Two weeks ago, our whole staff – teachers, admin, gardeners, cleaners, etc. – all got dressed up and went to a hotel downtown for the annual staff Christmas party. I had heard numerous stories before-hand of the glorious years past. I had a dress tailor made for the occasion, and the Jardins, Alison, Shelley and I decided to stay at the hotel downtown so that we could go out afterwards and enjoy a Sunday in D1. By enjoy, I mean that I had to go to cafes and grade roughly 50 essays.
Shelley and I rode Shelley’s motorbike over to Alison’s around 2 in the afternoon so that Alison and I could get our hair washed and styled and so that Shelley could get a mani/pedi with nail art. The hair washing place that we went to is divine. This was only my second time, but for $3.50, you get an hour long shampoo with head massage, and then they blow dry your hair. For an additional $3.50, they will style it any way you want. I am never going to have tired arms from curling my own hair again. Of course, between the humidity here and the sweat that comes from dancing hard, my curls don’t last long.
So, we arrived around 5 at the Duxton Hotel which is in the middle of a construction site because someday HCMC will have a subway. We checked in and got dressed in our rooms and made it down to the party around 6. The ballroom was gloriously decorated; everyone looked great; and the food was yummy and plentiful. There was a bawdy rendition of the 12 Nights of Christmas with replacement words that reminded people of Christmas in Saigon. My favorite was for number one which was a bon mi and a kim chi.
The band was great, and they reminded us often that they were the best band we could hire on our budget. It was great to dance with the whole staff and have lots of fun. The school photographer took lots of glorious photos, but I forgot to download them from the server before leaving campus so I only have the two that Alison emailed me. I was clear that Thiet thought he should take another one because my face was ridiculous in the first. Then, he gave up because my face just looks like that.
My attempts at photographing the event were largely unsuccessful. This is the best of what I captured on my phone.
After the party, we followed one of the guys in the band to his next gig at the new Observatory location. We danced there and then returned to our favorite dance spot, Apocalypse Now, before turning in for the night. Of course, the walk back to the hotel in our heels was interesting to say the least. The construction zone had expanded into the sidewalk for the night, and some sweet Vietnamese ladies held our hands while we jumped across a ditch full of water. I am pretty sure they are still laughing at how scared we were. Shelley was wearing 6 inch heels, so her fear was real.
All in all, a fun night! See you next year, Christmas party.