Saturday, August 29, 2009

Le Cat Trong Ly in Concert

Le Cat Trong Ly in Concert

Yesterday we went to the Yen Cafe to see a performance by Le Cat Trong Ly , on the most talented young Vietnamese singer and songwriters. You must know where Cafe Yen is, otherwise you will never find it - hidden in a backyard, just some handwritten signes show the way to the tiny cafe room, which is beautifully decorated in white and brown colors. The "stage" is made out of wooden boxes, just enough size to sit on.
Le Cat Trong Ly performs here every Tuesday and Friday, and reservations are highly recommended because of the limited space. You can order some tea and ca phe, but people come here for the performance.
Le Cat Trong Ly uses acoustic guitar and piano, sometimes accompanied by strings and drums, and plays together with Shan, a guitar player and singer as well. What really blow me away was her voice: a bit fagile, but with a lot expression, not a lot volume, but passion, and yes, in opposite to most popular singers in Vietnam she strikes the right notes!

The video I shot shows on of her english songs, while her most famous song is Chenh Venh, and my favorite is Nghe Tôi Kể Này.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Share, share, share!!!

When I was at the Webwednesday in Saigon, I was listening to a speech by Bryan Pelz. He is the founder of Vinagame, number one in internetwebsites in Vietnam. In his brief presentation he pointed out that the biggest obstacle in Vietnam is the lack of education. And in business language spoken a lack of cooperation. To develop the market companies must cooperate, to educate customers, to evolve business.

and that's the problem: Vietnam has still ap problem with sharing information. That's why there is no innovation coming from here, that's why they need foreign help in nearly every sector. If you sit on your information and keep it, that you will never know if it's right or wrong and how to do things better. If others don't share you will never get a new idea. And so Vietnam still sticks with coffee, rice and fish (and Nike shoes) as export goods.
The recent web events I joined (except the Webwednesday) are transforming from open geek meetings into beer driven small talks with nothing to learn. In opposite, joining a 2 hours afternoon meeting in Phnom Penh last month brought me a lot of ideas and contacts.

In a world, where are no secrets anymore, just information you don't know yet, it's kind of stupid to hide your ideas. Together with openness in import rules thats the biggest challenge for Vietnam: Transforming into a member of the new global business order.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

More expat stories: The recipe service

That just made my day, its from the AnPhuNeighbors list. Many of the members apparently never leave their compound, mainly because of the dangerous outside world, and yes, the have staff for everything. So here is the posting:

Dear all
I can really recommend you to sign up for the "Better Homes and garden " news letter.
I received so many wonderfull recipes from them.

So far so good, But then comes that:

It is so easy to print out, so you can give them to you cooking lady.


Monday, August 24, 2009

We don't have a maid

Since we are in Asia people don't stop asking us about our maid, cook, driver. We don't have any. We clean our self, we drive our own motobike, we cook our self. The reason is quite simple: We don't feel comfortable with a stranger at our place. And we don't really see the luxury. Cleaning your apartment is part of life, and as long as you are not so busy why not making it by yourself.

I just came over an announcement from people that are leaving Vietnam now about her cook:

She speaks good english and can read it as well. We have mainly had her cook western food for us to also include baking break and making pasta. She has also cooked Vietnamese. Ms. XXX does all of our shopping at Metro, An Phu Supermarket, Veggies and some other places.

It's so sad, people coming into other countries and stick with old habits like western food. so many couples have maids and cooks even when the expat husband or the wife stays at home. I still don't get into that.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Metro Cash and Carry’s Imported Meat Is NOT Unsafe to Eat

On August 16 an e-mail with the header “Metro Cash and Carry’s Imported Meat Unsafe to Eat” was posted on some websites here. As some Vietnamese prefer to spread a rumor instead proofing the story, here is the correction, issued by METRO:

Please be aware that most of the information reported in this article is total fabrication.

We carry out routine product checks on a regularly scheduled basis to ensure the safety of our products. The product was discovered in a routine check; none of the products was ever shipped to any Metro location for sale.

There was no raid and no police were involved. No product was seized by the authorities.

We have filed letters of complaint with the editors of the newspapers publishing the fabricated information as well as with the appropriate governmental authorities.

Please be assured that at Metro we take food safety very seriously. Our Quality Assurance procedures are world class.

Our official press release is attached. Please contact our An Phu Store Manager Mr. Paul Le (CCed) if you have questions or concerns.

Thanks for your understanding and thanks for shopping at Metro!!

Best Regards,

Randy Guttery

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Phu My Hung Neighbors List

If you live in Phu My Hung in Ho Chi Minh City or you work there or you just want to know anything, then just have a look on Phu My Hung Neighbors a new google group to share information between neighbours.

It's in English language, because that might be the best way to communicate between people from so many different nations like we have in PMH.

Please spread the word about the list. Members can invite other members, and non-members can easily apply for a membership.

Illy Espressamente Part III: the improvement

It took some time and a lot of complaining and suggestions, but it seems that the Illy Espressamente Management is open to ideas and suggestions - at least the shop in Phu My Hung.

Since a while they changed the pop music back to classic and jazz, so it's way less noisy now. Then, they followed my advice to install a pinboard so people can leave messages there - yes, it's community 1.0, but that is still something really successful. And then they changed their terrible menu: now it looks way better, not like a cheap italien pizzeria anymore.

So, people from Phu My Hung, please use the pinboard for your messages and announcements :-)

Monday, August 3, 2009

Set up GPRS for iphone with Mobiphone

This is just a note for myself, because I always forget how to to it.

Settings > General > Network > Cellular Data Network: APN: m-wap; username: mms, Pass: mms.

Sunday, August 2, 2009