Well, it is hard to believe I have now stayed in Vietnam for over 2 weeks now after my 7 week trip to the US. I have finally got over my jet lag. I sleep at somewhat normal times now. I can actually do some real blogging versus the photoblogging you have been seeing for the last couple of months.
This post I want to talk about the three top items I brought from the US that are helping improve my personal quality of life in Vietnam. They may just be minor things but they are making a difference in my daily activities and free time now.
Oral-B Dual Clean Electric Toothbrush
It may not seem much to you but this electric toothbrush is a life saver for me. If you can remember my past posts, I am terrified of dentists. After my last visit, my dentist convinced me to take better care of my teeth. Since my last dental visit, I actually have thank to this Oral-B toothbrush.
I actually read the reviews for the Oral-B Dual Clean Electric toothbrush before leaving Vietnam. At that time, it cost about $28 US from Amazon but I was lucky enough to find it for about $17 US at Bartell Drugs in Seattle though I did search for it in Athens, Ohio, and later in California.
I really liked this toothbrush from the beginning. It actually feels like it is cleaning your teeth and it only takes 2 minutes per session. My dentist will be happy when I visit her in April of this year.
It was tough to find the replacement heads for this electric toothbrush but I was lucky, Target has some in Lynnwood, Washington. I had actually searched many different stores (until I realized I could search the store inventories online).
For now, I do not need to worry about my teeth going bad while living in Vietnam. I just have to pray the electricity does not go out. I did hear that you may be able to buy this toothbrush here in Saigon. Not sure though but at least my visits to the dentists in Vietnam will not be as scary. 🙂
Yes you can buy this in Vietnam but it is much cheaper, and safer, to purchase one in the US. Many of you will laugh at me since you all know I was, at one time, anti-Apple. I considered Steve Jobs in the same league at Bill Gates.
Well not anymore thanks to the Japanese businessman who used his iPad for nearly the entired United Airlines flight from Hong Kong to Chicago. After that 14.5 hours trip, I fell in love with the iPad. About a week later in Palo Alto, California, I purchased the iPad and never looked back.
Getting an iPad in the US has many, many advantages. For one, I NO LONGER had to haul back 20-30 books from the US to Vietnam. Ebooks make the day and I can use the extra luggage space for other items such as the one below.
Also, no more having to fight the magazines guys in Saigon for a good rate on the Economist or Financial Times. I can digital versions of both on my iPad now. There is nothing better than downloading the Economist on my iPad on Monday evenings now. FT is not bad either.
I download many different apps and TV shows from iTunes. I did have problems accessing them in Vietnam but I purchased a VPN from iTunes and now I have no problems. I got a lot of good games and yes, I even use it for word processing, presentations, etc. I will keep that for another post.
I consider the iPad one of my best buys ever. It has really made life more interesting for me in Saigon in my free time and at work. If you have not bought one yet, I highly recommend it.
Ultimate Body Press
While I was in Seattle, I started to use my brother-in-law’s pull up bar. The next day I felt it. It reminded me of the exercises I did when I was in adult’s gymnastics back in 1993-1994. Now, in Saigon I do have a gym I can go to but I either have to wake up early or go in the late afternoon when the gym is packed. Usually after work, I prefer to go straight home.
I wanted to see if I could find one to take back to Vietnam. As I was researching for portable pull up bars, I came across the Ultimate Body Press website. What drew my attention was the dip station. Dips are one of the best exercises to build up muscles on your chests and back. After reviewing it, I decided to purchase the dip station, pull up bar, and rings.
The difficult task was to decide where to ship this package that weighed about 31 pounds. I did not want to have to pay $25-35 US each trip for extra baggage so instead, I sent it to New Jersey where I packed it in my luggage for the long haul back to Saigon.
On Day 2 of my return to Vietnam, I assembled the dip station and pull up bar and started my workout. It has been two weeks now, I am still sore. This is one of my best workouts I have had in a long time. It is convenient too, I can come home and start to work out easily. I will leave the weightlifting for the weekends.
Now, the exercises in the picture on the left may look easy but in the video, you do see his arms shaking. They are not easy. These are similar exercises gymnasts would go through. The dip station takes little space and you can always disassemble it. The pull up bar fits in the doorway though you better check to see if it is stable. Mine is not but it can at least support my weight. More about the ultimate body press in another post later.
Overall, the ultimate body press with the iPad and electric toothbrush may seem trivial, it still amazing at what an impact they can actually have on making me feel better. Now I am much better focused since I feel much better.
I am curious to see what my readers brought to Vietnam from their countries to make you feel better…