Archive for June 2009
Uncle Ho is everywhere. His sayings are made into banners and hung all over VN. His picture is in every classroom. In Nghe An, where he was born, his statue is elevated to another level. The village where he grew up is featured prominently on various tour brochures and highway billboards. The road to his childhood house is paved, clean, and dotted w/ lotus and old growths. His mother’s tomb is built on a huge swath of land cleared from a mountain’s shoulder, and heavily guarded round the clock. In Vinh City, they erected a gigantic square commemorating his highness.
And in many companies, private and public alike, shrines are put up to worship him. In other words, he is God.
Discreetly taken in the office of Sabeco-Song Lam on Jun 24 2009-during a board meeting
Vietnam has given me the chance to do lots of things I never imagined I’d do. I figure I should list them down, so when I grow old and senile, I could look back and go “Did I really do that?”.
Nghe An is a province in the Northern Central part of Vietnam. It consists mostly of forests, and if you trek deep enough from Vinh City, you will reach Giang river, where the minorities live. The rich make money through illegal logging. The poor hunt, farm and fish. They live up and down the river, which is cool, green and the main artery for all who live around it.
For this job, I traveled 4 hrs from Vinh on a Dream, hired a wooden boat and for a half hour went up river to deliver a few eggs to a man living on a floating bamboo house. Who knows what he does there or whom he lives with. All that matters is the eggs were successfully delivered and he had a nice hot omelette the next day. So to the half naked man living in the middle of nowhere…”You are welcome”
In 2008, Nha Nam publication released “Bắt trẻ đồng xanh”, otherwise known as “Catcher in the Rye”.
Next week, U.S.A Books will have the English version on the shelves. It has always been a favorite book of mine and I am sure of many others as well. So for those who read this post and want to pre order a copy, let me know. I m more than happy to hold a copy for you. Nothing satisfies me more than seeding angst and rebellion into the young minds of generation 9x.
Rmit pays around 45% more for a foreigner vs a local who studied abroad, regardless of qualification. On top of that they pay exactly the same for a Phd vs a Masters vs a B.S, with or without relevant job experience! Good luck trying to attracting talent!
Near my house (marked as A) there are several streets which act as borders:
-#1 separates 2 wards.
-#2 and #3 separate 2 districts.
These streets are used extensively by street vendors for 1 simple reason: to avoid the ward cops, who patrol their ward like a jealous boyfriend. If they see a vendor on the street or pavement, they will confiscate everything. Unless, of course, a sizable bribe is procured. So these vendors strategically conduct their biz right on the border and at the first sight of cops, scurry away to the other side (which legally belongs to another ward and hence out of the pursuing cops’ jurisdiction)
So once in a while I see these vendors pushing their carts, dragging their tarps, putting metal to the pedal, their faces bloodless with fear, it almost makes me cry and laugh at the same time. Freaking Saigon..where tragic comedies are played out everyday.