Every boy in Vietnam loves to play soccer either street soccer or proper training session or in school with friends. Teenage soccer tournaments are always exciting. The players are young and pure. All they want is a good game, not competing for a place in some clubs or in national squad.
But it has changed lately. The leader wants to see return on investment and that means – win. The pressure makes head coach searching for solution to ensure win. Can’t buy player due to no fund and no legal ground, they found source for mercenaries through contacts with soccer training schools.
When season comes, soccer classes will select their top players to send to the elite team which they have agreement with. Selected kids are overwhelmed with opportunities to represent a team in tournament. Parents are happy seeing kids’ progress. School coach is happy with their players’ new set of experience and exposure. The head coach of the elite team certainly is satisfied with his squad. At least he can ensure some wins to please his bosses.
The solution seems perfect for every party but have no benefit to grow successors for national team. To grow Vietnam soccer needs to have proper long term training and development not instantaneous success for someone’s fame and glory.
It’s hard to imagine one day we as parent will wish our kids not to grow up too fast. How many parent wish the same thing like us when our kids entering adulthood. They start to have interest in other fields, friends, schools, sports, life style. Each inch they gain, the further they get away from our arm.
We admit that we wish them to grow up to enjoy and lead their own life. But when they are further apart we are afraid to face the future without them. Loneliness is scary. However we are even more afraid for them to face the future all by themselves. We are worried they fall for their legs are not strong enough. We are worried they hurt for their mind is not stable. We are worried they have not enjoyed their childhood enough before facing the tough life out there.
Kids just don’t grow up too fast!
An iPhone costs about US$ 650. In dong it is about 13,000,000 vnd. An average income earner in Vietnam needs to work a month or one and half month salary to buy an iPhone. A lower income group needs to work 3 months to get the iPhone. It seems impossible for many Vietnamese to own an iPhone. On the contrary, it is not difficult to spot iPhone among Vietnamese.
Middle income group of Singapore needs to work 2 hours to buy an iPhone. However Singaporean does not change phone that often like Vietnamese.
Will law makers take this as one of the benchmark when they wants to increase electricity charges or others to catch up with neighborhood countries?
A developed country, Singapore has successfully leveraged the gap between rich and poor by middle income group. The average middle income group of Singapore is earning S$40,000 per annum.
While Singapore economy continues to strong, the middle income group is less happy than before. From 2011 – 2012 their salary increment on the average is about S$12 per annum. However the cost of living and transportation has risen tremendously. Before 2010 the car price for a Toyota Vios is about S$60,000 including COE (Certificate of Entitlement – a special permit the government applies to control the car purchase). The COE has risen and now Singaporean has to pay S$140,000 for a Toyota Vios. With the same amount in Europe they can purchase a Mercedes Benz or with S$50,000 more they can drive a Porsche.
Singaporean also needs to work harder than their counterpart in Japan. Japanese needs to work 2 minutes in order to pay for a burger while Singaporean needs 8 minutes. The same amount of money they have to pay before 2010 for one square meter of property now only can purchase 0.35 m2.
Hanoi is the pride and love of all Vietnamese. Countless praise, songs have written about Hanoi’s beautiful scenery and people. Equally notorious countless complaints have made in regard to Hanoian’s poor approach toward service.
Staff in one of the 5 star hotels in Hanoi is undeniable proof of what the Hanoians are lacking. Noisily walking around in her shoes, customer has to ask few times for a teapot to be served. When the teapot finally arrives a dirty mark is clearly shown outside. Putting the pot down she quickly clear the folks and knifes without even noticing customer is still having breakfast.
5 Star hotel staff is behaving that way what kind of service we can expect from others.
Bruce Willis co star in GI Joe – Retaliation can’t save the 3rd sequel from sinking in its own stereotype story line. The cool GI Joe with state of art weapons, special trained personnel has twisted into a Ninja kung fu movie mixed with combat fighting.
Not so cool!
A mutated bird flu virus has killed 6 people in China. WHO is now worrying the outbreak of this deadly virus. In a decade from 2003 to now we have gone through SARS, H5N1, H1N1 and now H7N9. Most of it has no antidote when it breaks out.
When mad cow sickness spread around we refrain from eating beef. Pig has problem we stop pork from the menu. Chicken has H5N1 we dare not eat chicken. We just forget to ask ourselves why all this new kind of viruses popping up? Does human be a part of it? The more we research, the more we change our environment the more it resist to us.
Living in the chaos time we just have to depend on fate.
The definition of communication is a sender encodes what he wants to share and then send to the receiver. The receiver at the other end will decode the content.
That definition is still valid today even though we often forgot the encoding, decoding parts. That is when miscommunication happens. We thought the same language, the same vocabulary carry the same meaning. As matter of fact it is not. Sometimes we thought we give out some hints but it turns out to be an obstacle. Very often we thought “OK ” means wonder word, but it doesn’t. We say “OK” when we should say “delicious dinner”, “OK” when we should say “like it or love it”. At the end the receiver decodes our OK as so so, no preference.
When we sit with friend, customers, we work our way to ensure they understand what we mean. We explain, we elaborate, we debate. But when it comes to our loved one we simply expect them to understand. If they press for a clearer answer we feel it’s annoying.
We live with someone for the most of our life but we forget to communicate with them clearly for most of the time. That’s us, human!
Opening the “In Room Dining” of a luxury hotel in Abu Dhabi, you flipped pages to pages trying to find something savory to lift up your mood. Here it was the apple pie that you love to order at Mc Donald. The thought of it made your mouth watering, your tongue taste the jelly sweet, little oily and crispy cover.
Picking up the phone you called room service. After 20 minutes a sumptuous dinner came in a rolling cart. The moment the door closed behind the waiter you jump to the chair to start your dinner. Gulping down the Arabic version of Singapore noodle, you kept your eyes around the apple pie. It seems the hotel had made a better version of it, at least with the decoration. On a second thought you laughed at yourself. It certainly should be better. An apple pie at Mc Donald usually cost you about US$2. This apple pie cost dearly US$10 or so.
Finally the noodle was done. You picked up the beautiful folk and spoon to cut a piece of the pie. It was nothing closed to what you imagined. The apple was real apple baked in the oven. The taste just did not mix: sweetness of the tart was too sweet, while the apple was crunchy but had mild sour taste. It may be a yummy version for someone but certainly not for you.
You just miss the Mc Donald cheap apple pie.
My son often said “Mom, you can’t beat me. It is child abuse.” My answer is always the same “This is Vietnam, dear. I have the right to cane you.” I could not recall how many times he got beaten by me. But for one I was quite certain I seldom beat him.
Entering 12 this year he started to have his own opinion and stubbornness. The school no longer calls them child, but young adult. Learning from other parents I am trying to have more conversation with him to understand him and thus bridging the gap between us.
Still things happened the way you least expect it. I decided to cane him for once to show him my limit. Before going to this stage I have tried to ban him from his favorite games, keep his laptop away for week. It worked for a moment and forgotten the next. But the cane this time does not seem to be forgotten that soon.
Two days after the incident, while packing some old clothes for other kids, my son insists to keep a small old T-shirt. There were words written on the T-shirt “Kids, you can’t beat them.” We both were giggling.