Saturday, December 27, 2008

Illy Espressamente Coffee Shop in Saigon: Shark fin trade supporter

It's a Illy coffee shop, but be careful: With every coffee you also support the shark fin trade.

It's just another sad story about money and careless people. Someone apparently got the Lilly Espressamente Coffee Shop Licence and opened a shop at Ly Tu Trong Street in Hoh Chi Minh City (Saigon). It's the typical Espressamente shop, nice italian style modern furniture, a lot of different coffee choices, even some food. (oh, and not geek friendly: no power plugs)

So far so good.

Unfortunately thats just part of the story. The owner - based on what the staff told me - owns also the restaurant next door: The Thai Finest Shark Fin restaurant. Even the VIP card is valid for both places. So the profit they may make with the Illy restaurant goes in the same pocket like the money they make with the shark fin restaurant.

In my opinion the only way to make a clear statement is to avoid to go to the Illy Espressamente Coffee shop there and to show the owner, that he really has to think about what he is doing.

I am really surprised about this facts and asked Illy HQ for a statement, why the make business with people who support shark fin trade. I am waiting for the response and will publish it here.

Some people may say, shark fin is a asian tradition. Sure it is. But tradition doesn't mean we have to like or accept it. On Fijii it was a tradition to eat other people - luckily they stopped it. In Afrika it's a tradition to cut females genitals - and the world community is fighting for a stop. In Europe they burnt witches - thank god they don't do it anymore.

To get a shark fin, the hunters just catch the shark, cut the fin and throw the body while the shark is still alive back in to the water. This finning just one of the most cruel ways to kill a animal. The shark is not able to swim anymore and is sinking to the ground and drowning and blooding.

And it's just stupid because they don't care about the sustainability. some places where sharks lived before are already deserted. Sharks are on top of the food chain - if you kill them, other fishes will get overpopulated and that might have a big effect on the ecosystem - something we are not able to control anymore. Every year 73 million sharks are killed. The shark population is declining - about 80 percent in the last 50 years.

Oh, and don't tell me about the medical impact of shark fin. It's just a rumor, short dick men use it as a excuse.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Gloria Jeans - one more story

It's just the way it works in Vietnam. Gloria Jean's once offered me a frequent customers card. Buy ten drinks, get one for free. When I asked for the last free drink, the Gloria Jean's in Phu M Hung didn't give me a new card. I asked why, and the staff said, the owner Khaisilk, doesn't want to print any cards anymore.
Of course, these cards are issued in other stores, what - if the staff is right - means, that I should go to other Gloria Jean's store to get a better offer.
I complained in the store, but I am sure they a) did not really understand what I was talking about (indicator: the more they say sorry, the more they don't get it), b) will not forward the complains to the big boss, because big bosses never want to hear bad news.

UPDATE: Got an answer from the main franchiser, the one in phu my hung is apparently a sub-franchise. they apologized and promised to talk with the owner. and keep me up to date about those talks. seems HQ is really professional

UPDATE2: HQ will send me the card and told me about the recent openings of 2 other shops. But, how shall I understand this: "I hope you would spend the card at the new outlets to get to know us more." That actually means that they recommend to spend my money not in the Phu My Hung shop anymore?

Mindmeister with new features

My prefered online mapping service Mindmeister came out with some new exciting features. The most requested one were graphic links (or graphical cross connections) between nodes. And: they did it.
we locked one of our JavaScript gurus in a room with just a notebook and the Encyclopedia of Bezier and B-spline Techniques, and only let him out yesterday.


Other new features are Mark & nudge inactive users, what is really important of people just started with collaboration and forget to come back top their project.
A monir change is the Alphabetize subnodes, but sometimes useful.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Collaboration vs. participation 3.0: Dropping Links and Files

Drop.io is an awesome service I first noticed when Adam Curry was talking about in his Daily Source Code. Its just simple: People can drop nearly anything in my box, what might be interesting for me. Its not searchable by Google & Co.
What is it for:
Scenario one: As some people know I am podcasting. I have a science show in German language every Sunday. Even if i do my best researching a lot of sources, there are a lot more science news out there. Sometime people sending me suggestions and useful information by email. Sure, they still can do this. But Drop.io is just easier. You found a link: Just type in http://drop.io/wanhoff/ and leave it there. Done. No registration, no forms.

Scenario 2: people working together on a research project. They collecting stuff and need to share ist somewhere. Drop.io is the solution.


Of course it offers some of the web 2.0 stuff, like comments and rss and there is even a twitter api. But what I like most is that its facing the reality of internet: Bloggers don't really want to be connected in social networks, they offer a blog and people can participate, but not collaborate. Thats the difference. I like that idea, its my blog or podcast, and I welcome everyone to join the community, but it's still my show.

So leave my drops there. please. Og, and dear other bloggers: If you refer to this article, please give me a link back.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

New Lotte Mart in Distcrit 7, Ho Chi Minh City - a review

We went on the opening day to the new Lotte Mart, desperately looking for more choices of products as there is always a lack of everything in Citimart and Co.

We decided to take a taxi, which was a good decision - it was overcrowded there. But they have plenty of space for motobikes, so during the week you should be able to park without waiting to long (and they charge no fee).
There are three parts of the Lotte Mart: The dining area with Pizza Hut, Angelinus Cofee and Gloria Jeans as well as the food court in the third floor. Then there is Lotte Cinema, Bowling and some area for children in the 2nd floor. And then they have the huge supermarket in the ground floor and the department store in the first floor.

The supermarket
Let's start with the supermarket: After some minutes we were disappointed. The reasons:
- same range of products like in Citimart or Coop
- meat is presented without any cover, so people can touch it or do whatever
- baguettes are presented without any cover, everyone touches that stuff (even the readymade pizaa baguette)
- hygiene at all doesn't play an important role
- the vegetables looked old and faded, even on the first day
- everything has to be wrapped in plastic bags, which isn't really environment friendly
- they try to force you to leave bags outside, but if you (as a foreigern) instist, then they give up
- credit card payment is possible, but the staff doesn't know how

The good points are:
- a lot of cashiers, and they do their best
- fast dirt response team cleaning the floor
- friendly helpful staff
- huge ammount of products, so hopefuly they won't get out of stock so fast
- big carts and small baskets to carry your stuff
- overall shelfs and products are in order

The department store in the first floor is ok, some clothes, ugly furniture and electronics, Nothing special, but not bad.

The Pizza Hut:
Surprisingly friendly and well organized at the opening day (and the was a hell lot of stress for them) , friendly helpful and attentive staff. We got our noodles in time, everything fine. Strongly recommended.

Food court second floor: Seems to be ok, large selecetion, nice decorated and designed chinese restaurant, Highlands Coffee, Wrap and Roll, Pho24.

Cinema: Our hope for entertainment, unfortunately they were sold out. Apparently there are 5 screens, and they announced movies like James Bond. No idea if its dubbed or OV with subtitles.


Summary:
We will not use the supermarket at Lotte Mart, because we get the same products at Citimart and FiVi mart. For Vietnamese people and some Koreans it might be a place to do the shopping, having some entertainment for the children and everything at one place. For us, its too crowded and at christmas time too noisy. We will go there for a Pizza or Cinema, but thats it.

UPDATE> An article in Saigon Times shows, what the problem is: Just ten percent products are from Korea

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Gloria Jean's Vietnam and their service - bad as in most places

What I don't really like is if expensive coffee shops treat customers like shit. I spent a hell lot of money at Gloria Jean's Vietnam, and have been there alone, with friends and business partners as well as with my wife and dogs. Today I was sitting at Gloria Jean's when my wife and the dogs arrived. I took the dogs, my wife ordered a coffee, we sat down, opened the computers and started surfin the internet. After ten minutes, the manager came and told us we have to leave (or sit outside) because dogs are not allowed. Security had informed him (what means, he doesn't know anything about companys policy).

I would understand this if we enter with the dogs and the tell us "no dogs". I would understand this it they have a sign "No dogs". But taking the money first and then throwing people out is just ripping us off. Its the same fucking behavior like Highlands waiting until you took seat, studied the menu and when you order they say "No baguette".

They don't get it. Most restaurants and coffee shops investing in design and branding, but never in operations and improvement. And the staff speaks barley English, mostly they are able to get the order, but that"s it.

I don't expect English at a side street coffee shop, but I do at places like Highlands and Gloria's in Phu My Hung.

UPDATE: A few days later. I sit in Gloria Jeans again. A young couple comes in with a puppy. The same guy who throw us out says now "oh, what a cute puppy". The security doesn't care. So, either they just forgot what happened some days ago, or they just handle people different. (The problem is a management problem, I don't really blame the staff)

Christmas decoration near our home

Christmas Decoration near our appartment

Happy Christmas!!!!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Traffic laws: No excuses for expats anymore

Chao-Vietnam - BBC News | Asia-Pacific | World Edition
Foreigners will no longer escape the attention of traffic police in Ho Chi Minh City

Police in Ho Chi Minh City Tuesday started fining foreigners and overseas Vietnamese caught breaking traffic rules as part of a wider campaign to improve traffic law compliance.

Chinese Fruit Contaminated With Excess Pesticide

Chao-Vietnam
Chinese Fruit Contaminated With Excess Pesticide
Tests found Chinese-grown fruit sold at Ho Chi Minh City markets over the past month contained excess amounts of pesticide, the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Health announced on Monday.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Tam


Tam
Originally uploaded by thomaswanhoff
Another friend asked for portrait pictures

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Colin Powells advice: Take the weekend off

When asked on CNN about his advice for then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, he said: "Take the weekend off". That doesn't mean that she should not be aware whats going on in the world or shut the phone off. That means, that she should stay at home, connected to her staff electronically, but not necessarily physically. "You nee time to rest", Powell said on CNN, "and thats what i did a home." If there was a crisis, he went to office, of course. But if not, he stayed at home.

I totally agree. Staying at home does not mean you are not working. But its a different environment, you can set new priorities and you have still time to rest and recharge yourself.

Its a kind of advice I have for companies in Southeast Asia: Forget the work on saturday, in most offices the saturday isn't really productive. Be more flexible, introduce home office work, VPN, and give you staff so time to rest. At the end they will be more motivated and productive.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Remember the milk available in Vietnamese now

Remember The Milk is now available in Albanian, Catalan, Esperanto, Lithuanian, Norwegian (Nynorsk), Ukrainian, and Vietnamese. This brings the total number of available languages to 31 (w00t!) -- thank you to all of the wonderful translation volunteers from around the world who have helped to make this possible! :)

RTM understands due dates and input in these languages -- so you can enter Monday, E hënë, dilluns, lundo, Pirmadienis, måndag, понедiлок, or thứ hai. If you'd like to use RTM in one of the new languages, you can change your language preference on the Settings screen in your account.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Bangkok's red light district suffers from political chaos

BANGKOK (AFP) — The go-go bars are empty and sex is on sale at half price as Bangkok's infamous red light districts suffer from a blockade of the capital's airports.

"It's high season, but now it's like low season," said Nan, a scantily-clad hostess at one deserted nightspot in the Thai capital's notorious Patpong area....

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The new blogger law in Vietnam

Just some quotes from Chao-Vietnam

According to the drafter, blogs or personal e-information sites, which are created and registered on the Internet, are used to display personal information to store, exchange, or share with a group of people or a community using Internet services and blogs.


Eighty-five percent of Vietnamese people use blog services provided by foreign companies, Phap Luat newspaper recently quoted Anh as saying.
As a result there will be management problems, if the statute only targets soc
ial networking websites provided by companies registered in Vietnam, he said.

The MIC will contact Google and Yahoo! for cooperation in creating the best and the healthiest environment for bloggers, according to Doan.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Not every tourist destination is a Disneyland - some are real countries like Thailand

Even if the protests in Thailand are over now (thats what PAD announced), I am still surprised about some reaction.

In Germany the protests and even the occupation of the airport weren't in the news until some tourists were stuck in the airport.

Today CNN quotes an American: "We wish we hadn't come here at all," said Keri Gannam, a visitor from the United States, who was honeymooning in Thailand. "It's just stressful. It's taken away everything... I'm supposed to have job interviews. I missed them."@

This is just unbelievable. There are people in Thailand trying to fight for democracy (but of course is their understanding of), at least stand up against the corrupt government, and tourists are just complaining about missed flights. So we have to learn from this:


Dear North-Korean opposition (if there is any), if you are planning to make a revolution, please make sure that no tourists or cargo planes are affected.

Dear Islamic Indians, we don't hate you because you are terrorists. We just hate you for destroying our nice hotels and keeping us away from work and travel for 3 days.

Dear Chinese students, if you want to start demonstrations, please don't do it on the Great Wall (Tourists might be disturbed), not at the Tian'anmen (if so Tourisst are not able to make nice pictures) and not at any other popular places. (It worked during the Olympic Games, so what?)

Dear monks in Burma, you were so brave and good when you were walking through the streets. Thanks for not blocking anything - hmm, ok, the Swedagon Pagoda was closed by the government, so it's not your direct fault, but think about this next time.

Dear minors in Cambodia, when foreigners ask you for sex, please just shut your mouth, wait for a scholarship of a western NGO an be happy. Don't stand up for your rights (demonstrations in Angkor are a NoNo) and never, never, never tell anyone that the most people asking you for sex aren't from western countries.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

No bread at Highlands Coffee

It's Saturday, we went to Highlands Coffee in Phu My Hung and were looking forward to have that tasty omlette with cheese and ham. But as we ordered the waitress told us that they have no bread. At 9 am on a Saturday.

We asked for the manager and he said, the supplier didn't show up. We asked why they don't just buy some bread in one of the 4 supermarkets nearby or bakeries. The Manager answered they have to use their supplier for bread. Only as we were leaving the Highlands Coffee he started to say he will serve us coffee first and then go to the supermarket.

Actually that's the big problem Highlands Coffee has: If there is a problem, there is no solution. I as the customer have to offer solutions. Especially when there seems to be a violation of the companies policies. Why isn't the management able to give more responsibility to the staff on the ground to just buy some baguette when the supplier is late? Is it more important to wait for the supplier or to have satisfied customers?

A good service is not only to have always good quality, it's also the ability to be flexible on that high standard.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Phuc, Vietnamese Friend

Phuc is one of the first persons we made friends in Vietnam...

(Live) News coverage on Mumbai and Thailand on Twitter

Twitter is fast - and maybe too fast. Authorities in India asked twitterers to stop live coverage of military operations to avoid giving the terrorists too much information.


Sorry but in the interest of saving lives we will stop discussing any military advancements or plans. (Please Retweet)


Not so in Thailand: Twitter is my major source now, but of course i know that these news are mainly by pad people or people who support pad. but anyway its interesting to get that personal view.

my favorite sources:
twitter.com/BreakingNewsOn
twitter.com/escribitionist
twitter.com/thaicoup
twitter.com/smartbrain


Regarding delayed news coverage: I remember a hostage situation in Berlin some years ago where a news camera team where close by and transmitted live picture. Then the police ask to stop that because the news channel provided live pictures of special forces taking position. and of course the person inside the house where because of this able to see whats going on outside.

It's really good to stay in Vietnam :-)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Re-start portrait photography

As you can see on my Flickr-page, I did a lot of portrait pictures in Germany. I stopped for no reason when I moved to Asia, but want to revive it.


I am looking for people (male and female) wants to have some portrait picture. It's for free, you just need some hours of time.
Just email me, leave a comment or skype me on thomaswanhoff.

Examples: Pete, guitar player
piet thompsen plays on ibanez


Nicole, flight attendant
Nicole

Jimmy Wales, Founder Wikipedia
Jimbo

What if your Bloghoster isn't anymore?

The story was told so many times, but still people wondering what will happen if the service A shuts down it's operations - including your blog, pictures or whatever.
Normally your data is gone, except the service was sold to another company who will continue operations.
So, how to avoid this? Instead of blaming the companies it's better to have a look on the Terms of Use.
Let's have a look on Facebook:
The Company reserves the right to change any and all content, software and other items used or contained in the Site and any Services and Platform Applications offered through the Site at any time without notice.

Also:
The Company may terminate your membership, delete your profile and any content or information that you have posted on the Site or through any Platform Application and/or prohibit you from using or accessing the Service or the Site or any Platform Application (or any portion, aspect or feature of the Service or the Site or any Platform Application) for any reason, or no reason, at any time in its sole discretion, with or without notice

And even if your life ends, your FAcebook account will be still alive:
When we are notified that a user has died, we will generally, but are not obligated to, keep the user's account active under a special memorialized status for a period of time


You can like it or not, but once you checked "I agree", it's a little bit silly to complain.

What about Flickr?


First of all, Flickr is a PUBLISHING service, not a STORAGE service. If you don't back up your pictures, it's your fault.
Second, if Flickr is closing the portal (tehy don't mention this in their Terms of Service, but Yahoo does):
You acknowledge that Yahoo! reserves the right to log off accounts that are inactive for an extended period of time. You further acknowledge that Yahoo! reserves the right to modify these general practices and limits from time to time.


So, these are just two examples to show that it's always a good idea to read the Terms of Use.

Another way to understand is common sense. Imagine a friend wants to stay in your house over night. Of course he will not charge you for the night, but you will also not expect to have a breakfast buffet and a maid. So companies like yahoo do the same, the offer you a free service, get some advertising revenue for this, and you can use the service as it is. If you want more, its not free anymore.


It's funny to see that people always complain about a free service. If you don't like it, just use another or set up your own. It's like the overnight stay: You will not use your friends underwear just because he invited you to stay in his house.

Sounds simple?


Oh, that doesn't mean that you cannot be a critic of their Terms of Use or their business concept. You can say it's good or bad, of course. But as a user you still have to follow their rules.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Barcamp Saigon

I got up early this morning, the organizers met at 7 am at RMIT, the venue for Barcamp Saigon. We had around 300 people already registered on the website and more expected to just register on the spot.
Everything works fine, the volunteers doing a great job in giving introduction, handing over the welcome package and helping finding rooms.
Even providing lunch is smooth, nobody has to wait for a long time in the queque. Like Jeff said, its the chicken-or-fish-choice, but that's fine. Hey, its for free!

Peronsally I made my how-to-wtitter-and-why-session and joined for a short time Bryan from VinaGame. He is one of the most experience guys in the vietnam internet market and VinaGame (one of the Barcamp main sponsors by the way) is the leader in this business.

I will later join the how to make money on the internet session, because my focus is not that much on software or programming but on how to turn a feature rich webservice into a good selling product.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Google HAckathon DevFest

Chip and Kevin preparing the pink Barcamp Saigon Air Force as part of our massive marketing and pr campaign.

Venue for Barcamp Saigon

The Venue for Barcamp Saigon at RMIT. Thats the Lobby were we place the schedule board and where the sponsors are

Monday, November 3, 2008

Chambers of Commerce in Vietnam and their communication skills

I send some information about our barcamp event to three chambers of commerce: AmCham, AusCham and EuroCham. AmCham responded quick and nicely and promised to announce our event - what never happenend until today (even if I reminded them). AusCham and EuroCham never responded. I had in another case the same experience with the German Business Association.

It seems that beside organizing charity events they should work also on their communication skills.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Oriental Dance The Cage

Its seems that dancing hits Saigon, especially Salsa and Swing. Many of my friends are now addicted to dancing, and I myself think about joining dance class. Last Saturday at cage the Saigon Belly Dancers performed for the first time. It ws very impressive, knowing that they just trained for 6 months. Great international culture.
Some breaks were filled by the Salsa and Swing Dancers, and especially the Salsa group was more then impressing. Awesome how they get into the tottaly different culture of latin dance, and it#s always a pleasure to see them. Da capo!
See the Video below and more pictures on my flickr-page.





Monday, October 27, 2008

Apple goes politics: No on proposition 8

No on Prop 8
Apple is publicly opposing Proposition 8 and making a donation of $100,000 to the No on 8 campaign. Apple was among the first California companies to offer equal rights and benefits to our employees’ same-sex partners, and we strongly believe that a person’s fundamental rights — including the right to marry — should not be affected by their sexual orientation. Apple views this as a civil rights issue, rather than just a political issue, and is therefore speaking out publicly against Proposition 8.


Proposition 8 is an initiative measure on the 2008 California General Election ballot titled Eliminates Right of Same-Sex Couples to Marry.[1][2] If passed, the proposition would "change the California Constitution to eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry in California."[3] A new section would be added stating "only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California."

The measure was originally submitted for the ballot by petitioners with the title "California Marriage Protection Act."[4] The title and summary were revised by Attorney General Jerry Brown to more "accurately reflect the measure."[5] The Superior Court of California ruled in favor of these changes, stating, "The title and summary is not false or misleading because it states that Proposition 8 would 'eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry' in California. The California Supreme Court unequivocally held that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry under the California Constitution." (from Wikipedia)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Collaborative work: Anyone can do anything?

Part of my work is collaborative work, and part of collaborative work are rules.

In a professional way, there are document creators and owners, who invite others to collaborate on a document. Changes are being seen in the revisions history. But the main part of collaboration is not that you can make changes but to talk about changes. That's more a technical part.

Collaboration means informing people about changes and discuss it. That's why I always suggest chat solutions combined with collaboration tools. and by the way, that's the recipe of success for Wikipedia: The discussions are improving the quality.

So if you are thinking about collaborative tools, think about in total. Use the whole power of it. Because, if you start using this tools alone, then you will fail.

So just think about these steps:

Create a document
Start with some content
Write some comments on critical parts or where you think a discussion is useful
Invite others
Follow revisons
Work together on the document
Supervise it as you are the creator who needs at the end the best quality
Make decisions if needed


Note: Collaboration is a tool, not a philosophy. It should help working together and improving quality of work.

Barcamp Saigon is coming soon

Check out BarcampSaigon.org for the latest news and registration.

Date: November 15th 2008
Location: RMIT, Nguyen Van Linh Boulevard, District 7, HCMC

Beginning at 8 am, End app. 5pm

Friday, October 10, 2008

city talk - the Highlands coffee rat cake case

Much more than a photostory seems to be the rat cake scandal at Highlands coffee. Its a perfect example how companies are not able to handle such an issue - and there is a reason why i keep it general, because it seems that in fact there are now two companies involved - spoken with a PR tongue. Its also a Sheraton issue now...

Priorities for young people in Vietnam

I had a talk with a friend, a student. She is not really happy with their studies, the teacher tells them crappy things, so I suggested her to visit a job fair.
Now she called me and said, if its starting at 9 she will not go. "I am too lazy and to busy, because I am giving dance lessons too."

Its seems a matter of priority, how people handle their future. And I am always surprised when young people did get their ass off and do something. They just hanging around and spending their parents money.

Luckuly on the other hand I know some Vitenamese people who are totally different. They are really interested in pesonal development and a career. They will build Vietnams future.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Lehman brothers CEO: What a dickhead

Lehman Brothers CEO KO'd In Gym // Current
Mr Fuld said: "I want to be very clear. I take full responsibility for the decisions that I made and for the actions that I took based on the information that we had at the time."


That's easy to say when you still get your 300 Million Dollar salary and whatever else. These guys should face years in jail without any compensation and should pay all the money they have to at least their employees who are now jobless.

Same in Germany: These Hypo Real Estate Bankers are rolling on the floor laughing while the state has to pay the bill for their lifestyle. These guys just wanna become rich very fast without having any interest in what they doing. They just don't care.

Its time, that people have to feel responsiblity again. Thats means punishment, not just an apology.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Google Developers Fest Hacklathon in Saigon - Register now!

Google DevFest: Ho Chi Minh City - Google Hackathons - Google Code
What: Google will be holding a DevFest in Ho Chi Minh City. Join us for a day of coding and fun, where we'll cover topics ranging from OpenSocial & App Engine to YouTube & the Google Maps API.

Who: You! We'll provide space, power, and refreshments. You just need to bring your own laptop, ideas and enthusiasm to complete the mix.

When: Tuesday November 4th, 2008 1:00PM-10PM

Where: University of Technology

RSVP for the Ho Chi Minh City event below!


Register here

Thursday, October 2, 2008

How to kill the music business

The National Music Publishers’ Association Take On iTunes » Late Night Wallflower
The National Music Publishers’ Association is taking on iTunes in a battle to increase royalty rates for artists. The publishers association want the rates hiked up 66%, from 9 cents to 15 cents a track.


What kind of dumb people are sitting in this Association??? Are they aware that if Apple closes its store people would not wait for reopening but reactive the bittorrent software? A increase of 66 percent is to border on insolence.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Stone Age Keynote

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Bad US economy to have effect on startups and hotels

Just read this on alleyinsider:

It's my believe that the economic downturn will be much worse than it is today, and that 50-80% of the venture-backed startups currently operating will shut down or go on life-support (i.e. 3-4 folks working on them) within the next 18 months.


Is it a bad news? Will be the same happen to start-ups in Vietnam? Maybe. It depends what kind of business plan they have - and if they have one. There are so many companys just collecting money from ventures but don't earn one cent. That's part of the problem, that banks and funds are investing in expections but not in fundamental business. There is no difference between a 5-million Dollar investment in a twitterclone and a 100 Million Dollar Hotel project in Cambodia. Both will never pay back, because there is now real return on investment. The Hotel needs renovations every 2 years on a risky market and the start-up needs news ideas every 2 months in a overheated market.

So, even if some start-ups will shut down and some hotel projects in asia will be delays or stopped, at least it's necessary to bring the market back to reality.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Internet outage because of broken cable in Vietnam

VietNamNet Bridge – The international Internet cable system was broken at two sites in Trang Dinh, Lang Son province and Mong Cai (Quang Ninh), affecting FPT, EVN Telecom and Viettel’s Internet services.

The incident started at 8.45am, September 26, hindering Internet subscribers of the three above Internet service providers from accessing important websites like Google, Yahoo and some news sites. Email contact and transactions related to overseas hosting stations were also broken.

Wow, and we are still alive.. !


Thursday, September 25, 2008

Barcamp Saigon - for those who wanna organise

I just set up a google group for the Barcamp Saigon Organizers, so if you wanna join...





Google Groups

barcamp saigon organizers

Visit this group


We are still lokking for a venua as well as a catering service.. any ideas?

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Barcamp Phnom Penh Review - Sexy girls in Cambodia and cheap PCs

I am still moved by the Barcamp Phnom Penh on Saturday. It was such an impressing event, I never thought it will come true when we talked about a Barcamppp back in 2007 for the first time. But thanks to Tharum, Ramana and Viirak, it became reality.

Some impressions:



Some thoughts:
We had some discussions about setting some speakers on the agenda, but then we decided to start blank - and it worked. That means at the end, that the participants accepted the concept of a un-conference - which is a huge step in a country like Cambodia. And it was a surprise that a high ranking government official were there the whole day and said thank you tothe organizers.

We also decided to offer two different places for talks, although we had concerns that most Cambodians are used to listen to one speaker instead of planning their own schedule. But it worked too and I am confident that for the next Barcamp much more Garden-locations and small rooms would be fine.

The range of topics was big, and that's what a Barcamp is about. From a Microsoft Commercial to How to date a Cambodian girl, there were a lot of different and even controversial topics.

That leads me to the last point: There was a discussion during the Cambodian girl dating session (which was kind of a hommage to Bangkok Barcamp), when one Cambodian girl asked, why we were talking about dating instead of serious problems the country is still suffering from.

Beside the fact, that Barcamp is also about fun, the point is cultural exchange. The dating topic is not a Cambodian topic, it pops up always on conferences. The cultural point is about the public relations between boys and girls. Cambodians are still shy and very cautions, especially girls. "It's our culture", they say. On the other hand, in every advertising, on live concerts or when they dress up, it's about looking sexy. So there is a gap between the cultural tradition, their own feelings and what maybe the (male) public is expecting.

There will be a change for Cambodian women, and I am confident, after they will be much stronger. They will dress sexy if they want, (and not if they don't want), but also kiss a boy in public. It's then a girls own decision and not a so called cultural thing anymore.

I know, that this topic is controversial, and I like to start a discussion about the role of Cambodian girls in the Khmer society. Thats why I choosed this headline, knowing that it will attract people as well as search enginge :-)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Coverage on the first Twitter Meeting

Taitran wrote a review of the first Twitter Meeting in Saigon.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Social Advertising: Barcamp Phnom Penh

Tech enthusiasts to host innovative BarCamp gathering


PHNOM PENH – Bloggers and technology enthusiasts will hold the first annual BarCamp Phnom Penh on September 20, a conference many have termed in reverse an "unconference." Over 150 technology aficionados from the region will attend.

BarCamp, an innovative "impromptu" gathering that began in 2005 in Palo Alto, California, helps "open source" enthusiasts share information about technology in an informal setting. The idea quickly spread from California to the rest of the world, arriving in Bangkok in January 2008 and now in Phnom Penh.

"We hope to foster more innovative ways of thinking in Cambodia," said Tharum Bun, this year's BarCamp organizer. "It's all about breaking down the barriers we have in traditional conferences, where people show up and just listen to presentations. We want to think outside of the box."

Anyone can show up to BarCamp and present a topic, Bun said. Past topics in other countries have ranged from blogging techniques to "How to Date a Japanese Girl."

"After all the hardship our country has experienced, we're trying to bring Cambodia into a new age of innovation and technology," he said.

Representatives from Microsoft and Yahoo! are expected to attend, attracting an unprecedented level of attention into Cambodia for its growing technological revolution.

In August 2007, the Cloggers team (short for "Cambodian bloggers") hosted the Cloggers Summit, a gathering of over 200 individuals who listened and presented on issues of communication and technology in the once war-torn country.

BarCamp's organizers consider the conference to be follow-up to the Cloggers Summit.

EVENT INFORMATION

Where: Cambodia-Japan Cooperation Center (CJCC)

Institute of Foreign Languages, Royal University of Phnom Penh
Russian Confederation Blvd., Khan Toul Kork, Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

When: September 20, 2008, 9:00am - 5:00pm

For more information, visit http://www.barcampphnompenh.org/

Friday, September 12, 2008

What studying tourism means in Vietnam

I learned that maybe some of the curriculums in some universities are a bit outdated and some teachers lack of international experience. That's what a friend told me from her tourism class:

Teacher: There is a guy coming in to a five star hotel in europe, appereantly dressed in jeans, sandals, cheap t-shirt and asking for a room. What would you do?

Student: I would welcome him and look if there are rooms available.

Teacher: Wrong. He is not dressed properly, so just ignore him and call security to take him out.

Thats how the story was told, but not exactly word by word.

One more conversation:

A guest wants to check in, but dont have a ID or passport. What can he do?

Answer Student: Maybe giving some money under the table?


Actually ist seems student don't really know that money does not solve problems like that in countries in Europe, Australia or the US.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

BarCamp Saigon in November

Who ever made the decision, the BarCamp Saigon seems to be on November 15th. Location to be announced. There is a Barcamp-Wiki-Page available with latest informations as well as a facebook group named BarCamp Saigon. If you interested, just join us..

Monday, September 8, 2008

Fight against piracy in Cambodia :-)

I just read this:

Phnom Penh (dpa) - Cambodia would begin raids on shops suspected of selling pirated movie DVDs and music CDs, a senior official warned Monday.

The South-East Asian nation has become well-known among travellers for its thousands of shops offering dirt-cheap pirated copies of the latest international movies and music, which often hit the stalls before they are in general release overseas.

"The ministry will implement measures imminently to stop the sale of pirated CDs and DVDs to protect the intellectual property of their writers and producers," said Tauch Sarou, undersecretary of state for the Culture Ministry.

I am very sorry, but if they are serious with this issue, they must raid EVERY shop. There is NO place were you can buy original movies and music.
Again the government is trying to calm down international demand and the showing some action. Its like with prostitution: Every few months they arrest a foreigner and show how the a fighting against prostitution. And then the same politicians and police officers gome back to the karaoke bars.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

PM Samaks trick

PM Samaks dirty tricks
He was not able to solve the problem in Thailand, the army rejected to help just because of the protests of the PAD. Even the King seemed to be concerned. But as long as the protests were non-violent, the government couldn't use to much force either. That's when Samak sent his own troups, the pro-government protesters of the DAAD. They had only one mission: To clash with the PAD, to use violence and to force the situation to a point, where Samak can declare the state of emergency. It's an old, dirty but working political trick he used.

about video podcasting



Imaginate 60: Is Video Podcasting For You?

Monday, September 1, 2008

Anyone with Drupal experience

Need a IT company with drupal or other open source CMS experience for a intranet project.
A client (200 employees with several branches) needs a intranet solution, security is one issue, scalability another.

If you are interested please mail me at thomaswanhoff@me.com

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Vietnamese Dancers

Ok, its not really traditional

Friday, August 29, 2008

Victoria Hotel Hoi An Resort and Spa

We are at Victoria Hotel Hoi An Resort and Spa right now and relaxing over the weekend, to get the strength to go to Bangkok one week later :-) Life is hard in Vietnam, as you can see.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Fivi Market

When we moved to District 7 we were quite happy to have the Fivi market next to us, mainly because of it's large selection of kind of international brands. I like the frozen fishcakes, the Kettle Chips, they even have Haribo and Beef Jerky. Everything is fine at Fivi Market as long as its packed or canned.

The fresh goods are a nightmare. Whenever I bought some vegetables, after one day they were already rotten. Same for fruits: I bought some sliced pomelo on Saturday, today it was moldy. Fresh milk gets curd after one day too. I think the problem is that they don't keep their products cool the whole production chain. The way from the producer to the supermarket can be long, and the vegetables can already start to decay. This process is normally invisible in the first stage, and will be interrupted when the goods are cooled for a while. But the minute you take them out of the market, the process will go on.

Oh, by the way, I bought last Saturday expensive sausage at Veggies, it was packed 29.7. and started already changing the color. So its not just a Fivi problem.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Lightning strike at our lake

I made this picture yesterday when a thunderstorm brought heavy rain to HCMC

Thursday, August 21, 2008

How our work(place) is changing

ZEN Habits worte an excellent article about how our work environment is rapidly changing. He noted 12 points or new rules of working:

Excerpts:

1. Online apps and the cloud beat the desktop and hard drive. While the majority of workers use desktop applications such as Microsoft Office, that’s rapidly changing. Today, people like me use apps that are almost all online, such as Gmail, Google Docs and Spreadsheets, Gcal, WordPress, Twitter, Zoho Office, High Rise, Backpack and many others.

2. Collaborate on documents, don’t email them. I won’t name names, but recently I had to work with a group of people on a draft of a book. These people are intelligent people, but they are used to their old processes, and one of those is to use the Microsoft Word format for drafts, and to email revisions of the draft back and forth. In one case, they actually printed stuff out, marked up the printout, and FedExed it to me for further revisions

3. Collaboration is the new productivity. It used to be that we tried to work our butts off to produce, but mostly individually. Sure, there were meetings, and there were teams, but in the end we mostly did it individually. It’s still that way mostly.

4. People don’t have to be in an office. This is the one I wish most businesses would get, right now, right away. It’s so obvious once you get away from the traditional mindset. Traditionally, people worked in offices (and of course most still do). They go into the office, do their work, go to meeting, process paperwork, chat around the watercooler, clock out and go home.

Read the whole article

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Garbage everywhere


Garbage everywhere
Originally uploaded by thomaswanhoff
When we came here 2 months ago we were suprised how clean it is. That's still the case in District 1, and in Phu MY Hung. At our place its different. People throwing their garbage away. Today we saw a lady cleaning the street and the pavement, but she just threw the trash 3 meters away like you see in the picture.
The government is running a campaign against envirionmental pollutio, but people are not really understand what it is about. Its saves money to get rid of your waste just in the meadow arround the corner. Even our guard did this with our garbage one time.

Sunset at our home


Sunset at our home
Originally uploaded by thomaswanhoff

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Awsome Non-musican



Amateur - Lasse Gjertsen

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Black


Black
Originally uploaded by thomaswanhoff
Isn't he cute?

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Just men

.. is the name of a beauty salon in Ton That Thiep Street (just across Saigon Center), and the offer kind of beauty treatment for men. I went there at 9.30 am, just to make sure that's a safe and proper service the offer. And, hell, it is: Even some called me a metro man, its a real relaxing experience. I had a head, back and should massage, manicure, shaving and shampooing and felt like in heaven and surrounded by angels. The staff speaks english, they are friendly, attentive, the place is clean, they offer you free coffee or tea, but beer and wine is available too. So is Wifi.
Prices are reasonable. Haircut and style 9 USD, shampoo 5 USD, manicure 5 USD.
Massage is 15 USD for 45 min men recovery and 20 USD for 60 min relaxing.
Yes, there are cheaper places in HCMC, but it's like having a dinner at a restaurant: You don't pay just for a grilled chicken, you also pay for service, environment and so on.

Open daily from 9am until 8pm. after 8pm by appointment only.

Black


Black
Originally uploaded by thomaswanhoff
.. is the new puppy in our house. He belongs to the guard, and we loved him from the first ment we saw this cute little creature.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Chicken curry


Chicken curry
Originally uploaded by thomaswanhoff
Serve with rice and basil leaves

Chicken curry


Chicken curry
Originally uploaded by thomaswanhoff
Ingredients for a chicken curry (not on the picture: Basil leaves and coconut milk)

Monday, August 11, 2008

Why Twitter is so successful

Gregor made a good point in an article on techcrunch about twitter and its success:
This simple premise holds the key to Twitter’s success: messages go to a well-defined audience. In the moment you release a tweet, you know who’s on the line and you have an idea of who can catch a glimpse of your message. @replies are the best illustration for this sense of audience: Even though Twitter is not a point-to-point message delivery system (let alone a reliable one), @replies are sent with the understanding that they will be read by the intended people because they are known to be in the audience. (Imagine a newspaper article that suddenly greeted a specific reader.)


Thats excatly why people feel comfortable with twitter. Its more like a chat room, where you can find real (yeah, i know about fake accounts) people.

If your blog isn't commented daily, you have no clue who are your readers are. With twitter, you have.

Gotta go and tweed this article now.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Be pure on your iPhone

If you one of the guys still living (and working) with Telnet and the Mac Terminal Sessions, then you propably should try this new Iphone app.

Its a complete terminal software for SSH, Telnet and TCP connections.

My Holy Grail Of iPhone Apps Arrives: pTerm | The Apple Blog
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Friday, August 8, 2008

Dog owners group Saigon

I just started a facebook dog owners group for people living in Saigon to share information about everything related to our lovely friends.
http://www.new.facebook.com/home.php?ref=logo#/group.php?gid=21377463258

or just look for dog owners saigon on facebook

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Steve Jobs came to early

Steve Jobs: MobileMe "not up to Apple's standards"
In an internal e-mail sent to Apple employees this evening, Steve Jobs admitted that MobileMe was launched too early and "not up to Apple's standards."


I agree with the standard, but does that mean there will be a delay for the nano iphone and the tablet mac? :-(

Abacus for iPhone

iPhone Abacus, old wine in a new bottle | Asiajin

Isn't that cool? Ancient technologies on the latest computer gadget

Monday, August 4, 2008

Dave Winer about Twitter, Identi.ca and missed chances

Twitter will kick themselves for missing this (Scripting News)
Imagine if the world of Instant Messaging had been under one roof, if one vendor had invented it, and had 100 percent market share. Further, what if that vendor had the foresight that there would be other vendors and that compatibility between their services would make a huge market, and that incompatibility would keep the market fragmented and relatively small. What would that vendor have done?

Rumor: Nano-iphone for Chrismas?

Apple to launch the iPhone 'nano' in time for Christmas | Mail Online
Apple is about to launch a 'nano' version of the hugely successful iPhone. It is expected to be in the shops in time for Christmas.

The product will be launched in the UK at up to £150 for pay-as-you-go customers by O2, the mobile phone group owned by Spain's Telefonica. 'This will be a big one,' said an industry source.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Snakebite

Whooo

Thursday, July 31, 2008

SearchMe Visual Search

Even if they are not that big like Google, I really like to browse with searchme visual search. And the way the promote specials and gives you recommendations. Today the just collected Summer Movie Trailers, a really nice way to browse, because the already showing the video instead of links or screenshots. Just klick and the video starts in the same browsing window.
And, sure, the apple style is a nice feature too.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Coffee in Vietnam

I didn't really know that Vietnam is one of the largest coffee suppliers for Germany. Today the Vietnam News writes about the growing coffee business in Vietnam, explaining that last year Vietnam shipped 234.000 tons to Germany, just behind Brasil.

Germans are using 13 kg coffee per year, what I can verify. But I am still drinking my German coffee brewes with my Senseo coffee maker:


The main reason is that I cannot buy this coffee pads here, so my mother sent me pads. But another reason is that in my opinion the Vietnamese coffee is very strong. That's because as I learned there is mainly Robusta coffee harvested, which is much bitter than the arabica.


But I am also surprised about all the coffee shops here. As a longtime starbucks addict I immediatly went into all the Highlands and Cafe Terrace and Paris Deli Shops. I still have to try Gloria Jean (that's the name, right?) and the Trung Nguyen-Chain. Highlands seems to be the most expensive, I like the design of the Paris Deli in Phung My Hung, it's very french landhouse style.

Anyone like to make a coffee shop trip around Saigon?

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Maria Zouroudis: Forever



Just a nice song. She is amazing..Her MySpace

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Pillows for chairs

We have a nice dining table with nice wooden chairs. But nice doesn"t mean comfortable, at least after a while. So we need some pillows for our chairs, but it seems to be impossible to get some. I recently founds some in a furniture store, but they were only sold with the chairs. The company was not able to sell them separately.

So if anyone out there knows where to get something like this:


please feel free to contact me.

UPDATE: Found Custom Made Pillows at Saigon Center, 2. floor, at one of the furniture stores.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Blogger in Vietnam

in the weekend edition of Vietnam News I fund an interesting article about blogger in Vietnam.
First the number: 3 million is a lot, even if some are not updated frequently.
Second: the content. People are writing mainly about the feelings, mostly personal experience and thoughts. Why not? There is no rule about a blogs content.
Third a real nice part: so called everymans newspaper especially in certain parts of the world where traditional media is controlled by the government or multinational corporations.
Recently Yahoo shut an vietnamese bloggers account down after several warnings abot offensive and explicit content (he had 2 mio pageviews a day).
At the end of the article, there are some really true words:
"One should build their own firewall to the dark side of the blog"

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Victoria Hotel Ressort & Spa Phan Thiet

We are spending the weekend on Phan Thiet. Lovely place this ressort. Oh, my wife is DOS for Victoria, that's why we are there too.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Phu My Hung


Phu My Hung
Originally uploaded by thomaswanhoff
There are more and more appartment buildings coming up in Phu My Hung and honestly, I like it. Kind of modern architecture, looks really like Singapur.
We live close to this area, but our place is more Vietnamese style... what I like. We have our local neighborhood, but its just 5 Minutes to Phu My Hung center and 15 minutes to Dictrict 1.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Driver Licence in Vietnam - Procedere


My new motobike
Originally uploaded by thomaswanhoff
How to apply for a vietnamese driver licence?
1. You need a Vietnamese licence. International driver licences are not accepted.

2. Go to your embassy and ask for translation of your licence into english (you can skip this if you are from US, AUS or UK, of course)

3. Go to Le Duan Street, there is the official translation office. You need passort copies, visa copy, driver licence copies, 5 pictures 4x3, english translation of original driver licence. They will tell you when you can pick up the translated documents (costs about 40.000 VND)

4. Then you go to 252 Ly Chinch Tang, first floor. Foreigners dont need to wiat, just go to the first counter, smile and give them all the documents. Wait for advise.

5. Depending if you already allowed to drive a motobike with more then 50 cc you need a testdriving or not. Anyway, the next palce to go is 63 Ly Tu Trong Street. There you apy again and 10 days after you get the Vietnamese driver licence.
If you need a testdriving, they will give you the date. On this date, come arround 8 and try the parcours first. They provide motobikes with gear, but you can also use your own. Then go to the first floor in the building on the right hand, and give them al the documents. Then wait untit yiour name is announced. The parcour is a 8, and a slalom. Quite easy. After you show your passport and your old driver licence, 10 days later you can pick up your Vietnamese licence at the same place.
If you fail in the testdriving, just apply for a new one one week later.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Vietnamese teacher wanted

I really need help with my Vietnamese as my knowledge is zero. If anyone knows a teacher who speaks English and can teach me Vietnamese, either at my place or wherever, please leave a comment. (Comments need to be approved, so don't be eager). Thx in advance

Teacher in Vietnamese wanted

Office furniture in HCMC

I was looking for a desk and an office chair for my litte homeoffice aka second bedroom. I knew there are some arround Ngyuen Thi Minh Khai. We found a good one at the corner Nguyen Thi Minh Khai/CMT8, opposite to Phong Vu Computers. Its called XINH'S, the have a big selection of tables, even to equip a complete office. Very reasonable prices, and yes, they deliver to your place - and in time. They told us it would be arround 2 p.m. and it was exactly 2.p. when the desk arrived. It tok just 30 minutes for the guy to fix the desk. We were really happy with this company and can strongly recommend XINH's (262B Ngyuen Thi Minh Khai).

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Barbecue


Barbecue
Originally uploaded by thomaswanhoff
at our terrace with our neighbors students

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Expat Community Saigon - Events in HCMC

When I was browsing Expat-advisory.com (wich I know from Cambodia), I thought by myself why ist it still top-bottom instead of community driven? Some other expat communities seem to have also a lack of activity. So I decided to build up my own Saigon Expat Online Community. The tools are provided by Ning.com, a great service I noticed years before the first time, when they started.

So if you are a expat in Saigon, just join the new network. Its called:

http://expatsaigon.ning.com

You can sign up, start discussion, enter or read events, upload photos and videos, start groups and your onw blog and you will have your own expatsaigon-Homepage. And yes, it's free!

And yes, its beta (of course).

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Dogfood and Treats for Dogs in Saigon/Ho Chi Minh City

We just found some places selling dog food and treats in Saigon. First go to Saigon Center, 2nd floor, there is a small pet shop selling royal canin for reasonable prices. Unfortunatly they have not a large selection and no treats. Those you will find at Phuong Ha, a small grocery shop at 58 Ham Nghi in District 1. The have all the small skinbones and treats we know from Cambodia. And you can by nice muesili there, milka chocolate, cheese, a lot of food foreigners love.

Yesterday we also discoverd Petit Ange here in Phu My Hung: They are selling Royal Canin, some (expensive) Treats, its also a dogs beauty salon with grooming as well as a hotel (30$ per day).

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Friday, June 13, 2008

No girls wanted in Vietnam

Just read this story:
Vietnam is the latest country to report an alarming skew towards boy babies, one that may lead to vast societal upheaval. This week, the United Nations Population Fund said that some 25,000 expected baby girls went "missing" — were not carried to term — in Vietnam last year. The implication is that some expectant parents are aborting unwanted girls once they learn the sex of the fetus through ultrasound technology. Government statistics and a separate U.N. survey in 2006 put the ratio of newborns at 110 boys to every 100 girls — higher than the "natural" rate of 105 to 107 boys for every 100 girls.


Incredible, isn't it?

Motobike repair in Vietnam

Last Weekdend we rented a Motorbike from a shop in District 1 (Shop 165 in Pham Ngu Lao, we do not recommend this), and since we arrived at our home we had problems. The main problem was that it was very difficult to start it. The ignition button was useless and even the kick-starter went bad after some days. So today we made it to run the motorbike, went to the Highland Coffee, but when we tried to go back, the machine didn't start anymore.
But thats Vietnam (or South-East-Asia in general) and help is only some dollars away. After seconds a guy named Sam stopped and offered us to bring us to the next garage. That means Nataly sat on his motorbikes backseat and he pushed me with his right feed. The trip tokk about 10 minutes to the garage, Sa, explained the repairmen what to do. It turns out that the battery was quite old and had to be replaced, the same for the oil filter and the carburetor was full of dirt.
They cleaned and repaired the bike in 45 minutes and we paid just 40 Dollars (plus 30.000 Dong for Sam). Of course we will try to claim the money back from the rental shop.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Settling down in Vietnam

Its seems to be easier than we thought to settle down here in Vietnam. Not much paperwork, our landlord is doing all the cable tvm landline phone, registration and internet stuff, so we need to get a driver licence and thats it. Surprisingly the German Generalkonsulat (we had a lot of band experience in Cambodia and Bali) es very friendly and very helpful.

There is a government office, I think the locals authorities HQ, near our house. As we passing by every day I am sure they not only know us but know everything about us. What is helpful, kind of protection.

Phu My Hung is really like Singapur, clean nice streets, some nice shopping. Today we will go to Disctrict 1 the first time.. haveing dinner with a friend.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Phu My Hung - the place where I live next

Found this video on youtube.. just to get you some impressions about our new place..

Thursday, May 29, 2008

UNsafe Helmets

I was wondering why style seems to be more important than safety, when I saw the stylish helmets in Saigon. Actually, they are more caps than helmets. Of course they follow the law, but I think it would be better to folow the law and the safety.
Anyway, I have a better one..

More about helmets at Chao Vietnam

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Information about Saigon

It sees that http://www.saigonnezumi.com aka Kevin Miller jr. is doin a great job to provide the most important information if you are new to a city: the next apple store and the best places for coffee.. Thanks for this!

Apartment found in Saigon/HCMC

We had one day to find an apartment, and yes, we got it. Our new home will be in District 7, a bit outside Phu My Hung, located on a small lake. www.thenestsaigon.comdid a great job to find and show us the location. Surprisingly the other tenant in this small house is one of Natalys new collegues.

But I also want to recommend Phu My Hoang Real Estate, they did a great job showing us a lot of nice apartment in District 7. This relatively new place is faraway from typical asian cities, looks more like a suburban is USA.

Pictures are coming soon!are here:
Lake view from living room

New Home in Saigon Kitchen

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Hello Vietnam...

.. I am moving to Vietnam in June 2008. Stay tuned for more information. If you like to give me some informations about Ho Chi Minh City, feel free to leave a comment!

Cu soon
Thomas