During the first month of my life here, I tried the best I could to find a small apartment for myself to make it my home. I was looking forward so much to renting my first ever apartment! But while in some bigger cities in Vietnam this task would’ve been a piece of cake, it was hard to find a place like that here in Thanh Hoa. The staff from the school and some Vietnamese friends tried to help me, but all they could find for me were big old dusty 3-storey Vietnamese houses with four of five bedrooms. I didn’t need a place that big, and I had no friends who could share a house with me; the only people who shared a house were working for a different school, and I wasn’t able to move in with them. So living alone in a hotel room for the same price seemed like a better option than living alone in a huge, empty house that I would have to clean all the time and also pay extra for the bills.
But oh boy, living in a hotel is soooo NOT for me! All the time spent in a single, dark room with depressing green walls and only a small window, fighting with big cockroaches, and the stubborn smell of mold can get you down after a few months. I’ve never been too keen on cooking, but not having a kitchen to prepare my own meals and indulge myself from time to time is also a big minus. Plus privacy and freedom to invite whoever I want and whenever I want to hang out at my place is something I definitely need.
Sure, if you live in a hotel room, you don’t have to worry about the bills, and you don’t have to clean, and you don’t even have to wash your own laundry. It all seemed great to me at the beginning, but now I realize all those chores would’ve been a great way to minimize boredom and keep my mind off the things that were troubling me.
So next time I decide to stay long term in any place, I need to make sure that I have my own small place, or maybe even better – share a bigger place with a few other expats. That way I can also avoid spending such massive amounts of time alone and stuck in my own head.