From left, Ruben, Axel, Hjalmar, Erik och Ossian.
Our boys are soooo thrilled. A couple of weeks ago a new family moved in next door. Three boys, and they are all 12 years old (yes, triplets). You can imagine how Ossian and Ruben was the first days. First thing in the morning they said "I´m going next door". They spend as much time as possible there. They are Ossians and Rubens heroes. I can understand them totaly. They are really nice kids.

Welcome Selin Family!

Since we got here I have wanted to buy a "motobike". It´s by far the best way to get around in Ha Noi and the countryside. Why have´nt I got I motobike then, you might wonder. Well, because of Carol´s job we must follow the vietnamese legislations. And the legislations says that foreigners must have a vietnamese driving license. Maybe it was a bit exaggerated. You should follow the rules of society no matter where you are. But what seems to be in Vietnam is that everyone is driving without a license, even some Vietnamese people. As an employee at a embassy and accompanying spouce it is a bit different. We represent Sweden and it´s not good if we not comply with the country's legislations. (And I also think it is a good idea to comply with the legislations when it comes to insurence. If something happens and you have ignored the legistlations your insurence is not valid).

Again, you might wonder, why I do not have got a driving licence yet. I sort of lost my good mood and it is because of changed rules at the embassy. In the middle of the procedure they stopped to help us getting the license. Therefore I got stuck with a list of things to do in order to get the license. I have finally got my, as we say in Sweden "arse out of the wheelbarrow" and tomorrow I will get the official translations of our passports.

The final step to get the license is a testdrive. I have heard a lot of this testdrive. It should not be a problem for me. The test is to go slalom between cones and at the end you have to drive over a bump. I think I will pass with flying colour. But nevertheless, keep  your fingers crossed for me, will you!
My new motobike!
Me taking care of the bananas
For the first time ever we have harvested bananas. They grow at the back of our house and they not only create a pleasant environment to be in, they also provide food. I like that. They were sweet an very nice. A bit harsh maybe. It´s to much bananas for us to handle so I will give some to our neigbours.

When we were taking them down Carol kept saying "watch out for stains". I did not realize what she meant untill I saw my hands after handling the bananas. They were black and sticky. My hands, that is. It did not go away even after washing them for 15 minutes. 24 hours later I can still see some stains on my hands.

Today I will try to persuade the boys to have bananapancake for lunch. They are at home with me. This weekend Ruben had a fever and Ossi had an upset stomach. They are better now and will probably go to school tomorrow. Maybe with a banana or two in their snackbox.

We have been here for 4 weeks now and everything is back to normal. As normal as it gets. At least for Carol and the boys. Carol has started working and the boys have started school. I (Jocke) will not work for 2.5 years which feels a bit strange. However, I will be in charge of the household. As much as possible anyway. We have a maid (Sinh) that does almost everything. We are so lucky to have her. She makes great food.

Our first time was spent waiting. Waiting for our lost luggage. Waiting for the house at Swedish Camp to be ready for moving in. And finally waiting to move back to a house at the embassy. The time we would have had to settle down just vanished. While we have been waiting we have mostly played with the boys. In the pool at the Embassy and then at the Camp. It has been so much swimming that both Ossian and Ruben got inflammation in the external ears. Very common among the children here at the Swedish camp as I understand. The boys are at least much better swimmers now than four weeks ago.

The container with our stuff will arrive within a few days. Then we can finally move into the embassy area and settle in properly. As it is, we have only a very austere set of utensils in the kitschen and we can not really have guests yet.

At first glance, Hanoi is only chaos. Traffic is completely insane and no rules seem to apply. The strange thing is that it seems to work. It is moving forward at a steady 25-30 km/h, almost all the time. It is like a river where the water (traffic) will take the path that creates fewest obstacles. Magnus one of the neighbors here at the Swedish Camp said - "the traffic is organic", and I agree. However, after hours in a taxi I am eager to go out there on my own. It feels a little hard to pay for a taxi when I could get from A to B by myself. I'm ready now. To rent a motorbike is only 300 SEK a month. Thankfully, one of Carols colleagues will give me some assistance to get my license and hopefully I'll have it within a month.

This will end the first post on this website. I will now have a cup of coffee and a piece of banana cake that was baked by Sinh. The best banana cake in the world.