The Old Amidst the New

Photos by MAA I like these businesses that have been around since before the Đổi Mới (renovation) economic reforms kicked in, which ushered in what's officially known as a socialist-oriented market economy and one of the great success stories in the developing world. This one, located down the street from Capstone's Hanoi office, is a … Continue reading The Old Amidst the New

Christmas in Viet Nam

St. Joseph's Cathedral, Hanoi. Photo by MAA Having lived in Viet Nam for over 15 years, I can say with absolute certainty that I enjoy Christmas here more than in the US. Even though most Vietnamese are not Christian, it is still a special and even magical time. You see children (and adults!) posing for photos … Continue reading Christmas in Viet Nam

“Vietnamese collectivism during challenging time inspires foreigner”

Photo courtesy of Hanoi Times Follow this link to read some reflections about COVID-19 in an essay I wrote last July at the request of Hanoi Times. Here are two excerpts to whet your appetite for more - or not. One of the traits of the Vietnamese people that inspires me is their optimism during … Continue reading “Vietnamese collectivism during challenging time inspires foreigner”

“A Thief in the Night, But Not Too Smart”

Courtesy of Mango Press Bill Hayton aka "Virgin White," a one-time BBC journalist who was essentially kicked out of Viet Nam in March 2007, strikes again, this time with a book about China entitled The Invention of China. I stumbled upon this article because one word, dubious, linked to one of my blog posts, Anti-Vietnam … Continue reading “A Thief in the Night, But Not Too Smart”

Looking For (More) Stories About Vietnamese Students!

(Photo courtesy of Soha. Công dân toàn cầu = Global citizens) Dear Friends & Colleagues, If your institution, secondary or postsecondary, has hosted Vietnamese students and you're had the pleasure of working with them over the years, please share your stories with me. There is no word limit. So far, I've received contributions ranging from a … Continue reading Looking For (More) Stories About Vietnamese Students!

“Qualities incomprehensible to the ‘think tank’ specialists”

Below is an excerpt from Ho Chi Minh - An Appreciation by Wilfred Burchett. It was published in 1972 but its relevance in 2020 is obvious. It would be interesting to have a discussion, especially with young Vietnamese, about their interpretation of Burchett's wartime reflections. Thanks to his son, George, for the heads-up. If it … Continue reading “Qualities incomprehensible to the ‘think tank’ specialists”

The Trumpy Mindset: A COVID-19-Related Example

I recently noticed this exchange on Facebook about the above graphic. (Yes, it's old news. JPMorgan expects US GDP to slow to 2.8% in the fourth quarter and then shrink by 1% during the first three months of 2021.) Comment: The country that started the pandemic has the least effect on GDP. Mmmmh… Response: Sad … Continue reading The Trumpy Mindset: A COVID-19-Related Example

“Turning an eagle eye on Vietnam’s attraction for the ‘eagles'”

Garment workers at a factory in the southern Long An Province, February 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran. It's rare and refreshing to see something so honest in print. It's a sensitive issue but also an important one. When talking about foreign direct investment (FDI) in Viet Nam or wherever, the human element, which should always … Continue reading “Turning an eagle eye on Vietnam’s attraction for the ‘eagles'”