Monday, 21 May 2012

Hanoi Weather: Hanoi became the capital of Vietnam in 1010. Since then, it has been the social, cultural and economic center of the country. It is one of the most captivating cities in Southeast Asia. The lovely sight of lakes, shaded avenues, verdant parks and French-colonial architecture complements the unhurried pace of life. Hanoi has emerged as a fascinating and unconventional tourist destination for several years. Many people, fed up with visiting clichÐ crowded places, now prefer Hanoi as a charming unique city for its own beauty and culture. Experienced travelers would like to have a brief overview of the place they are going to visit and its weather surely tops the information-list so that they can have a pleasant weather during their tour. The climate of Vietnam varies greatly from the North to the South due to its long and narrow territory. Therefore, you can never assess Hanoi’s weather from the knowledge of the other Vietnamese regions. Hanoi, lying in a plain, belongs to Red River Delta and is far from the sea. It features the hot climatic zone under the influence of south and northeast monsoons.Hanoi experiences the typical climate of Northern Vietnam where summer is hot and humid and winter is relatively cold and dry. Summer lasts from May to early September with its extremely hot weather and plenty of rain. In particular, during June, the peak temperature can rise up to 39-40oC. I do not like too heavy rain but I still prefer cool rainy weather to hot sunny weather in summer.
As roughly said above, with a humid tropical climate, Hanoi is characterized by monsoons like most of Northern Vietnam. The period from July to September witnesses heavy rainfall and sometimes this leads to floods causing much trouble in traffic.
Then, autumn and early winter are the most beautiful season in Hanoi. The sky is clear, the weather is warm and slightly sunny. The colour of Hanoi autumn is light yellow, so lovely to me. I also like this season best because my birthday is around then. Next, winter rules from November to March. The weather remains cold and dry. The minimum temperature in Hanoi can dip as low as 6-7oC. Northeast monsoons are frequent in winter. January is the coldest month usually accompanied by a cold north-easterly wind. For myself, though very cold, winter is still much more comfortable than summer for its lower humidity.
Especially, spring is an inspiring nice season in Hanoi and the most pleasant time to visit, avoiding the heat and heavy rain. That is from February to April. By that time, gardens of colourful fresh flowers blossom everywhere. Hanoi people become happier in a new joyful atmosphere of welcoming a Lunar New Year. The weather is cool with sometimes slight rain, making Hanoi view more romantic. Born in Hanoi, having grown up here with so many memories both happy and not, I am feeling deeply my always unchanged true love for this green homeland even with its changing weather.

Friday, 2 September 2011

Lotus in Moonlight

For these days, as our traditional Mid-Autumn Festival is approaching soon in Vietnam, my mind has been quite willing to produce a new painting before and for this special occasion.

Earlier, more than once, I wanted to choose a topic of a Full Moon or a New Moon as a typical symbol for Autumn, especially for the coming Mid-Autumn Festive Night when the Moon will be surely full or round in shape and clearly bright.

Then I simply liked to recreate a beautiful and romantic image of the Moon or Moonlight, those English words meaningful to me for my name Thanh Nga in Vietnamese also means a Bright Moon or Clear Moonlight in English.

However, after that, for I often continuously missed my deceased Mother with her name Thanh Lien which means a Clear Lotus or Bright Elegant Lotus, I preferred to go ahead with a painting of this special flower. Moreover, seeing various photos online of the Lotus in Autumn usually associated with or in Moonlight, simultaneously remembering that my late Mother in her life always loved to hold many cheerful activities for her kids, including me as her only daughter, during our childhood, such as a mid-Autumn Festive Night party with various mooncakes, plentiful fruits and so full of happy smiles for every year, I decided to change my painting topic this time into "The Lotus in Moonlight".

So yesterday afternoon, I worked quite willingly and passionately, and finally completed my new water-color artwork of "The Lotus in Moonlight" by title.

I would like to share it as done with my best efforts (as shown in the image below) with you, my dear readers, and hope for your view with good understanding that my Lotus is being shined brightly by the Moonlight. This small picture is also for partly showing my forever-lasting memory with deep love and endless gratitude for my late esteemed Mother named Thanh Lien or the Bright Elegant Lotus.

There is another important point I would like to express that I like to draw around my Mother’s name a Full Moon better than a heart because I always remember my special friend’s words to me that we should circle our loved ones' names by a circle instead of a heart for a heart can be broken but a circle never ends.

Monday, 20 September 2010

Good inspiration toward Mid-Autumn Festival !

Today, my father has just come back from his trip to Ho Chi Minh city. I was glad to receive from him some special Mooncakes branded Nhu Lan sent me from my young nieces and nephews who are living and working in that far city, and hear him telling all happy stories about them. As currently I’m not sure when I will have a good chance to travel again to Southern Vietnam, and Ho Chi Minh city in particular, to see them personally, any gift from them is so nice to me now. Moreover, as it is approaching to our Mid-Autumn Festival in a few days when the moon will be full round, a special mooncake (the symbol of this Chidren’s Festival) is more meaningful for us, especially really enjoyable for my son Tuan.

For more than a week now, my spirit has become more relaxed and comfortable everyday and night. My voice has made considerable progress after an intensive treatment period by facial acupuncture for some months now. Meanwhile, I have also kept on more active self-training by the same method at home. I’m really happy for my speaking in Vietnamese now is well understood by my family members, old friends and neighbours. I’m even happier when my spoken English now can be well understood on phone by all my new friends of other nationalities. In such a good inspiration, my daily life now has become more interesting with keeping email correspondence with both my old colleagues and friends as well as making some more new friends online who come from other countries like UK, US, Switzerland, Spain and so on. All this is quite good encouragement for me to try better in improving my spiritual life. Through their stories, I have found the world so endless, its socio-cultural life so plentiful and different in each corner of the earth. I hope to get a better health soon to take some more tours to several corners of the world (those of my best interests) to enjoy their cultural values by my own eyes.

Besides, just as a share-holder, I always feel hopeful for better success in my husband’s new business plans in several fields like wedding photography and associated services, real estates trade… and some others that he is going to start as soon as he gets really interested in. So my family is going to welcome a joyful Mid-Autumn Festival with some fruitful and prospective news.

Monday, 24 May 2010

Summer flowers reflecting my mood

This week, as the early summer days are very hot, my son Tuan is going to take his 3-month summer holiday, and I myself have been doing quite progressively with the new treatment course for my voice, my mood is good in general but has various tones throughout the day. In the morning until midday, I often feel rather hot inside, making my spirit more active.

Especially when receiving good comments and friendly greetings from new friends, I even feel more energetic and cheerful like these images of Flambuoyants.

However, toward late afternoon, as the sunshine is lighter and lighter, and then replaced by the night falling, my mood becomes much cooler and calmer just like the following images of Lotus.

Anyway, now I don't have to worry about Tuan's study for at least some weeks ahead because I have agreed with my son to let him relax and play freely until mid June.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Cheerful Eventful Last Week!

Last week was eventful and cheerful for me. Beginning was my son Tuan’s birthday on April 27th when he became 10 years old. In preparation for this, my husband and I had discussed before and agreed to hold it in a simple way.

One day before his birthday, on Monday April 26th, I was enthusiastic to get two new English books titled "Let's Learn English Student's Book 2" and its associated "Workbook 2" as a birthday present for my son,for Tuan had repeated several times that he liked them. Additionally, because Tuan still had to go to school on his birthday, he had asked his Daddy to buy in advance for him some parcels of coffee-flavored candy and some other various kinds, together with one big bag of sweet gelatin cakes, so that he would share all these (to be considered as a small birthday party) with his teacher and classmates in the breaks at school. Seeing Tuan so excited and delighted to bring these tiny things to school in the morning of his birthday, I realized that happiness for children is so simple but important for encouraging their spirits.

After that, I was glad to arrange the yellow roses that Thang had bought early in the morning into our most beautiful vase, watered to make them fresher, and then put this on the main table in our living room.

The flowers looked so bright and became an attractive focal point in our home. I did not forget to put one flower in a smaller vase for decorating our kitchen, too. All of us, both family people and home furniture, especially the things in Tuan's corner, seemed to show high inspiration to join my son’s special happiness this day.

Tuan’s birthday home mini party was held in the evening within our family. Also as recommended by Tuan, we had a simple dinner with only a boiled chicken followed by cooked chicken vermicelli, both of which are Tuan’s favorites. This mini party was also special for the participation by my father (Tuan’s external grandfather).

Such a simple meal, finished by a light dessert including various fruits: mangos, apples, mangosteens ..., without champaign or wine..., was still joyful with our merry wishes and smiles for its important meaning of a new start of my beloved son’s age 10. I wished him all the best for his upcoming period, the best luck for his good health, full happiness, progressive study, and good friendship too with his classmates.

With the resonance of my pleasant mood from April 27th, I woke up quite early on the April 28th. Nearly lunch time, after finishing my usual housework, I rang Ha Tron, one of my close friends, to inform her that I would come to her place soon to get those Amway products which she had bought for me. Then, at her home, after our business talk, Ha Tron invited me to a café nearby. For both of us looked healthier, had better spirits, especially for both got new good friendship with some foreigners, we decided to go for lunch at Pepperonis Restaurant, our usual favorite Italian restaurant. Though the restaurant was very crowded and the food was not very delicious, we both felt happy to join each other after a while of distance.

The next day April 29th also passed happily with so many email greetings and regards from my new online friends living in USA, UK, and some other nations.

The April 30th came to our family as a special day because it was a public holiday being the 35th anniversary of the Liberation Day when our country was completely liberated from US army. Besides watching the festival activities on TV on this special occasion, during this day, all of us in our small family were excited to look forward to the fire-work show in the evening.

After a quick dinner, around 7.30pm, Thang, I and my son set out a motorbike trip to the central area of Hanoi city for feeling clearly this holiday atmosphere and then watching the fire-work show. A nice surprise for us was all the streets much less crowded than normal days. I felt the air much cleaner and fresher with such a thinner population.

In pending the fire-work show to start later, we went into an ice-cream shop for Tuan to enjoy some favorites. Each of us chose a different ice-cream, but all of us were happy. Such going-out activities are really beneficial for us as a good change from staying home almost all the time everyday.

Leaving the ice-cream shop, Thang took me and Tuan to the highway along the Red River. Why so ? I quickly understood that he wanted to avoid the crowded people near the Hoan Kiem Lake (Returned Sword Lake) where the fire-works would be shot from. On the highway, a bit far away, we could still enjoy seeing the fire-work show quite clearly and with much fresher air.

At 9pm sharp, the fire-works started to appear in the sky. The show was more and more beautiful with plentiful colors and lights: green, red, violet, yellow, white and so on… The sky became brighter and brighter with continuous clusters of colorful fire-works looking like glowing flowers.

Hearing and watching the brilliant and resounding fire-works in such a merry public atmosphere, Thang showed much happier for this encouraged him to memorize his past glorious days around 1975 when he was in the Vietnamese army as an engineer of tanks. I myself and my son Tuan were also happy partly for sharing my darling's joy, but mainly for the fire-work show was much more wonderful than last year.

Finally, after the enjoyable show, on the return way, despite the crowded people in the streets, we still kept happy until getting home. And in such a good mood, that night, surely all three of us had happy dreams.

Through last week, we wish to have similar cheerful days more often so that we can smile and laugh more for keeping our souls younger and more affectionate for life.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Pineapple, Good Example to Learn

Today has been an effective Monday for me. Now by lunch time, I have completed almost all the work items I planned to do for the whole day. As usual as every Monday, today morning, I wipe cleaned and tidied up all our home, especially the living room. Then I put the dirty clothes into the washing machine for its operation. Next, I washed some rugs and hung them out in the balcony for drying. Finally, I also put the washed clothes out for drying in the yard downstairs. As having finished all these things with a surprisingly inspirative spirit and without tiredness, I happily realized that my strength and mind have improved apparently as compared with last week.

The above encouraging progress of my health status and mood is partly thanks to my current treatment by the massage cushion combined with my proper daily nutrition regime with more fish, vegetables, fruits and yoghourt, less fat, more water, and regular exercises by jogging around the lake in front of my house everyday.

After a modest mini lunch with instant noodle as usual, I thought I should treat myself some fruit juice as a dessert and also a small bonus for my progress in health. Opening the fridge, I saw some various fruits, but came first to my nose only the attractive strong fragrance from pineapple juice. So I decided to drink a glass of it for refreshment.

Enjoying this juice, I suddenly imagined the strange shape & difficult thornful out-cover of pineapple fruit, so I felt this sweetness more tasty and fragrance more attractive. I have really admired pineapple for the impressive contrast between its rough-and-tough outside appearance and its inside bright yellow color containing fine qualities.

So curious to learn more about pineapples, this afternoon, I tried searching for some websites on good effects of this fruit. Such images as these below could help recall me of a period of my childhood (around the year 1972) when Hanoi city was in the war with the US army, my family had to evacuate to a rural region in Vinh Phu province and temporarily lived for some months in a farmer’s family’s house which was all surrounded by pineapple fields. As still appearing in my mind now, thousands of pineapple plants were grown in very dry and barren land without watering anytime.

However, for me, looking from afar, pineapple plants and fruits have their own beauty, the beauty of strength in growth.

As all of us can see, when getting ripe, after cleanly uncovered and processed in various ways, pineapple can become so nice and delicious-looking as in the following cakes or caramel:

Small-cut pieces of pineapple pulp can be mixed in good harmony with some vegetables, tofu, cashew, some herbs and onions, to make into healthy salads like the below:

It can become even more beautiful and charming as decorative accents for an ice-cream:

Or in the simplest way, pineapple fruit can be cut fresh into small pieces or big slices (depending on eaters' different tastes), mixed with some sugar, cooled in the fridge before being enjoyed as a wonderful dessert:

I am even more surprised at pineapple fruit beauty as it can combine with other fruits to create such unique fresh artworks as hereunder:

Recently, my new teacher of the fitness and fat-burning mini course online, who is an US professional body-builder, advised me to eat pineapple fruit and drink its juice more because this is one of the top fruits rich in Vitamin C, calcium and potassium, thus very good for protecting teeth, gum and mouth in general. Moreover, as I have begun my age of 41, I also need to think of preventing ageing and decreasing bone. So I like pineapple fruit for its manganese-rich content, which is good for my bone-building and repair function.

Admiring pineapple from its origin, then growth, to products with helpful beneficial uses for human beings, I am telling myself that I should learn from this natural plant its way of overcoming all surrounding difficulties to aim better goals in life.

These pineapple fruits look so beautiful and their pulp is surely more enjoyable !