June 13 2018

A trip to Hai Phong City with co-workers

This is my first trip to the beach. Although, my hometown province is near the South Chinese Sea, I haven’t even reach these areas. I feel really excited at first, but everything has gone not so good at all.

Anyway, I still wish to write something to leave here some memories about my first experience.

Here are some photos I want to show you:

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We try some Miến Trộn (Mixed noodle) , a feature food in HaiPhong

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We decided to take a selfie photo in front of Naval Guest-house before taking a trip around Haiphong city

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Behind the HaiPhong Opera House

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Look at me. What a silly action!

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Whose butt is bigger?

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It’s really hot right now

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Handsome boys and pretty girls standing in the corner of HOH

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We have lunch at one of famous Phở Cuốn (Rolled Noodles) restaurants  in HPC

  • About 30 minutes on a bus, We travel to the Do Son beach. We stay at a hostel for a while, then put on colourful bathing suits going to the beach.

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And here is the scenery of the beach and the sea (in the background)

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By the way. As you can see 2 foreign boys travel with us. (Alex R standing on the right, and Oscar on the left)

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Brighten and excited faces preparing for swimming.

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Tired faces after swimming in the sea, but try to turn up smiled ones while taking photos.


The reason I felt disappointed was not about the scenery or people in Haiphong, It was some weird actions of my friends who I hung out with that made me not fall asleep well.

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March 19 2018

[Vietsub] – All Of Me – John Legend

All Of Me – John Legend
[Verse 1]
What would I do without your smart mouth?
Drawin’ me in and you kickin’ me out
You got my head spinnin’, no kiddin’
I can’t pin you down
What’s goin’ on in that beautiful mind?
I’m on your magical mystery ride
And I’m so dizzy, don’t know what hit me
But I’ll be alright

[Pre-Hook]
My head’s under water, but I’m breathing fine
You’re crazy and I’m out of my mind

[Hook]
‘Cause all of me
Loves all of you
Love your curves and all your edges
All your perfect imperfections
Give your all to me
I’ll give my all to you
You’re my end and my beginning
Even when I lose, I’m winning

[Post-Hook]
‘Cause I give you all of me
And you give me all of you, oh-oh

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February 23 2018

A long journey to Bai Dinh pagoda, Ancient Trang An and Ancient Capital Hoa Lu

 The story begins with my status included a shared link film with a broken plan to hang out with high school friends on Facebook. In the comment field, Hue, my sister suggested me traveling some places discovering in Tet holiday with relatives. After one day of discussing, we decided to choose Trang An landscapes complex in Ninh Binh province is my destination.

 On the day before the trip, the first time, we have 6 participants. but after considering the weather and others, just 4 are okay, the rests have their own reasons and cannot take part in. Although knowing that the weather is not good for us as well as there are a few participants, we still not give up because of our determined spirit.

Next day, with well-prepared food, drink, gas, the trip including me, Hue, Huyen, Vui. We begin the trip at 7:10 A.M, the destination is far about 70km from Thai Binh so it takes nearly an hour and a half on the trip.

We are present at the first stop point: Bai Dinh Pagoda, Ninh Binh. we put our motorbike in the bike park and continue to take a walk to the main gate. My first impression on the pagoda is the WC.  Its architecture is like a temple, very wide and modern. The pagoda is really huge and stunning, it cannot be explored in a day.

 

We decide to go to the tallest bronze statue first

And take some selfie photos here

People come here a lot to wish a lucky year and success

People said that if someone rubs their money to the statue, they will earn a lot of money in this year.

then we go to the temple with stone turtles. I do not know exactly the name

Touching the turtles’ head makes us more intelligent. (Hearsay)

After having lunch, we continue the journey by climbing to the highest pagoda, the ancient pagoda.

Due to some reasons, we just take photos outside the pagoda.

In front of the main pagoda.

Mrs. Lan, one of the people have the merit in building the Bai Dinh pagoda. Here is the ceremony to remember her.

The tower is quite high with about 17 floors. There are no windows to look outside, just only an entrance door. You have to buy a ticket if you wish to go inside.

Buy some souvenirs for family members.

We go back to the bike park after 3 hours staying here and continue our trip to the second stop point the ancient Trang An.

At 12:00 P.M,  We ride our bikes and go to the next destination.

 

A lot of young people come here to experience climbing the mountain and sitting on the boat for sightseeing.

We check-in at the entrance gate

And before climbing the mount

During also…

Challenge me by standing at the highest point

Three of us are venturous?

Is dancing flagpole?

After 2 hours staying at the second stop point, we move to the third one. However, everything is not good as we expected.  When we just arrive the gate, many people wave and call us to park the bike, though we know exactly there is a free parking inside the gate, we still spend 15k VND on this. We think that it’s Mua cave, just go inside and discover. Otherwise, we have to climb the mount again. Actually, we exhausted already. Moreover, The ticket is 100k VND, it’s also quite expensive for us. After checking in, we decide to give up the Mua Cave and take a trip to the ancient capital Hoa Lu.

Le Dai Hanh King temple is known as Le Hoan King

Dinh Tien Hoang King Temple is  known as Dinh Bo Linh King

We spend 20K VND buying the ticket for each person. I do not know why they just accept our tickets when going inside Dinh Tien Hoang King Temple, the other is completely free to enter.

And we go back home at 4:30 P.M. At that time, it’s raining already. we do not wear any raincoat to celebrate this day whether we catch a cold or not.

Go to Ninh Binh, I really impressed with the the majestic mountains that I do not see any in my hometown. Such a memorial day!

View all the photos here

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February 20 2018

Spend one day hanging out with high school friends at Ecopark

Unlike every year. we have a unique reunion this year, Both the participants and the method. The main reason lack of people is the number of people get married and busy with their own job, others are too far from hometown and cannot come back on time. the other is selected by members of the class group.

At first, We decided to travel to Bai Dinh, Trang An. However, a lot of them get drunk on the night before the trip, they can get up on time. So it was stood over. skip a day, we continue the trip to another place suggested by Thao. That is Ecopark.

On February 20, 2018, five of us (Including me, Cuong, B.Hang, M.Tam, and B.Duong) meet at Giang’s house and begin the trip to Ecopark, it’s about 50 km long. take us 2 hours. We spend all the morning to find a store and hire Ao Dai but can’t find any ones. Let’s everything happen in its ways, we dress up our clothes.

And here are photos I want to show you:

 

Hot boy standing next to a peach tree, just kidding!

the main stage of festival

Lots of people come here, although the ticket price is not cheap

Like me, they prefer to take selfie than doing others

Fake apricot blossom but it tricked almost people.

 

The year of dogs. That’s a couple dog stand here.

I am Jealous…

 

Two siblings prepare for capturing seflie photos.

Look at the girls over there, what are they doing?

A garden of peach trees. Is that beautiful, isn’t it?

 

Love, but no one love each other.

Suggestive statue with children, they look really innocent!!

 

I and Tâm borrow two cute puppies from Koreans.

 

We are lucky when suddenly meet Bui Nhung on the road, our classmate 😀

 

and take the photo together, Everyone is beautiful except me,

 

The center of Spring park

 

Some pieces of wood shaped a dog, I do not sure that is a dog or a cow!

 

Is he the god of love?

 

It is suitable for lovers, not for singles like me :3

 

What is the meaning of putting the wheels here? I do not know!

 

No one cares? Let’s the world be the world.

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February 3 2018

A cultural situation with Uber in Hanoi | Cross Cultural Communication

1.      INTRODUCTION

Each country, each region in the world has different cultures, some of them contradict each other, which made us really confused and embarrassed. In fact, I have never been in any foreign countries, and have not had any opportunities to integrate myself into a new culture. During part-time work, however, I have encountered a cultural situation that made me embarrassed right in Hanoi, and now I will share that extraordinary story.

2.      CONTENT

In the second year at university, Because I just did not want to be dependent on my parents and brother’s grant, I had to find a part-time job to make a living in the expensive city, Hanoi. Thinking about my situation and all things I had, I decided to work as an UberMOTO driver. Uber is an application that allows riders move easily by booking nearest motorbikes or various cars just a few touches on their mobile phone. The most favorite thing made me choose this kind of job was because I could work in flexible time with high income and also have chances to make conversations with strangers, especially with foreigners.

Like many other universities in Vietnam, I had a day off on Sunday every week, this was the best time for me to work and make my bread for the following weeks. On the first Sunday of October, 2017. To take advance of having a good health condition and spare time all day, I prepared all the demands for the job then turned on Uber Driver app in my phone to ready for the job right at my home.

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A few moment later, there was a ting-ting sound coming from my phone, it was the sign of a rider’s demand in the Uber Driver app. I accepted the trip and called the rider, an English speaker answered from another side. After confirming the rider’s place, I drove my motorbike on the way to there. At the destination, there was a black man standing alone, I speedily reached that person and asked him whether he was my rider or not. We communicated completely in English: “Hello, did you take UberMOTO?” I asked, “Yes, I did” He answered. Then, He slowly reconfirmed the driver in his app again then rode on my motorbike, wore the helmet, and we started the trip.

During the trip, he talked with me as a close friend which made me feel closer to him. He told the story of his wonderful journey from Brazil to Vietnam. Although he was a Brazilian, he really admired heroic Vietnamese people through Vietnam war films from a long time ago and considered Vietnam as his second hometown. “In two years living here, I have absolutely appreciated the way of life in Hanoi. People here are really open-minded and friendly” He added.

A half hour later, we reached rider’s destination and I carefully stopped driving my motorbike, swept on the screen to finish the trip but the rider was really uncommon. He also got off my motorbike, gave me the helmet, then looked at his mobile phone and informed me that the trip was paid by credit card. In response to his words, I also made an “Ok sign” by my hand to let him know that it was fine, this action performed by connecting the thumb and index finger into a circle O, and holding the other fingers straight or relaxed in the air. After that, he completely changed his look, it was like something terrible just happened to him, he suddenly went away without saying goodbye to me. Then, I continued my job in curious thoughts.

After having dinner at a restaurant, I was really angry and irritated when opening Uber Driver app and checking the ratings from riders’ tab. There was one-star showed up together with a report said that the driver was unprofessional and impolite. At that moment, how confused I was! I wondered whether I did something wrong or not. All the riders were really pleased with the trips. I quickly thought about the trip with the Brazilian, about his weird action.

3.      ANALYSIS

In this part, I would like to analyze three possible reasons that came across in my mind about this remarkable situation at that time.

  • Rider encountered bad news at the end of the trip

Probably, he wanted to throw things he got in my face. Although he looked really friendly and open-minded before the trip as well as during and at the end of the trip, he was really impolite. This might happen on the phone showed up a bad message that he saw but did not want to share with me.

  • High fare and skeptical rider

Uber computed flexibly fare each trip. The price of the trip depends on the distance route which driver has chosen. Therefore, it is normal if rider’s app showed up at different prices compared with driver’s app. In this situation, the rider did not know this method and thought that driver was cheated.

  • Lack of knowledge about hand gesture in Brazil and other countries.

That happened in differences of the “Ok gesture” between Brazil and other countries. The hand gesture is like the shape of the word “OK” widely used to mean “all is well” or satisfactory in English language. It is commonly understood as a signal of approval and sometimes used synonymously with the Western “thumbs up” gesture in America, Britain, and Vietnam as well. In Brazil, Ok sign is the same as calling someone an “asshole”. It is considered a rude gesture and offensive insult. Brazilians think that it is used to depict a private bodily orifice.

4. REASONABLE SOLUTION

In the previous part, I was analyzed three possible reasons could happen in this situation. Now I will show the most reasonable one and the result of this situation.

Through the information, I searched on the internet along with hand gesture “Ok sign” to the rider. There should not be any doubt anymore, the third reason is the most accurate explanation.

One of the main reasons led to this cross-culture misunderstanding that I did not know well the cultures among Brazil and other countries beforehand. I’m a Vietnamese specializing in English, so all I know is a small part of the culture in oriental countries and English-speaking countries. In above situation, I thought “Ok gesture” was a normal one like other western countries that I have been learning before.

As a result, not until that time did I know this information, I felt ashamed of my mistake. On that day, I wrote a message of apology and said it was because of my ignorance. In a feedback message on the same day, he sympathized and forgave me. At the end, he also changed his ratings from one-star to five-star and removed the report. This was the most unforgettable trip with Uber until now. 

5.      PERSONAL ADVICE

We often think using our hands to communicate helps break down language barriers when traveling around the world. However, sometimes those gestures get lost in translation and depend on where you are, mean the exact opposite of what you’re trying to say. Previously, I have explained the accurate reason why I got confused with culture. In this part, I will give some advice and tips to deal with this issue.

5.1.   Learn more about the culture before and make sure it is right

Remember that all knowledge we have accumulated just being a grain of sand in the vast ocean. If we are not sure about a specific culture, just verify it again by searching on the internet, or ask someone who had been experienced it for a long time.

5.2.  Do not promptly judge foreigners just through their weird actions

People in different countries have their own cultural rules. It is undeniable that there are some conflicts in culture among countries in the world. If someone shows his or her strange actions, we need to keep calm and politely ask him or her what does it mean.

5.3.  Be friendly, try to make friends with people around the world

The more friends we made, the wider knowledge we get. If we build up relationships with foreigners in different countries, we will understand more not only their culture but also the people in the country where our friend comes from.

6.        IN CONCLUSION

As a student studying in the faculty of foreign languages at university, I have to acknowledge that all things we are studying are not completely abundant. Knowledge is not only in books, on the internet but also many real experiences. Hopefully, this assignment would help people learn from my mistakes, understand about the “Ok gesture” in Brazil, as well as some advice to minimize the unexpected situation when encountering Brazil gesture in particular, and other cultures in general.


(Word count: 1472 words)

Le Huynh

Many thanks to:

 Nguyen Mai, Minh Hanh, Xuan Cuong, My Le

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