W T F

Some of my favourite quotes at all times: After Monday and Tuesday, the rest of the week says W-T-F.

I firmly believe that your attitude decides how your day should be. But it does happens that some days are simply worse than the rest of other days, and we shall call it the terrible, horrible, no good and very bad day. I know someone has turned this into movie.

I have a terrible, horrible, no good and very bad week that I called a “W-T-F” week. Obviously, it stands for Wednesday – Thursday and Friday, in case you wondered.

Well I am a hotelier where getting feedback is a fundamental part. I am no longer surprised getting complaints from people so I am not here to talk behind my clients’ back. But I did meet some ugly clients over the past week: not so much about the ugly look (although there are some visually not-so-pretty ones) but mainly about the ugly manners and how they abused us as service providers and abused my colleagues.

Having said that, I don’t know how should I feel, I got angry for a second then I decided that I should not get angry anymore if we all know deep inside, everything happens for a reason: Many people lack of education no matter what age or what degrees that they have at hands; some people are treated the way they are normally treated and that they are too ordinary to know… And that is a terrible, horrible, no good and very very bad consequence…

 

 

Brighter

Following one of my recent conversations with a close friend that I have not seen for quite a while…

Me: You know what, I do not have to wear uniform but as a hotelier, we often choose black as a safe colour for clothing. But recently I have decided to go for some brighter colours…

My friend: Like what?

Me: Grey. Don’t you think it have lifted up my dress-code in a whole new level of brightness?

My friend: Right. Can’t agree more…

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Photo Credit: Internet

Me [thinking]: And do not forget within one single colour like grey, there are even at least 50 Shades…

#business #relativity #greyisnotthedarkest #betweenblackandwhite #fiftyshadesofgrey

“Happiness…

all depends on a leisurely breakfast… “~John Gunther

Thank you John Gunther, although I do not know who you are but I would like to thank you for having given us this great quote.

And for me, happiness sometimes is just a matter of habits. It does not mean that you have to keep doing the same thing every day to say happy – because I am sure habits can change. Perhaps some habits can keep you happy for a certain period of time, some say forever but as you get older, many habits can change if you want to…

So how did I change?

I used to brush my teeth before breakfast – The feeling was just so unpleasant if my teeth were not brushed within 15 minutes after I woke up. I guess this was no difference compared to those  who hates the taste of toothpaste while chewing their breakfast. But my habit has changed after almost 20 years because I wanted to change… Yes I have been influenced by people, by the news and so on, and I have changed my habit as I decided.

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[Photo credit: Rebecca Hinson]

I chose not to be threatened or not not to be chickened out by the way things are said and done by most people or the way this society wanted you to be. I think I was fortunate enough to be born “above” average. I am happy with my Asian style look and happy with my imperfects. It has not been always the case (I used to think that I was a freak), but the older I get, I guess the more mature, I would say I have become. It does not matter so much  if I have the latest hair trend or the latest fashion update. To be honest, I never cared and I’m sure I never will… But the lesson that I learnt is, you need to freshen yourself once every few weeks with new things. It means you should not wear the same type of clothes for a long period but try to make some changes. I often get asked if I wear a new outfit but I would be asked the same question if I wear an-old-dress-that-I-forgot-that-I-had-for-ages, or when I tie my hair up, or when I suddenly wear a pair of ear rings or a watch… A new red crop top after 14 days of wearing black or a new tomboy look after a hundred day of being in princess style…I guess we all need a bit of abnormal time after time…

I decided that I would need to increase my frequency of having leisurely breakfasts after realising that I spend more days of my life washing my hair rather than having breakfasts, which is dangerous. I am sure my hair is not happy when I wash her everyday and my body hates me for skipping proper breakfasts…

Dear body,

I am sorry for all what I have done to you. I have with me my 4 weeks goal to gain 2kgs in the most healthy way possible. I am fortunate to have met a very good colleague that I sometimes make jokes that she is my mother because of the way she takes care of me. Today I promised her that if I could reach my goal in 2 weeks and there will surely be a reward price for her 🙂 #fingerscrossed

 

Sapa 2016

Well trust me, I know, I know, I was supposed to be sitting and writing 2 motivation letters which would need to be urgently sent to Finland by tomorrow for my MBA applications. But since I not yet have any motivation to write that sort of thing (Well I don’t even think that I actually want that MBA but let’s see…) so I am writing a quick post about of of my recent trips to Sapa.

So finally I could sneak out of the office after months and months of not heading to anywhere new. The trip was pretty quick and simple, just like how I wanted it to be.

The only advice that I can tell you all write now is that you don’t have to do what I do because the way I travel pretty much defines who I am so you do what works well for you.

I knew Sapa was not a huge town – even though it is part of Lao Cao province, which is in fact, one of the largest provinces in Vietnam and famous for having hundreds and hundreds of mountains including the Fansipan – the tallest mountain in Southeast Asia – also known as the Roof of Indochina. I know thousands and thousands of young and old people want to get to the top of the mountain for at least once but for me it might not be the case… I have climbed a few high mountains so not that I am weak, lazy nor having Batophobia (A new word that I have just picked up for those who are afraid of height), I just don’t want to do it here…

For those who travel from Hanoi (like me), you could either travel by coach or by train to Sapa. I wanted to do the train but my nephew and many other friends said it is better if we travel by bus because it is faster and will go direct to Sapa. The train would take longer and only get you to Lao Cai City and you will need to take a one-hour bus to Sapa. I heard there have been a few ‘luxury’ tours by train now which have been operated by Victoria Sapa so that the luxury travellers will have the best of everything… which would be pretty nice to try… I have only travelled by train twice in Vietnam but I must say that I was very happy with the train facilities on my last trip, which was almost a year ago compared to how it was back in 2008.

We had purchased the tickets in advance and got onto the coach at 10PM. Think the name of the transport provider was Camel. This reminds me a lot of the time I travelled by Greyhound or Murray from Sydney to Canberra and vice versa. I consider myself as a super easy-to-be-pleased traveller because I slept almost all the way from Hanoi to Sapa. When I woke up, I heard some people talked about how they got panicked that night when the coach was driving up to the mountain. We got their at around 4:30AM and the bus driver was nice enough (I’m sure this is how they operate the tour) to let us sleep for another 1.5 hours after we reached Sapa. We all know this is good because we can rest a little more (there is absolutely nothing to do at 4:30 in a 5 degrees foggy whether) and so that the driver can rest too after a long hours of driving.

So we made it there – my cousin for the second time but me for the first time. I asked if my cousin was so sure that she wanted to go for the second time and she said it was always different when she travels with me – I am not entirely sure about that…

I like to do it my way, I know. Many friends told me that I do not have to worry about accommodation because I can easily find it anywhere. I will never listen to that advice because firstly, I am a hotelier, I need to experience the service so I would choose carefully where I would like to stay and secondly, I am a female travel, I want to make sure I am safe – so that I can sleep well at night. (I had this experience once when I was so new to Sydney and I was ‘brave’ enough to book a budget hotel at King Cross – Oh tell me about it… For me it was absolutely a terrifying experience right in the first moment I got there. Everything in that place reminds me of the video “We found love” by Rihanna… so with no hesitation I immediately book an #AccorHotels right on the next day… Maybe I am just not the right person for that travel style – I would never be ready for be coming a pack pack-backer…

I know I made the right choice to ensure I have everything on the book. I knew that I would stay at the Hill Station when I am in Sapa so I immediately checked with Soeren, the owner of the Hill Station if the rooms were available on my travel date. He told me the only date he had room available was on January 31. I was like… perfect, so I will take my annual leave on January 31 – I would travel on January 30, as soon as I finish work and I can catch the night coach and get there in the morning of January 31, 2015 and celebrate NYE there and leave Sapa on January 01, 2016 in the afternoon. That should be more than enough for a small town like Sapa anyway.

It was more or less, a little different from what I imagined of The Hill Station and its collections but it is overall a very pleasant experience. I got one of the nicest rooms (All rooms are nice and there are only 3 rooms available) so I consider myself lucky.

Although the whether wasn’t that nice but it was definitely not a big deal for me. I know I can always have fun in all whether conditions. Here are a few things that I would like to list for my trips in Sapa:

  1. Hotels – yes plenty – so don’t worry but don’t be so reckless anyway because if you travel in high season and you don’t want to sleep in the mountain then better get yourself a room before you head to Sapa. It is COLD there 🙂
  2. Food – Yes – I never knew Sapa is famous for FISH (especially Salmon) and wild animals (of course – there are trees and forests everywhere) but please don’t eat them. The funny part that I found was that I did not have food on the streets. There is something about me that I did not noticed so much until I have my dinner booked at U-Sapa. I was having dinner with my cousin and suddenly noticed that we were the only 02 Vietnamese in the dining room. The rest are foreign tourists and yes there is a Vietnamese lady too but she was with her foreign boyfriend. Anyway,  whether they are foreign or not has never been my issue… Could it be the reason that I entered a dining room with full of foreigners? Have I become one of them? Hmmm Still I am just not into street foods especially on rainy days…
  3. Foot massage: It is quite obvious that you can get a local “Dao Do” foot or body massage for no more than $US 3 per half an hour. I wanted to try but we spent too much time for eating and shopping so we completely run out of time for the massage…
  4. Shopping: This is one of the most fascinating experience. I never worried so much of being ripped of here. Who would and who could RIP ME OFF by the way?  Perhaps they can do that on foreigner but please I am Vietnamese. Those Mong kids who try to sell you a 0.5 cent key ring or those ladies (young & old) who try to sell a beautiful necklace for $US 2? And one of the sales lady was just so funny and at the highest level of honesty. She thought that we were students and had no money so just try to lower the prices as much as possible… For that only reason we have come back to her 2 times in a row whenever we need to buy some things and did not bother going to other stores… I must say that I really had good laugh while making a deal with them. I had bought so so many products before I left Sapa but let me guess, it did not cost me more than $US 60 for all the souvenirs, which include 02 of my favourite scarfs; 4 beautiful necklaces; 01 bracelets and over 50 hand embroidery products of all kinds. I don’t know if I should be happy because I’ve got so many products for a good price or I should get upset because what we pay for such beautiful things are so cheap and the human workforce and women are extremely under appreciated and the kids are sent to the market to sell stuff instead of going to school…. IMG_1935.JPGOverall, the experience of Sapa was good. I had a great stay thanks to the hospitality of The Hill Station staff and many other people. Hope to go back there again on a sunny day…

Talking to the Moon…

It’s funny how my phone could be instantly filled up with texts and calls and missed calls during day time and almost always in an absolutely silent mode at night. It actually makes sense because I set my phone on ‘airplane’ mode every single night… So that I won’t get disturbed while sleeping because of unnecessary notifications/the light and everything. And so that I wouldn’t have to wait for someone to text me or call…

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I’ve got in to an extreme case I guess. That guy who has plenty of problems but why can’t I just forget… It’s been to the third year already and I don’t think I can forget that person. I don’t know why it’s come to this. I should have forgotten him just like anybody else. I know I will but when?

Not that I keep holding on to him. I have let him go and completely let go of him too. If this is not love then I don’t know what it is… Addiction perhaps?

Who said we would never get the best out of everything? I am sure I did. And I think I am right. No matter what it is and how life turns out to be… I think I will just be fine. Isn’t that always true? Then I can say… Yes it is okay not to go back in time and make a wish that we could be together. I cannot hate you and I won’t. I think loved you (but not to dead) and it was just enough that I wish you all the best in life, even if it means we’re never getting back together. I want you to be happy – And as much as I would like to have my own freedom, I want to set you free to go after what you want in life.

Thank you for being a great part of my youth. And thank you for all what you’ve done, because I know, if this wasn’t because of you, because of me and because of us, I wouldn’t have become who I am today.

Goodbye!

Saying everyone can be replaced is a lie.

I think when I said everything will be okay and everyone can be replaced. I actually lied.

There are certain things in life which cannot be replaced. Like the Earth, the Sun or the Moon, like your family, your mother, your father, your brothers, sisters, yourself and…myself.

Hmmm, for a moment I was thinking of that special someone, but he can also be replaced since you can still make choices.

The reason I said “everyone can be replaced” was to reassure my team when the two key persons decided to walk away. And I made everyone believed that it was right, because those two people were immediately replaced by other people and other people and other people.

In the meantime, I had been playing multiple roles: A sales person; a marketing & PR person for which I had been given a fancy name as a Business Development Manager (BDM). I did not know how good I was. The only thing that I know and remember was that I really was part of the company, a major part. It was just enough to make me feel like I had a major heart attack on the day I decided to walk away.

I am all happy now with the new job and what I’m doing, because I learn new things and I meet new people on a surprisingly  regular basis. This is necessarily always a good thing but for sure it’s not easy to get bored at work.

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And I am still who I am and I still do what I do.

Last Saturday I went to the Hanoi’s Annual Charity Bazaar hosted by the HIWC (Hanoi International Women Club). I had always been there over the past 02 years, but this year I was with a different company. This is a strange feeling when I am not with my Italian team anymore and did not get to wear an Italian themed costume this year. What even more awkward   was the moment that I intended to come and say hello to the old team, but nobody was there. Absolutely nobody! My boss was (almost) never there (and because he wouldn’t need to when I was in my position) but what I meant was… nobody. I know none of them, after 8 months since I’ve gone…

I am not going to judge anybody over this matter. But I was not happy to see all this. And it was not I was not because I was so full of myself but I know that I am totally not that someone who can be easily replaced…

Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter… and Spring!

“People say you’re born innocent, but it’s not true. You inherit all kinds of things that you can do nothing about. You inherit your identity, your history, like a birthmark that you can’t wash off. … We are born with our heads turned back, but my mother says we have to face into the future now. You have to earn your own innocence, she says. You have to grow up and become innocent.”
― Hugo HamiltonThe Sailor in the Wardrobe

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I watched “Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter…and Spring over a year ago. For some reason I felt like I should write a blog post about it. Perhaps, the main reason was because of news today of the terrorist attack in Paris… Hundreds of people died in this tragedy and everywhere in the world, people are sending condolences to France and fighting against terrorism.

The first thing that I saw when I was opening up Facebook was the image of Eiffel tower and the triple colours of French flag everywhere. At the same time, it’s got me thinking of something different. The terrorists must have no fear and must have known that they will forever be cursed for being murderers. I wondered how they grew up and couldn’t help thinking about what might have happened with ifs and buts.

Some believe that people were born innocent, some never quite believed in it. I am not trying to argue what is right or wrong when it comes to a life circle of the four basic human emotions: Happiness; Sadness; Love and Hate. And perhaps we may spend 1:45 minutes of our lives watching this movie just to have a new perception of life: (Animal) cruelty is part of natural instinct, no matter what age you are. As you grow up, only if you are lucky enough to have good education and training, you will be able to see the world in the eyes of love and kindness.

Then I wrote this on my Facebook page this morning with knowing that many people would disagree with:

“Call me a cold-hearted person but I would rather be working instead of spending time on the internet and praying for Paris… My deep condolences to Parisians, my dear French colleagues and the world but still 500,000 people died Since Start Of U.S.-Led Invasion and 6 to 8 million people die annually from the consequences of disasters and water-related diseases… and millions and millions of people die every year due to LACK OF EDUCATION. Just thought that the more you are showing your support to either French and/or Russia and/or America and/or China and/or North Korea, the more you will be helping the world’s top politicians to play their political/economical games… If all citizens were treated like humans from the very beginning with equal education then this should not be happening… Therefore work hard, study hard and stop bulls**ting!” 

Good upbringings are vital by Vincent Nguyen:

“All things truly wicked start from innocence.”

What would have happened if Hitler, or any other horrible well-known figure, had grown up elsewhere? Hypothetical situations like this are interesting to wonder about but it shows the importance of the upbringing; there is something that went wrong somewhere.

Even if you don’t believe that everyone is born innocent, you can’t deny the impact of environmental factors and the effects of parents on their children.

Hemingway reminds you to create a positive environment that encourages positive personal growth because he believed we’re all born innocent. Look into your own past. How did you turn out to be the person you are today? No doubt, your upbringing played a major role.

Stay safe Paris!

Headphones

I’ve lost my headphones. I have been looking for days but still haven’t seen them anywhere. I was thinking of purchasing a new pair of headphones (which I will need them eventually for so many different purposes) but I stopped for a moment and think…

Would it be better if I quit wearing headphones…?

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I have got into a habit, or it must have been a formed of addition that I need to have my iTunes and my headphones on whenever I get out of the house or office or when I get onto the bus. This is when I enjoy the most of my guilty pleasure – all types of song that I keep changing all of the stations so that the song would match my flow of thoughts. I guess it is the same for almost everybody these days. Is it wrong if I just enjoy my music, hello?

I feel thankful towards whosoever invented the headphones. Just about when I asked myself this questioned, Google helped me pull off the answer right away. His name is Nathaniel Baldwin, Canadian. He was a great inventor but a terrible businessman – as usual. Thanks to Nath anyway for all what he’s bought to human-kind but still, wearing headphones the way we do today doesn’t seem to be a good habit. The need for significance, the need for non-disturbance, the need for having ‘me’ time having been increasing. Everyone has their headphones on these days and communicates by commenting on Facebook posts.

One of the bus assistant yelled at me once for having had ‘ignored’ him completely while being asked for checking my bus ticket.

My dad got upset with me once the way I spend my time on my smartphone and how he saw me with my headphones on while walking home…

Obviously, I did not listen to what the person who sat next to me when they asked me what time it was…

I saw some Chinese guests who walked into our hotel lobby this morning wearing face masks. I hate seeing that. They looked weird, so weird, even if they were just being extra careful. But I really thought that they should not be travelling if they were so careful. There’s a life to enjoy, and your face is not what to be hidden. This maybe, one of the reasons why I am so thankful that I am not born Muslim. Please don’t take me wrong if you are Muslim but I just love the way people could live for who they are without having to hide themselves from layers and layers of costumes that belongs to the ancient school of thoughts. I never liked people who wear face mask by all means, except when you are a doctor, or when you are a patient… No one could ever recognise you if you keep putting your mask on…

And this may be time to take off your headphones just to listen to what others have to say… I know one of my problem is that I could get to the extreme level of ignorance. 2 years ago I read on the news, people said Vietnamese was on the world’s list for top ignorant index. Again I don’t know how true it is, to what level that they can measure this index. But last weekend, I saw a woman, who was riding her scooter on the road with her baby, connected to her by a seat belt who were both about to fall over from the scooter when they almost got hit by a car. Two men, with active mouths, two legs and two arms with full fingers were standing next to her and keep shouting: “Move, stand up!”, talked to the woman. Just by the time I walked by and saw the picture, I run into the lady and the baby who almost fell over because the mother, on the one hand, trying to hold the baby behind her back, on the other hand, reaching for the scooter which the seat bell was attached. I held on the baby and shouted to the guys who was less-than-a-meter-away: “What are you doing? Why don’t you come and help her out?”. Thanks god, the two guys eventually woke up, so we did not have to see a crying mother and the baby was threatened to dead.

I asked myself, what happened these people? They weren’t wearing headphones. They were capable to help, who have eyes to see, a brain to think but why no one reacted?

#madworld #coldworld #coldhearted

Dimples

There are certain things in life that you think you can not explain… Perhaps you will know it later but maybe you don’t want to know. Sometimes you simply don’t want to get to know too deep or too much of anything in order to keep its beauty…

I’ve got to know a lady for, let’s say… 12 days and I can’t help thinking of her with lots of admiration and curiosity at the same time…

I’m trying to picture a 33 years old woman, who is the single mother of 2 kids… But that’s not what I’m talking about… She had got married when she was 20 and divorced 5 years later…

She had lived 3 years in Singapore where she worked for the world’s largest networking and marketing organization but doesn’t speak a fluent sentence of English… And as a Vietnamese to Vietnamese I could easily pin point some of her pronunciation mistakes that she often makes…

Then I wonder how could she become who she is today? She has her own business, her own house, her own car with her own driver… She does seem to own a lot of things and I have no doubt that she knows a lot of people too…

But and can’t seem to connect these dots no matter how hard I am trying to connect them. Perhaps, as we get closer, I will understand about her little more about this woman but for now, it’s all good things…

When I can’t think of a good reason to explain her success in life, I am thinking of the sparkles in her eyes while talking to her about anything in life – work or random things. Just be very careful because even though I know I am a 100% straight woman, it is still easy to get lost, either in her pretty eyes or her adoring smile with charming dimples on her cheeks, which I must say, one of the sweetest smile that I have ever seen in my life…

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Shoe-pidity

If I had to say sorry to any part of my body, I would need to say it first to my feet.

I’ve been traveling and running here and there on heels and I’ve hurt my feet… In order to walk and even run confidently on your heels, you know you’ve practiced hard, your skin’s got thicker and you no longer feel the pain regardless of how long you spend your time on those so-called: “shoe-pidity”. Having said that, at least I do not wear those “ridiculously” uncomfortable stilettos because I know I would not look incredible on them, and I do not think I am capable of wearing them either 🙂

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I personally consider walking as a form of mediation. It would be nice if there’s a warm hand for you to hold but I still enjoy very much those winter days that I put on my jacket/ coat and my hands are in the pockets.

The other day I went for dinner with a “so-called” ex-boyfriend. I asked if he wanted to walk from where we met to the restaurant which would take us about 10 minute-walk…  He said yes and followed me but couldn’t stop complaining that he did not enjoy walking at all. I looked at him, smiled and told him in a polite manner: “I know why we could not be together. We were definitely not on the same road…”

Cammy