half man half shark

half man half shark     

Life as a carbon-based life form; a journey of building on success and learning from mistakes.

  • 02 Nov 2006

New role

I got transitioned to another project. This one involved more technical integration development, but nonetheless an important one. The view from the new office.

Career is a religion, everyday you travel to your place of worthship, we all want worthship to the biggest and tallest religion. It's terrifying.

  • 06 Nov 2006

Business idea

During my course of travel I picked up afew bright ideas. I just had one last night, I want to go forward and invest into it because I know it has apart of the future friendly.

It involves serveral interactive kiosk deployments to industrial sites.

My girlfriend is lanching a her business, so will I. Yet working synchronously to archive a common goals.

When people say 'I travel... and get paid for doing it', its intention is in a frustrated tone. Because constantly moving between environment really screwed up your head in many ways.

I feel very bad anbout missing Viet's wedding in Melb, he was a great mate, so is Van, but I was with my girlfriend and her parents on the Saturday night.

  • 08 Nov 2006

Phillip Island

Instead of going to Flemington for the 2006 Melbourne Cup horserace, I took a day tour through Phillip Island - no photographic equipments allowed with live penguins.

  • 08 Nov 2006

Career vs

Two roads diverged in the yellow wood - career vs. marriage. It doesnt mean I have to choose one over the other. It just mean if I choose career I keep doing what I'm doing and travel the world all alone. Or I can move back to Sydney, find another career there, support my girl and then get marry.

A career give me instant satisfaction and make me feel class superior, but sooner or later it will end. While my partner will be there forever.

I also wanted to return because of my friends...

  • 09 Nov 2006

Vietnam - Customs / Etiquette

People / History

  • Complex people; endured great hardships / invasions (Chinese; Japanese; French; USA).
  • Reunification in 1975 into socialist / Marxist politic; ruled by a communist party.
  • Chinese influence great
  • Pragmatic people
  • South region more prosperous due to agriculture around the Mekong Delta; Northerners around Hanoi have had a greater struggle for survival (mineral rich but not agriculturally)
  • 50% of people have family name of Nguyen; family name placed first then given names
  • Strong sense of national pride and independence

Legends / Beliefs

  • Many beliefs: Confucianism; Taoism; hinuism; Buddhism; ancestor worship; animism; Catholicism.
  • Unique native religions: Hao Hao; Cao Daism.
  • Strong extended family bonds
  • Taoist belief system: spirits must be placated
  • Values: virtue; Humility; modesty; family; hard work ; respect.
  • Unlucky numbers: 3, 13; Lucky: 9.

Anniversaries / Festivals

  • Tet (lunar New Year festival) late Jan to mid Feb. Avoid Bad Luck talk; avoid business meetings before, during and after festival; Tet gifts are tea, fruit, sweets
  • Xmas is not official holiday
  • 30th April = anniversary of liberation of Saigon in 1975
  • 1st May = International Labour Day
  • 19th May = birth of Ho Chi Minh
  • 2nd September = National Day; Ho Chi Minh declared independent state in Hanoi in 1945
  • 3rd September = anniversary of Ho Chi Minhs death in 1969
  • August = Trung Nguyen (Wandering Souls Day); pray for the souls of the dead

Town / Country

  • crowded cities
  • high poverty in country and city areas
  • poor infrastructure to support populations which are attracted to the city for work (roads, rail, accom, health)
  • HCMC = District One on north bank of Saigon River has colonial influence
  • Hanoi less frenetic
  • 3,260 kms of coastline
  • Central coast beaches
  • Northern mountains

Travel Tips

  • little travel comforts and convenience
  • tourism is still a fledgling industry with little infrastructure to support it
  • dual pricing system for tourists dress down to get better prices; haggling is tough
  • Patience is a virtue + humour + calm.
  • Mix with locals / try and speak the language locals appreciate this
  • Rail and road travel is slow due to poor state
  • Beware of traffic and bikes
  • Dont travel alone at night; beware thieves and muggers
  • Beware of beggars and shoe shine boys, could be thieves

Food / drink

  • Food - be careful of water and fresh veges and chicken
  • Influenced by China etc
  • Wide use of fresh herbs
  • Street side Pho stalls noodle based soup
  • Bread and coffee french style
  • Nuoc Mam = rotten fish sauce, a delicacy
  • Ian or steamboat ot Mongolian hotpot is a popular large bowl full of seasoned broth and meat and veges are added to it
  • Ruou de, local rice wine like sake


  • southern viets have different purchasing habits due to foreign influences
  • take essentials with you from home ie: medical and personal
  • bargaining is accepted but Viets are tough bargainers

Business Tips

  • tips: be patient; drawn out decision making process; be firm and direct not rude; read body language because much is unsaid or lost in translation
  • understand Confucianism big cultural influence
  • gift giving not required but OK
  • face to face meeting are crucial; may take longer than expected; dont plan too many in a day
  • exchange business cards
  • tea drinking ritual is observed
  • be prepared for serious drinking tram phan tram is 100% or gambei or bottoms up

Social Situations

  • avoid superior outdated colonial attitudes
  • seniority brings honour and respect
  • watch your voice level

Words / Phrases

  • heavy tonal language, therefore easy to mis pronounce the words
  • greeting to older man = chao ong
  • greeting to older woman = chao ba
  • thank you = Cam on
  • hello = Xin Chao
  • Goodbye = Tam biet
  • Excuse me = Toi xin loi
  • Yes = Phai
  • No = Khong
  • I dont know = Toi knong biet
  • Zero = Knong
  • Ten = Muoi
  • One = Mot


  • metric system of weights and measures is used
  • currency is the Dong (VND) = 1 $AUD = 8,000 VND
  • tropical hot humid climate
  • office hours 7:30 to 4:30pm Mon-Sat
  • emergency phone numbers are 14 for medical assistance

  • 11 Nov 2006

Wish you were here

I talked the company's owner on Thursday about my thought of moving back to Sydney. Since I'm the youngest and talented face in the company, he see myself with high potential, so wasnt happy when I told him I wanted to leave the company to move back. Thus, he agrees with my new terms - giving me assignment in Sydney where possible or full expenses, accommodation travel while I'm on away-from-home assignment. And vice versa, I will continue to provide the client with the best-in-class solutions, independent consulting and professionalism.

Coastal cruise to Queenscliff via the Bellarine Peninsula. I got my summer tan back now! Summer is just around the corner, lots of nice-sexy flowers about. I promise myself I wont give in to temptation. Wish you were here, because you are my pornstar.

If I'm down to my last $50, I would spent it all on a full tank of fuel and keep driving till it run out. Where it stopped, thats where I will start a new life.

  • 12 Nov 2006

Body weapon

I got lazy since I moved to Melbourne on assignment, I havent play any outdoor sport! Muay Thai boxing seems like an interesting self-defence? :) Elbow, leg and knee are all effective body combat weapon. Too bad I missed out, Khanh was gonna setup a class for off-season dragon boat rowing team members, but I left for Melbourne before the first class commenced.

Websites I visited today:


  • 13 Nov 2006


One of these days I'm gonna teach those street kids a lesson.

  • 15 Nov 2006


My girlfriend will beat me with a bamboo-stick if she finds out i been irresponsible with my money (her money). So I'm repairing the window myself.

Windscreen from Toyota Genuine Parts = $120. Labour = priceless.

  • 16 Nov 2006

Finance buddy

I found this neat little software called Spb Finance. It helped me manage and track my expenses.

Gross annual incomes$AUD156,000.00+
Professional Indemnity Insurance + Employer expenses$AUD81,750.00
Income tax$AUD55,968.00
Mortgage repayment$AUD37,768.00
Incidentials, bills, gifts, entertainments$AUD-

  • 20 Nov 2006

I love Vietnamese food

because its slow, I enjoy eating slow food, something that takes along time to prepare and cook.

Vincent through great party! I got pretty trashed at his house warming party, I like his place, nice and big 4-bedroom, I'm sure the next thing on his list is getting a fishing boat!

I heard an interesting episode on this new trend in marketing called Lovemark. This will fuel the machine of capitalism in the next few decades. I see a pattern in all corporations, each one tries to be the dominant one in the market. So in order to archive this status they need to help of consultant companies like Saatchi n Saatchi and Glue:. Who's specialising in organisation restructuring and transform to maturity. This is the rat race of big companies and enterprises.

  • 24 Nov 2006

Untitled poem

  • 30 Nov 2006


Sometimes I just enjoy being alone. Because I can be care free. I make a decent income, but after mortgage, loan, expenses the wedding saving, I dont have much left. And yet shes still asking me to buy her this and that. Those unessential things. I need a second job - it's like whatever I'm earning its never going to be enough. I want to rob a bank.

At times I just enjoy accompany of friends.

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