HANOI – Right now, our new puppy is sitting in a metal cage and whining. It’s not a small cage, and it’s actually sort of fancy, with a pan beneath the lower bars to catch puppy pee. She is whining, obviously, because she wants me to liberate her. And maybe I will, eventually. But I’m not sure why, when I arrived home, she had been placed in the cage inside the living room and not left in the larger plastic enclosure we bought to keep the frisky little bitch from running all over the four-storey house and pooping and peeing wherever she pleases. Was this some sort of discipline from the nanny who also has three human children to worry about? Was this simply because the nanny had to step out and figured this was the best place to leave the pooch? Some people would say we are tempting fate to acquire a dog in a country where many people enjoy thit cho (dog meat) and others walk around with menacing pitbulls. (All considered, if dogs must be on the menu, may … [Read more...] about From Vietnam: The fluffy, frisky and friendly puppy love
When can you start training your puppy
I had to laugh reading about some talk that 'Vietnam has too many holidays!' I could imagine the growling and grumbling over a few cold beers in an air-conditioned bar while watching football beamed in from half way around the world. Reunification Day was celebrated on Thursday across the land - the final moment when Saigon fell and the north and south were finally one. Considering how hard the vast majority of the people work - I say take the holiday! And buy a hammock! All my classes have been cancelled this week with students begging for the time off - quite funny that I actually had to teach them how to say, "Bạn nói lại đi! (Repeat again!) 'Mr Stivi, can we have the week off?'" And my hotel training work too, with great claims of "Teacher, we'll be busy! Many guests!" That's odd; I thought tourist numbers were down this year? Many northerners head off on holidays to places like Hue, Da Nang and Hoi An - the best destinations in the world (really! I live here!), while … [Read more...] about Take a break, Vietnam!
Editor's Note: Stivi Cooke is an Aussie living in Hoi An Ancient Town in central Vietnam. There are two things you shouldn't do in Vietnam. Never accept food that you can't identify, and never tell your landlord that your main living room door is termite-infested and needs replacing. Had I known it, I would have said nothing and waited another two years until the door frame became an embarrassment that the neighbors would giggle about. The whole adventure speaks volumes about how much more modernizing Vietnam has to do in how things get … sort of done… I'd noticed it by accident, since the curtains hid the imploding paint job receding into the thick supporting beam. It's a monster of a door, about three meters wide and four meters high, opening outwards towards my front gate. You could peel off splinters of wood quicker than running the red lights on an old Honda. That was nine months ago. From time to time some men in blue jackets would turn up to look at the … [Read more...] about Vietnam experience: Door, sweet door
Short Story (19-10-2008) Making a living in town by Nguyen The Hung I was born in the Year of the Rat, the Day of the Rat, the Hour of the Rat. So my paternal grandfather got a piece of sandalwood he had hidden in the bottom of a paddy jar, while my father polished the incense burner. As the fragrant sandalwood spread throughout the house, grandfather put on his ceremonial robe and a pleated turban, then knelt to worship before the altar before opening a book full of ancient scripture and wisdom. He counted the number of various objects present at my birth then looked up at the sky searching for the star that held my fate. When everything was completed, he went in and said to my father: "It's good! Your precious son was born at the lucky hour! He will be very rich one day. Unfortunately for the boy, he will have to live far from home" His words largely dictated the course my youth was to follow. *** My childhood was as playful as a night mouse's. With one of my best friends, Trung, … [Read more...] about Making a living in town
Excited residents woke to a winter wonderland in New York on Sunday, shrieking with delight as they rode sleds in the sunshine after the second biggest snowfall in city records. NEW YORK: Excited residents woke to a winter wonderland in New York on Sunday (Jan 24), shrieking with delight as they rode sleds in the sunshine after the second biggest snowfall in city records. Thousands of families poured into the city's parks, where children flung themselves onto toboggans, engaged in snowball fights and parents introduced toddlers to the first major snow of their lives. Intrepid dog walkers and the occasional jogger were the first to take to the streets, but as the sun got stronger and New Yorkers finished shovelling their sidewalks, the parks filled up. "We love it, absolutely love it," laughed Bernie Sheary from Australia, out with his New Zealander wife and their 18-month-old daughter Chloe, who waddled across the sparkling snow chasing puppies. "We're going to play around in … [Read more...] about New York residents delight in winter wonderland