Hello from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam! After a full 24 hours of travel from Washington, D.C. to New York to Hong Kong to Ho Chi Minh City, we arrived in one piece. I have some amazing travel buddies with me that will probably be making appearances in the blog along the way in the week prior to the start of our project. In the Vietnam IRP, we are starting a week later than the other IRPs which gives us the distinct pleasure of traveling around Vietnam beforehand. These lucky people trekking Hanoi, Halong Bay, Hue, and Hoi An along the way are Jonathan Diamond (JD), Leilani Pallares (Lei), and Virginia Castro (V). Now I can explain the title of this blog. Everyone has their annoyances with flying on long flights. For some, its take-off and landing, turbulence, sitting next to the bathroom, staying in a confined space for hours on end, someone hogging the arm rest, kids kicking the back of your chair, bad airplane food….let’s be quite honest..I could go on forever. My biggest annoyance was always the fact that no way you sleep on a plane is ever comfortable. It just isn’t and you always wake up with some kind of neck cramp. That USED to be my biggest one…until the 15 hour flight from New York to Hong Kong when “Diablita” came into the lives of ALL of the passengers on this flight. Yes, we were on our way to Asia which might constitute an Asia name….but in the spirit of the day we were traveling, Cinco De Mayo, she got the spanish name “Diablita”, which translates into ‘little devil’. This little girl who had to be no more than 5 years old was traveling with what we guess was her father cried, but not just cried, SHRIEKED, for 15 hours STRAIGHT!! I’ve never experienced this. One lady tried to calm her down by taking her to the back of the plane and came back successful…for 5 minutes. Other than this excruciating backround noise on the plane, it wasn’t a bad flight. We flew Cathay Pacific and each had our own little TV equipped with games, movies, music, and tv shows. It made the 15 hours fighting a loosing battle with Diablita a little more enjoyable.
I have to say I am being shown up by some of my fellow bloggers such as Andrea and Winnie, which will change soon now that I am here ;). As far as our project, I believe we are all excited to get into Vietnam to put some of the ideas and research we have been doing on the real estate market and capital markets to good use.
Back in DC, the 24 of us had already come up with a slide show of 102 slides!
It will be an interesting experience comparing our notes to the ones of our clients in Vietnam. We have some great company visits planned and also an executive floor at our hotel in Ho Chi Minh that will be put to good use in the next 3 weeks.
Let the games begin!