Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Mapping a "Developed" Space: Trung Yen

Mapping the space of Trung Yen was more difficult since it was a "developed" area where we could not find many of the traditional things that we needed to find on our list. Riding there, you see a lot more tall buildings and complexes that have foreign names on them. The area was more dusty and had a lot more cars so therefore more pollution. Right in the middle of everything was this random tra da place on a street filled with foreign banks and motorbikes. Usually, you would see the pavements filled with other vendors on the sidewalk, but here, only one tra da vendor stood out where business men would come sit down and smoke. Talking to the lady, asking where certain things were, she didn't know the street names really and things were far to get too.

We walked up the street where we entered a different area where there were more trees and old men playing chess on the grass under a tree right in the middle of the street. This area was basically the divider between roads and here were old men just chilling. We walked around and found a great park area where people were playing tennis, badminton, taking walks and just a friendly, public space. Finding things such as sim cards, sinh to, pho bo tai chinh, were all pretty easy because they were everywhere. The place to find fresh meat and veggies was difficult, as well as an elementray school, and doctor. Those things were a lot farther away. The place seemed like a more friendly area to live than in the old quarters because it was less crowded.

I think I would live there if I had a family or something in Vietnam. It seems like a place where you would want your kids to grow up because there are less people and seems less dangerous. However, things that you need seem to be farther away and less of a walking distance.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Project Kiem An: Mapping of a Space: Đền Bạch Mã

For our first group project we had to go to an area and map out the space of it. On our map we had to indicate the various places where we could get things done or buy such as: 
- Eating a bowl of pho bo tai chin   
- Eat xoi xeo
- Buy a sports newspaper
- Drink Tra Da
-Buy vegtables
- Buy pork meat
- Play baminton
- Report a crime
- See a doctor
- Go to a pogoda
- Get your shoe shine
- And the list goes on etc.....

My experience of this place was simple but yet fun. The area is located near the old quarters, so to me, the Old quarters is a lot more fun and exciting area. There are many shops, vendors, people, and things to do. Den Bach Ma was no exception. It was close to the areas where we like to go clubbing and bars like Club Jam, Dragonfly, Red Lounge. Passing by these places, I was like, "oh! I didn't know it was so close to here!!" The neighborhood borders on various streets where we had to walk up and down to get there, but everything that we needed to find was extremely close to one another. Other groups took maybe 4 hours, while we just took 2. The hardest ones were probably the key makers and playing badminton. We thought we couldn't find a police station so we walked around looking for one and asking where it was located only to find that there was one right next to the temple and around the area, there were like 3-4 of them, which shows how much you can report a crime. 

Den Bach Ma made me feel very easy  in a sense. Maybe it was because we chose to go in the evening at a cooler time, or that the area was familiar to us. Once I saw Dragonfly and Club Jam, I was ya! I know this place. It wasn't hectic or crazy or nervous walking around that area. The area had an active feeling to it. Not busy in a sense where it's chaotic, but people were going about their own business and people didn't mind us asking the prices even though we didn't buy anything. It was just lively.

I don't think I would want to live in Den Bach Ma however. Not that there's anything wrong with  the place, but I just don't want to live in such an open area. I'm use to the suburbia of California, and would want my kids to grow up somewhere like that too.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

CLUB JAM: night of bar hopping: Seventeen, Red Lounge, Club Jam, Hair of the Dog. end with Bia Hoi.

Monday, August 16, 2010

GIG: Interesting Stories!

One article I found interesting from GIG was the "Pretzel Vendor." The pulled quote  from the article about stealing money was the first thing that caught my attention. Isabella was in college when she started working at the Pretzel vendor. She liked the job because it paid well in cash and since it was cash, it was easier for her to steal. This is what I found appalling; the thought that someone would actually steal more money at a job instead of getting a better higher paying job. Considering it might have been difficult for her to get a better job, I could understand that, but she actually thought it was OK to steal, "I mean, it wasn't evil." is what she says in the article. She goes on saying how the job got mixed into her personal life because she started having an affair with a co-worker. She was constantly around this person and it was easy for her to have that affair until she split with her husband. After that, the affair got complicated because she didn't want to seem like she was jumping right into a next relationship, or make it obvious that the affair was going on, so she decided to quit one day.

I think the most interesting part of this article was the end where she said how much she misses and loves the job. When I think of pretzel vendors, i think of college kids just trying to pay for tuition by making pretzel and how bored or menile they think the work is. Here, this girl is in love with it because it was such a simple job that paid well, she gets to meet new customers everyday who interacted with her and how at 25 years old, working at this pretzel vendor changed her life and made her grow up. It's funny how a job that not many people think is significant can change a person and in return that person loves a small job like that, which might not be so small after all.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

About Me

 I was born in San Jose, but grew up in Sacramento since I was one year old, so "Sac-town" is my home. My dad works in San Jose, but we live in Sac, so I see him only on the weekends or occasional vacation times, so it was mostly just my mom and older brother growing up. Graduated from a low-income high school where I played the flute in Marching Band and did Color Guard and Choir (ya, I was a band geek).

I now go to college at UC San Diego and am in Eleanor Roosevelt College (ERC) where we have 6 quarters of a writing sequence called MMW (Making of the Modern World) where the content of history and the global forces are interesting except the writing sequence is long and retarded. Other than that, ERC is a great college and I love the people and dorms there. I'm in a  Business Fraternity, Delta Sigma Pi (DSP) where I heart  my pledge brothers and brothers to pieces!

Now, I'm in Vietnam to study abroad. I chose to study abroad in Vietnam because:
1) My major is international studies with a primary track in economics and secondary in political science and my focused region is Southeast Asia. I picked Vietnam because in the future, I would love to work in or for a company in a foreign country. The world is becoming more globalized and we should understand the commerce and policy of it (and it's more interesting than straight up microeconomics). I would love to get business and international experience and knowledge through internship and classes here.
2) I’m alsowant to reconnect with my Vietnamese heritage by becoming fluent in Vietnamese and experiencing the culture, people and life of Vietnam while making new friendships and bonds along the way.

I like to sing, run, and watch a lot of movies. My favorite movies are Moulin Rouge and Shakespeare in Love. In my spare time, I  like to go shopping with my friends and or sleep. I'm deathly afraid of birds, especially pigeons because they're so ugly and freaking ballsy!! and come to realize I'm afraid of dying from mosquito bites in Vietnam. I like anything French and took French for 4 years throughout college and high school except I hate grammar. I talk really fast just cause I have a lot of energy and am really excited or I just have something to say and just want to say it quickly for the sake of saying it whether anyone is really paying attention or not.  I want to travel around the world a bit more, but I've already been to various places of Europe when I went on an EF tour before college and now Vietnam!