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When I first arrived in Saigon, I went to cut my nails before a job interview and ended up breaking the nailcutter. I never replaced it so I kept growing my nails. Because nail-painting is off limits at work, it turned into an act of gender disobedience. It also ended up being a good way to regulate what could have been promiscuous behaviour because who wants to get fingered by Freddie Krueger? No-one. It was a fun experiment but in the end, writing messages took way longer than it should have done and I kept accidentally hurting myself so I cut them. It was so strange to have my fingertips back. Such a sensitive part of your body, you don't realize until you got them back. Got me thinking, I wonder in what ways we deny ourselves touch and connection through actions we take and decisions we make?

#saigon #nailart #manicure #hands #blacktravel

At night I dream I'm a Zapatistan spy craftily decolonizing the world. By day, I get paid to teach Vietnamese children English.

#eslteacher #blacktravel #travelnoire

Despite all my rage, at least I'm not a plastic facsimile of a pumpkin. Seen in District 5 on the way back to the office after a morning of work permit bureaucracy.

#vietnam #saigon #hochiminhcity #halloween #smashingpumpkins #bulletwithbutterflywings #blacktravel

I had a lesson observed by my academic manager last week and his advice was to be a facilitator of learning rather than a traditional 'I-know-all-the-answers' teacher. A few tweaks and I had a class that was engaged, enthusiastic and more responsive than ever before. These remnants please me.

#vietnam #saigon #hochiminhcity #esl #eslteacher #lesson #chuffed #blacktravel

Saigon is so dense, sometimes I forget to look up. And when I do, it's as interminable upstairs as it is down here.

#vietnam #saigon #hochiminhcity #city #cityscape #architecture #typography #blacktravel

In Vietnam, they take fire safety proper serious. The staff set off flares and lit stuff on fire while the kids were streaming out of classrooms, screaming with joy cos we ate into lesson time. If there was an actual fire, this guy would win all the medals.

#vietnam #saigon #hochiminhcity #eslteacher #primaryschool #fire #firefighter #firedrill #blacktravel

Dogdog and I used to play this game called Nibble Me Fingers. We had to stop that game quick sharp 'cause you know, Dogdog's a Rottweiler.

#vietnam #saigon #hochiminhcity #rottweiler #rottweilerpuppy #buivien #hands #blacktravel

Back when I lived above a restaurant on Bui Vien, I came home one day and found this baby Rotty, staggering about my roof terrace, coming to terms with the fact of its being born. I called it Dogdog. Though a fast learner, it hadn't figured stairs out yet so when I'd leave, Dogdog'd look at me like this.

#vietnam #saigon #hochiminhcity #royalsaigon #buivien #rottweiler #rottweilerpuppy #puppy #blacktravel

I'm not on the outside looking in.
I'm not on the inside looking out.
I'm in the dead centre looking all around.

#vietnam #saigon #hochiminhcity #traffic #commute #goldfish #section80 #blacktravel

After school rush of blood to the gates.
#vietnam #saigon #hochiminhcity #traffic #city #motorbikes #hocmon #blacktravel

Go to the top of a Saigon skyscraper and catch your breath.

#saigon #hochiminhcity #skyscrapers #cityscape #blacktravel

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