Monday, May 26, 2008

Outlook Interview

I've been reading these "On The Stool" features in Timeout magazine, a 40 page or so weekly magazine insert in the local English language weekly business paper, Vietnam Investment Review.

I would never do a real 'interview,' mainly because I am not famous enough to warrant one.  Plus, I don't want my picture in the paper.  But of course, with this power-to-the-people-by-way-of-blog-publishing-even-though-no-one-reads-ya, I can participate.  Here are my HCMC tinged answers:

Name: D.
Age: older than 50% of the local populace, at least
Nationality: USA
Occupation: Middleman
What brought you to Vietnam?
A job.

What is keeping you here?
Said job.

Where do you go to escape?
Any of the local golf courses, which are better than my 'home' courses.

What do you miss about home?
Family, natch.

...what don't you miss?
How the daily news, in all its forms, is so US-centric.

How do you get around town?
Shoes, or taxi.

What's your favorite Vietnamese word or expression?
Du me.. j/k! 

What's your favorite local dish?
Banh cuon.

And what gives you a bellyache?
Baba, definitely baba.  

Favorite street/place to watch traffic?
Because I walk, everywhere.  Though I end up watching lots of traffic in the massive intersection outside Ben Thanh Market.

What was your most embarrassing moment in Vietnam?
I asked a dinner companion "Co la nguoi Saigon, ha?" - she, her husband (whom I earlier called "anh," correctly mind you) and a fourth local cracked up for five minutes before it was explained to me and/or I realized that I should've called her "chi."  Of course said Chi is rumored to be sitting in a Hong Kong jail on money laundering charges these days.  This little story probably summarizes a lot of my Vietnam experience.   

What tickles you pink?
Seeing the local Vietnamese happy. 

What makes you go "Oi gioi oi...?"
Non-native Vietnamese speakers saying "oi gioi oi."  It just sounds... I dunno how to express it.. it's just.. oi gioi oi.

Who would be the first person you'd invite to your birthday party?
Family, natch.  A particular family member.

...and the last?
Family that I don't know, but who knows me.  Or this Vietnamese defense attorney I met who defended Gary Glitter.  Toss up, really.  

What's the quickest way to spend a VND1 million?
Bottle of liquor at a pub/club/whatnot.

What's your hidden talent?
None, because I'm a braggart.

What Vietnamese person do you most admire?
Folks, who toil on the streets for their daily bread, passing the parked Bentley or Rolls or Maybach without giving the same a swift kick in the name of socialism.

What do you want to be when you grow up?
Old, retired, with a lower handicap.  Rich would be good too.

What's in your pockets right now?
Phones- this is Vietnam, right?! - a wallet with US credit cards and identification that I never use here, and some VND all folded akimbo. 

Where would we find you at 10pm on a Saturday night?
Probably drinking somewhere.

...and 10am on Sunday morning?
At the Him Lam driving range.

Your favorite nocturnal beverage?
That would be a martini, Bob.

Your show-stopping karaoke song of choice?
Ice, Ice, Baby?

What will you call your memoirs about your time in Vietnam?
Um, VA to VN has a certain ring to it.

Who will play you in the film adaptation?
School yard friends have said, alternately, that I look like Christian Slater, Keanu Reeves or Emilio Estevez.  So one of them.  Did I tell you I went to a school for the blind?

...and your dying words?

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