Sunday, January 06, 2008

My castle, my sanctuary

WELCOME! Please, do come in. Yes, leave your shoes by the's the custom.

And here it is - the much-anticipated inside tour of that great green giant that I now call home. I am feeling settled in to a very comfortable degree, and I feel ready to welcome guests into my home. So we will start at the front door and into my kitchen. If you look closely, you'll notice that no, I don't have an oven and range seems like you just can't find that in Vietnam for less than $1,200. So for the time being I'm simply using a single burner gas stove and small electric oven - hardly ideal (or in sync with the almost grandiose attitude of the rest of the place- you'll notice all the large furniture such as the dining room table came with the place).

Shall we go up? And up...and up...and up...
And up to the second floor. This is my entertaining area with a "lounge" in the English sense, and a music room...where for now only my horn gets to hang out rather forlornly...maybe someday it will have friends. The curtains came with the place, as did the pleather sofa and lounge furniture. And the photo of the bride...I'm still looking for a large picture/weaving/traditional art appropriate to cover that up with.

And we climb upwards, with a spiraling glance back at the second floor...
And upwards again we climb - to the third floor... my bedroom...complete with a realization of a childhood dream - French doors opening onto a (albiet tiny) balcony. If you have read my past posts, you will remember that I went all out and bought an innerspring mattress for this home...though if you look closely you will also notice that I have yet to find sheets to fit. There is a second room on this floor in image of the music room on floor be a guest room have need of using it and thus motivation to finish it!

And upwards again...

Into the Family Shrine Room. Basically for me it's a dusty wanna-be attic that is going unused and uncared for by me. Fortunately the ancestors have been officially removed to another temporary shrine, so the dust isn't actually a desecration.

And the laundry room: it's worth it just for the view (although the washing machine and drying space are pretty sweet).

And there you have it - the quick overview of my current home. It really is ridiculously big - even for a full Vietnamese family. Most of the family homes I've visited aren't nearly this well tricked out. But it is exceedingly difficult to find a place that has things like a kitchen that haven't been rented out to other foreigners that and thus cost twice as much. So, value-wise, this is an extremely appropriate find.

So, I appreciate it, even though I doubt I will ever live in anything as elegant in my life again, and certainly not alone. It's not perfect - if it had been designed by me there are several critical things I would've done differently. The bathrooms are tiny, there are odd angles in the rooms that make it difficult to arrange furniture. I would have installed ceiling fans and better lighting rather than wall fans and obnoxious fluorescent strip lights. I would have preferred to have better sunlight, but this is still a vast improvement over where I lived previously. It would also still be nice to have a place to hang my hammock...

But beggars can't be choosers, and I am but a beggar living in the house of a king - and loving every second of it!

My doors are open - please drop on by and judge for yourself!

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