trying to persuade him or myself that, once he was done with his bike trip from Alaska to Tierra de Fuego, we should be together. I think it was in Guatemala when I probably decided that things were not going to be that way, and that after all, we would not be together.

The worst memory is Jose’s car accident and everything around it. How with him I had to play the “please-give-it-a-chance-I-can be-worth-it” type of role again and how that not only hurt me but people around me as well. The positive side: Nieves was there for me that night of the accident, when I needed her most.

But amongst the many colourful notes I have to mention Nieves, Cruz, and even though I still didn’t know it by that time, Vinh above all of them. Yes! In a peculiar kind of way Vinh got himself in the picture. I have to say that maybe without his insistence and endurance, it might have never happened.
Vinh used to serenade us with his guitar, very late at night even on those days when we had to work barely a few hours after. Oasis and the unknown Duncan Sheik were on the repertoire almost exclusively.
Then, the trips. I remember going to Canada with him and Nieves. We had such a wonderful time… I miss the three of us being together. We made a cool group. Shopping at Zara in Vancouver, buying silly rings, trying Vietnamese food for one of our first times, taking tons of pictures with many pigs around Seatle, zooming through the roads up to 100 miles/hour (and not getting a ticket!!!) and blasting the stereo in the rental car until the mirrors moved.
And I remember working that first year. Oh my, oh my… I was so lost… I stayed up to late evening hours after a work day but somehow that still did not seem to matter much. Because I never did my lesson plan, and still don’t do it, and because every morning I felt a quizzy kind of feeling in my tummy. I was a teacher for the first time! And I had to do it all in English.

I remember something that even after five years, still hasn’t changed: looking at these American teachers and thinking how weird they were (no offense) and thinking I would never could or want be and one of them. Their loud laughter, their lack of the “sense of fashion”, their “spirit”, their “dedication”. After a while (a long one) I started to make friends. Sylvia wasn’t too weird. She helped me a lot and plus, she could speak some Spanish, so even if it was only because of that, we became friends. Carla, despite sending me a memo regarding my inappropriate attire that I still keep very well laminated in my sentimental stuff box, seem to be cool (hey! Nonetheless, she never asked for a single lesson plan for me!)

Auria, always smiling, understanding… like an island for shelter in my lowest hours.

And the kids? Well, we learnt from each other: they very explicitly showed me that in the States people do not use “trousers” but “pants”, and that in Mexican Spanish “tonto” and “culo” were not acceptable words. Poor me! A Castilian-speaking-British English-learner-first-time teacher! They were always cute, their families making it all worthwhile… Their beautiful tan skin, dark eyes and dark hair. Their cute spelling mistakes, journal stories and dumb quarrels at recess. Their English! Oh, my God! If only they knew how I have always flipped out with how good their pronunciation was… All the stories we read together, all the math I loved teaching and they seemed to enjoy learning… I think in the end I will miss all that. I will not miss all the assessment that went with it, though.

In the end, probably it all were the best part of my being here that first year.

My last classroom. It took me a long while to make it look this American! ;-) Posted by Hello

Behind: the Golden Gate. Tomorrow we will oficially say good bye to it. I'll miss Sanfran much... Sniff :-( Posted by Hello

lunes, 9 de mayo de 2005

The Wedding Is Over

The wedding is over. That wedding...
That wedding was like a get-together and a farewell on the personal side. I was there with many people that have become my friends in these five years. Kids fro Catalonia, Granada, Malaga, Madrid, Alcala, Puerto Rico, India, Albacete, Palo Alto, the Canary Islands or even Asturias.
Needless to say that they are not my best friends, but somehow, even though I feel quite detached from them, it was just another chance to realise that this is for real, that we are leaving and no matter how much longer I want to postpone it, I have to say my farewells.
It's saddening somewhat. It has been five years where we have all grown a lot. We had to get stronger and lean on one another being so far away from the Peninsula.

sábado, 7 de mayo de 2005


Today my friend Sonia is getting married, and I can't help thinking of the same day I lived almost two years ago. And I think... "was it really the happiest day of my life?" Well, if I said it was, I think I would be being unfair in regards to the rest of my life up to now. It was a very exciting moment, probably the happiest moment of all, in the sense that I decided to formalize my love for Vinh "for good". But at the same time it ocurred t0o far from "home" and too many important people in my life were missing.
Today my friend is getting married and we are going back to the same scene of hair-spray, bob-pins, garderers, hight heels and promises. As one of the two bridesmaids I feel very honored to share all that with Sonia.


Hoy se casa mi amiga Sonia, y no puedo evitar pensar en el dia que vivi hace casi dos años. Y pienso.. "Fue realmente el dia mas feliz de mi vida?" Bueno, si dijera que asi fue creo que estaria siendo injusta con respecto al resto de mi vida hasta ahora. Fue un momento muy emocionante, probablemente el momento mas feliz de todos en el sentido de que formalice mi amor por Vinh "para siempre". Pero al mismo tiempo ocurrio muy lejos de "casa" y demasiada gente muy allegada a mi no estaba alli.
Hoy mi amiga se casa y vamos a volver al mismo lugar de laca, horquillas, ligas, tacones y promesas. Como una de las dos damas de honor, me siento muy halagada por poder compartirlo todo con Sonia.


jueves, 5 de mayo de 2005


At 28, I am starting to think it is a good time to look for a place to settle down for a while. As much fun as it has been to drag a suitcase all over the world, I feel it is time to own a nice couch that stays put in one place.
I know it is hard to be house-hunting thousands of miles away from Madrid, but it is also very exciting. I can't wait until my mom, friends and I go pick the curtains, the bed-sheets, rugs... I think Vinh and I are going to visit Ikea so many times. We'll see about the car. I'd rather invest the money in all those things and buy a bicycle instead. Plus, the train and bus systems in Spain have to be good for something.
Anyway, I have pinned some pictures of the places I have been looking at. I'd put a link to the website, but my blogging experience has just started, and so far, I have only learned how to pin pictures.

Make yourselves at home! (Who am I kidding, I have no visitors to my blog yet!)


A los 28 estoy empezando a pensar que es una buen momento para buscar un lugar en el que echar raices por un tiempo. A pesar de lo divertido que ha sido el ir arrastrando mi maleta por todo el mundo, siento que ya es hora de tener un bonito y como sofa que se quede quietecito en un solo lugar.
Ya se que es dificil buscar casa estando a miles de kilometros de Madrid, pero es al mismo tiempo muy emocionante. No puedo esperar a que mi madre, mis amigos y yo vayamos por ahi a escoger cortinas, las sabanas, alfombras... Creoq ue Vinh y yo vamos a ser visitantes adeptos de Ikea. Ya veremos que pasa con el tema del coche. Preferiria invertir el dinero en todas esas otras cosas y comprarnos una bici a cambio. Ademas, la red de trenes y autobuses en España tienen que valer de algo.
En fin, aqui he colgado algunas fotos de los sitios a los que hemos estado echando un vistazo. Pondria un enlace a la pagina web de donde las he sacado, pero my experiencia con esto del "blog" acaba de comenzar, y hasta ahora, solo he aprendido a poner fotos.

Vosotros, como en casa (de que voy! Si ni siquiera tengo visitantes en esta pagina aun!)


fotos de pisos

miércoles, 4 de mayo de 2005

Miss Liberty and Su6 Posted by Hello


Who has not ever felt at a cross-roads at age twenty-something?
My crossroads is... somewhere between the Pacific coast of the USA and Madrid, Spain.
This land is their land, not mine, so I guess I'll turn to Madrid instead.
Let's see what happens, Ut :-)

Quien no se ha encontrado alguna vez en un cruce de caminos a los venti-algo?
Mi cruce de caminos se encuentra en alguna parte entre la costa del Pacifico en EEUU y Madrid, Espanna.
Esta es su tierra, no la mia, asi que me piro a Madrid.
A ver que pasa (como dice la madre de mi marido).