My Celebrity Doctor 👩‍⚕️

Why would a doctor need a fancy photo-shooting at a five star resort? For fun? For her own interest? For her personal branding? Who else does she want to be?

On a not-so-beautiful day of May 2020 for me because the tourism and hotel industry has got the largest hit of the century due to the destruction of the corona pandemic, I received an influencer-cooperation request for a photo shooting project at TUI BLUE Nam Hoi An from my favorite make-up artist cum producer Kyo Phan. I would love to work with him of course then I asked if he could send me a detailed program of the cooperation for my own review. We had worked before on different projects with professional models or people who work in the entertainment industry. But this time, it’s not really about a model, not even an actress or a singer. He said it was about Kha Le, a businesswoman and an entrepreneur. Oh what? I think I missed something, she is also a doctor, a dentist to be exact. But why would she need such a fancy photo-shooting in such a five star resort?

I was like why? Why would a doctor need to have a fancy photo-shooting in a five star resort? For fun because she’s rich? Maybe? Or for her own personal branding? Perhaps she’s working on a project? Maybe…

So I did a bit of homework and googled her name. I didn’t have to wait long, a number of articles came up. Of course I would be able to tell which article is paid on commercial and marketing purpose and which one is not. But I do see something different. This woman has really made an effort with her personal branding. Here are some of my findings:

“For a woman, fashion is a joy” (Image: GlobalWoman.vn)

Then on a beautiful summer evening in Hanoi, I finally had a chance to meet with Dr Kha Le, after spending a few days of doing my own research about her and her brand TrendSmile also.

My first impression? She’s an elegant and a beautiful woman yet very friendly and quite easy to talk with. Just like how I was convinced by the way she carried herself, I guess she would do a great job to make her client trust and love her as long as they get to see her. I like her more in the daily life or even when she’s in a uniform. No matter what she says or what people say, she’s a doctor after all. And it takes years and brainwork, lots of brainwork to be a doctor. But here’s even a beautiful female doctor, there’s a difference, too👩‍⚕️

Dr Kha Le and her selfie – This picture is posted with permission 😇

“I am a woman after all, apart from being a doctor and a wife and a mother. I think it’s important that I have time to enjoy life. I have seen my female class-mates from university. Although many of us ended up becoming dentists, and then becoming wives and mothers of their children, but many are doctor – doctors by own means. They get stuck in their uniforms the whole time. Some of them even seem to look older than their age and tired. But of course they do look like doctors in the world that is defined for us with lots of ethical standards and sacrifices”, Kha Le said. Then she continued: “But I want more, I want to enjoy life, I am a doctor but I am a woman also. I want to feel beautiful and look beautiful. I believe we should never put a limit on ourselves, you can still be a doctor and a beautiful woman at the same time”. I am not sure about you, whoever might be reading this, whether you are a man or a woman, but I personally adore the type of woman who has her own interests and simply knows how to inspire other people even with a small act of her daily selfie as a way of saying hello to the world 🤳

Yes I do like her selfie too ☺️

Then it came to my turn to ask “So what do you want to do from now?”, looking at Dr Kha Le as she was about to share more.

“I’ve started Trend Smile for more than 3 years now. It’s not been easy but I think we’ve got some very first encouraging successes. I want to live a happy life and bring happiness to people by helping them to design the best possible smiles. Some people are simply not lucky enough to have a good smile to start with. But I always believe having a good smile can change someone’s life”.

At some point I am glad that I have met her. Although I am actually not a big fan of all these beautiful stuff. I called it beautiful stuff because I really don’t spend lots of effort of searching the definition of “the best smile” or “the best beauty smile” or whatever. But this doctor has convinced me that she’s really been trying to make a difference, even if it only started by becoming a beautiful and successful doctor who is good at inspiring people around her.

This Trend Smile brand is another interesting story. I was quite fond of the design of the logo to be honest, although I need to admit that I do not know much about design. But it looks clean, fresh and quite modern for me. Maybe it’s just my own opinion because I am a fan of minimalism. Unlike other dentist clinics who often use the drawing of a “tooth” to design their logos, Trend Smile’s logo was inspired by the idea of a circle hugging and protecting a human body. The logo was created with the belief that when you know how to take care of your dental health, you know how to care of your own body and soul.

Vietnamese idiom has this saying “Cái răng, cái tóc là góc con người”. It means the teeth and head-hair are considered as human figure, which gives the meaning to the most important parts of human appearance”.

I have asked a few designers for what they think about this logo. They said, for a dental brand, they would prefer something shaper as it shows professionalism and accuracy.

I came to her dental place in Hanoi at 255 Pho Hue, I was also informed that she has another address in District 7 in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) since she knew that I live in Ho Chi Minh City now. My impression? I felt at ease, no stress because the design of the clinic and arrangement made us feel calm. I did some easy dental cleaning so it was not much of a big deal, but it was a totally a smooth process, it can be compared to the feeling of entering a Spa. The team including the doctors was very gentle, polite but still looking sharp and professional. I would definitely come back perhaps because of the dentists here who really have made me feel comfortable and safe ☺️

So that is it. Kha Le is becoming more and more admirable in her own way. I called her a “celebrity” doctor to hope that she will make her dreams come true. Be a successful and beautiful doctor, with a style! Let me share with you some beautiful pictures of hers taken at TUI BLUE Nam Hoi An. Looking at these images, I think I need to ask her to show her work license to prove that she is a real doctor, simply because she is too gorgeous to be a normal one. Thanks God she’s not normal and that makes her very special👩‍⚕️

I wish all women in the world would be able to find success, love and happiness no matter what they do. And the sky is not even the limit if you believe that so. Cheers to better days to come! 🍸

Hakuna Matata

For one and many reasons, April had never been the favourite month of the year for me and for many of us who live in the city of Hanoi. It is Spring here when we would rather expect to see beautiful flowers, but in this fast-paced developing city with full of ongoing construction projects, the sky could not look any sadder and greyer. Although the weather is not too hot, not too cold but you could easily feel the wet, dirty, smelly, sticky and humid air. By this time last year, I spent most of my time thinking of all the happenings with life, career, relationship and of course this damn weather too.

Like a day dreamer, I walked along a rainy street and I decided that I need to see a good friend of mine. The appointment was set up in only 10 minutes later in a coffee shop nearby, I guess this is why he became such a good friend of mine.

“How are you?” I asked.

“Happy”  He immediately replied.

“Why? and How?”

“Oh you know, I’ve got to do what I like, I quit the job that feel so stuck at it after three years. Of course there was a time that I feel hopeless, I even spent a month reading an over 400 pages long book about history of Vietnam. You know I could be historian now”. “You?” – He laughed and asked me back.

“Miserable”. I answered then looked away through the window and sighed.

“What are you looking at?” – He asked.

“The weather. I am so out of this place…”. I replied.

“What are your problems?” – He started to look at me and ask…

“Many problems” – I replied and went on: “But I’d like to blame on this weather so neither me nor anyone else would have to take this blame.

“Then let’s talk about the weather… What do you hate about it?”. He asked.

“It is messy here, there are times of the year when it is either too hot or too cold, too humid or too dry. Now it’s been raining for the whole month and no one seems to work… What kind of place is this? People are going crazy and so am I”. I felt guilty that I called him all his way to see me then have to hear all this but I just could not help it.

“Did you think about the upsides of this weather?” He asked and laughed a little.

“Okay, tell me, what’s up?” I asked.

“It’s raining and humid right? So that they could sell more home appliances like dryers, like raincoats or umbrellas. They are produced for a reason you know… Think about the law of supply and demand… And now you’re complaining that we have too many seasons huh? Thought you would be happy that you will be able to wear change your outfits after each season. The fashion industry in a city of four seasons will mostly have more things to do and to talk about than an all year round sunny city don’t you think?”.

He shut me up since then because I simply could not agree more…

I was asked to give lots of advices today to a new colleague of mine, who is an expatriate, completely new to the city and having full of doubts about herself and her future. We spent 03 hours of talk about everything then as soon as she started talking about the weather, I gave her a quick smile, realising the story is getting a little old. I said: “April showers bring May flowers, have you heard this before? I learned this some time ago.

And “Hakuna Matata” – I brought this from Lion King, it means “No worries”. Things will work out for the best.

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#From Work: Young & Innocent

#TinyStoryFromWork:

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To me, the worst thing about wearing a uniform and following the same dress code is the fact that you will not be able to tell who is who and you will not be able to tell if he/she’s got a style… Well, I am not going to have a uniform debate by the way, I am just making excuses for not knowing some of our junior colleagues’ names because they all look similar in their uniforms on a regular basis. But there’s one person that I am going to remember his name forever from today.

Where to start? I merely went for a general check up a V.I.P function at the hotel today to ensure the event was under control. Unfortunately, I got to know that it was actually not-so-under-control from the very first few seconds…

“Why?” – I asked the supervisor.

“One of our staff went unconscious for a few minutes in the V.I.P room and when the majority of guests had been seated”.

“Who? and Why?” – I asked while getting a little bit shocked.  I could not think of any suitable reason, did we make he/she work too hard? It was 12:00 and perhaps he/she skipped breakfast? “Was that a he or a she? Do I know him/her?”

“It’s a he”. She replied and continued: “I think you do know him. He had been with us for a long time but he worked as a casual staff. And today was actually the day that he has his officially contract signed with the hotel that makes him so nervous and then it happened… A bit unfortunate that there were so many V.I.Ps in the room but I hope they understood if we tell them the reason”.

“Where is he now? Is he okay?” – I continued.

“He’s right there, working like nothing has happened”. She answered.

“Oh”! I stopped for a second and looked to the right where the boy was standing to welcome the guests.

Yes, I do notice him, this tall and young male Sofitel ambassador who wears glasses, about 20 years old. He’s got a friendly smile with both politeness and shyness. At that very moment, I could not think of anything else – Who could be so mad at him now? And for taking his job too seriously? Hmmm I do not think so… Instead I thought it was cute and innocent of him – and I would say this frankly if and only if this did not make me any less of being a hospitality professional. I have not felt this way for a long time about someone I know. Perhaps it was just for a simple reason that I have met too many people, and yes including myself who often appear in the most ‘damn’ mysterious, confident and …fearless!

This ‘junior’ moment actually made me smile. I hope the boy is all okay now. But since he has taken this career so seriously and to the extent that he got so emotional like that, I hope he will end up being a good person and a good career advancement ahead.

And for me, it would be interesting to know what happened to Miss No-Longer-Afraid…!?

#IWorkInAHotel

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

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…

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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Life is Magnifique in Hanoi

life isNot too long ago I was in my 20-something crisis. I knew I was. I saw negative sides of things that I encountered on a daily basis with the highest level of disappointment I can get… I found nothing interesting in anything or anybody. That sounded so bad wasn’t that?

I walked along the rainy streets and I knew I had to make a phone call to a friend. 15 minutes later we got settled in one of the coffee shops near by. I asked if he could tell me the truth of how miserable I looked at that time… He was like ‘yeah yeah’ like it doesn’t even matter…and of course the fact that he did not show any sympathies to me at all made me a little angry… Then I decided to stop talking about myself. I saw the sparkles in his eyes and could not help wonder how he had been. I asked why he could be so happy. The answer was quite simple. He said he was happy because he loved all the things that he had been doing… Wasn’t that good?

But still, facing the fact that only him feeling good so it did not make me feel any better. I looked out the window and sighed: “Can you please tell me when this rain’s going to stop? I am so sick of this weather…” I said, with knowing that my friend might have been fed up with me already for ‘un-intentionally’ trying to turning him down… “I am so tired of this city. It’s always either too hot or too cold. And did you notice? The foggy and rainy weather has been like this for 1/4 of the year…” I continued.

Then he began – I think I only waited for this moment to hear his feedback. Because I know this guy will he super direct and straight to my problems.

“What’s happening with you?” He asked. “Are you trying to tell me that I am not acting like who I am? Like a normal me right?” I answered.

“Can’t be truer than that”. He laughed sneakily. I questioned him back: “Hey, I knew you also have a hundred things going on at the same time and you also changed your job last year… Don’t tell me it’s been a smooth process….!?”.

“Of course not… You had no idea how bored and disappointed I was when I had to quit the job. During my last few days at the office, apart from the day-to-day activities that we all have to accomplish, I had done something that I thought it was abnormal. I read through a 500 pages long book about Vietnamese history and now I feel like I have a new profession…”.

We laughed until his face looked a bit more serious again… “I think you should stop looking at the dark sides of everything. Of course you can leave if you don’t like this city anymore but you know more than anyone that there are goods and bads everywhere. Why don’t you look at this city to see our advantage of having seasonality? Other cities in Southeast Asia do not have that and they missed the opportunities to sell seasonal products and services…”.

“Okay!” I smiled and that’s when he knew that he made a clear point to me…

We kept the talking for another 15 minutes later before we greeted goodbye. 3 months later, I called him back and asked how he was doing… I know this is the man that I should be thankful for having him as a friend. And now, talking about seasonality, if you think Hanoi is the only capital city in Southeast Asia that has 4 seasons then it’s time to think again. We don’t just have 4 seasons, we have 12 flower seasons. I brought this idea for an internal presentation at work and received a number of good feedback… Let’s just forget about brand standards for now… I am just in love with the thought of me re-starting to have more of original ideas and finally get back to be my-authentic-self…

Changed

I applied for this job when I was at my worst. I had no idea what I wanted to do at that stage and the job appealed to me almost as a PLAN B option in life. But still I did want to see my future in which I would have to regret about something that I wish I could have done so I would go with any it as it would be the best way to know how much I would love/hate it…

The fun fact is that the job turned out so much different than I thought it would be. I still remember exactly how negative I was while thinking of all this… The fact is apart from a  job which keeps me busy on a daily basis, it turned out to be ridiculously exciting and guess what? I am actually having fun right now – this is something I really did not expect from the very first days. I am actually getting along with so many people I thought I would not…

So I think I’ve changed – not to become a completely different person but a better version of mine. I guess it’s just time that we will just need to get rid of all our concepts if you want to live or work happily regardless of how or what you want to do with your life. I have not seen this normality for so long… I’ve been waiting and waiting and waiting to get my authentic self back and I think I am getting there…

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Living the island

Picture me..

An 18 years old girl who recorded herself as the youngest and the only Vietnamese G.O at Club Med Lindeman Island. 48++ hours of work per day and 6 work days per week and only once per every 2 weeks I took a ferry to go back to the ‘main land’, work was hard but almost a worry-free zone just because there were no targets, no numbers nor any ‘mission impossible’ that was assigned to me at that time. Well, let’s be fair, neither me nor any employers should expect too much from a just turned 18 years old employee but I gotta admit that I had learned so so much from there… Sadly Club Med Lindeman Island was closed down in late 2011 and the property was sold to some Chinese billionaire… Anyway I hope they will turn the island into a new paradise with a generation view point…

Although it only lasted for 6 months on the tropical island but I am so glad that I made it there – it was definitely one of the best 6-months of my entire life to be able to live in one of the greatest places on Earth and meeting some of the most amazing people in the world. My island’s friends are the one-of-a-kind friend in the world: my bestie Phillipa, my Aussie dad Graeme and my favourite handsome English Joe who are always on my side no matter what happens…

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Me, 18 years old at Club Med

8

The 8th hole

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With my favourite GMs and GOs

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The heart shaped island from the WhitSundays, Australia

Black in Black

So I am back in black now. This is how I would describe my current employment status – I am back into the hotel industry with mixed feelings. The good news is that I am now in a position that I definitely wanted to have but a few years back. So I may say that my teenage dream has come true 🙂

For some reasons, working for hotels now sounds more like a Plan B for me. So with the rest I will have to figure out how this Plan B works for me… And if it doesn’t then I’ll follow what others often say, there are still too many letters in the alphabet to go for…

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