tomo's blog

Looking back at Pre-1975 Saigon

Submitted by tomo on August 8, 2011 - 2:31am

Men drinking at a sidewalk cafe in Saigon circa 1961


Looking at photographs of pre-1975 Saigon always make me wonder how differently things could have turned out had South Vietnam and North Vietnam remained separate countries. Would South Vietnam be as developed, modern, and affluent as South Korea is today compared to the starving citizen-prisoners of the Hermit Kingdom? If you've seen old photos of both Hanoi and Saigon you'll notice that even then Saigon was much more modern, cosmopolitan, and affluent compared to Hanoi.

In some ways, today we haven't really changed all that much since 1975, if you ignore the forward and backwards steps in the two decades after the war ended.  The streets are still recognizable, mostly they've just changed names.  Freedom has been replaced with Revolution. The black and white renditions of wooden cafe seats are even nicer than the red or blue plastic chairs I'm often in today.

Anyways, I've been looking over the 245 photos of 1961-era Saigon scanned in from Life magazine all weekend.  I hope you enjoy as much as I did, even if loading them takes awhile.


A map shows the train used to terminate at Ben Thanh market. Saigon had grade-separated highways back in 1961.


Daily Twitter Posts - 07/29/2011 - 08/05/2011

Submitted by tomo on August 5, 2011 - 11:45am

08/04 17:11 Tea Party gets its way = Dow drops 500+ points, worst since 2008. #
08/04 12:45 Scary. Facebook will track you all over the web and give your personal information to advertisers who ask: #
08/04 12:43 @HerDailyDigest Did you join Foursquare? What will you do with your newfound klout? :) #
08/04 12:05 $1 HIV test, 15 minute results. Fits in wallet. #
08/04 07:52 Prices for condos at Saigon Pearl down over 20% but still not selling: #
08/04 07:44 @fisheggtree Correct, PetroVietnam is state-owned. They also operate taxis (!) #
08/04 05:50 @fisheggtree Including the various resorts owned by PetroVietnam? #
08/04 03:29 @fisheggtree And is it true that Sharky's has the best Mexican food in Phnom Penh? #
08/04 03:27 @fisheggtree To me PP's Western restos complement SG's nicely, but lack SG's Japanese, Korean, Indian, etc. districts #
08/04 03:13 @jon7b It was normal for a few weeks then back to "cable-cut speeds" for over a week here #
08/03 14:12 Bitcoin mining botnet controlled by Twitter discovered: #
08/03 09:01 @dynamicscholar "Straight outta Vincom", "Fuck tha cong an", and more #Vinnazwitattitudes #
08/03 06:06 @Conversoul @ericburdette See, Cops vs Cops would provide hours of entertainment (to me) #
08/03 04:48 @ericburdette Indeed, maybe they're watching too many violent Thai films. But just imagine a Vietnamese version of Cops. #
08/03 04:44 @dynamicscholar Thanks man I try to keep it real #
08/03 03:30 Great. Nhommua is spamming me on Yahoo Messenger now #
08/03 02:56 #gettingthingsdone "ran into a bar nearby, broke apart the chair’s leg, took out the iron rod from it and used it to stab Cuong" #
08/02 15:31 It's midnight and dark. A girl is reading a comic book. While sat on the back of a bicycle. #
08/02 05:59 Kpop payola/pay for play corruption scandal. Or why Korean pop is all over Vietnamese media? #
08/02 05:26 Next up: IQ to OS correlation? WinXP users on one end, OpenBSD (need to be a genius) on the other #
08/02 05:22 @betoneko @jon7b @TylerWatts lol, or as someone from Central VN would ask: ô tô mô tô Tô Mô mô? #
08/02 04:26 @betoneko Lol! Nha Hang TOMO is the BEST, besides Cafe Tomo (coming soon). and secret Quan Tomo on Nguyen Van Lac #
08/02 04:25 @webtomme #3 mainly! I've done #1, and #2 and #4 (for free) #
08/02 01:49 Working in Saigon/Vietnam as an expat: #
08/01 12:03 HSBC to cut 30k jobs by 2013: #
08/01 06:26 @PedroInSaigon Yes, there was an article somewhere about a few foreign kids and their VN disciples teaching each other parkour in Saigon #
07/31 10:48 @tropixblue Say a neighborhood which normally sees a drop in traffic at 3:30PM on Tuesdays but has higher traffic 20 minutes before a storm #
07/31 10:40 @saigonnezumi Could you do us a favor and checkin to 4sq everytime you get on a bike, so we can all get off ours? :) #
07/31 08:34 Hypothesis: deviations from normal internet activity can predict imminent rain during the rainy season #
07/31 04:20 @fisheggtree Would love to see info sources of unrecognized VN minorities. The bigger ones not listed on perhaps not endangered #
07/31 04:16 @nguyenhimself @jon7b @cnualart Found on a Drupal forum :) It's worth the effort if you're a dev! But I also use Vim as my editor.. #
07/30 03:25 @fisheggtree Can you list some missing languages? Noticed Pacoh, Ta Oi not listed perhaps due to larger population #
07/30 03:07 Learning curve for popular CMSs: #drupal #joomla #wordpress #

The internet speed in Vietnam is back to dialup level.  There are rumors of another cable cut as well as maintenance that will last more than another week.  This after weeks of "undersea cable maintenance" after which we had awesome download speeds for awhile.  This means a lot of large transfers from sites outside of Vietnam are unbearably slow.  In the meantime, go buy your favorite movies or TV shows on DVD for 10,000 VND, it'll be quicker.

There is a time of day when speeds are much better.  It's in the wee hours of the morning, when most of the population has stopped downloading porn for the day.

If you're slightly resourceful you can take advantage of that window of high speed internet by downloading to a server outside Vietnam during the daytime and then downloading from there to your home PC at nighttime.

Read the rest of this article...

Last week I was interviewed by Sketch Magazine, a monthly publication for Vietnam's Japanese community.  So the September issue will feature a little something of my thoughts on living in Vietnam from a foreigner or Viet Kieu perspective.

One question that came up was: How did I end up in Vietnam? And why?

This is a question that's pretty commonly asked in the expat community.  Nobody chooses where they were born but we expats all had some say in the foreign country we moved to.  I traveled around North America, Europe, Asia, and some of Latin America before deciding I wanted to live somewhere in Southeast Asia, finally settling on Ho Chi Minh City.  

When I ask others how they ended up here I get a variety of answers.  You could split them into "planned" and "accidently".  Those who ended up here accidently stayed because of: 

  • a girl (often now an ex-)
  • came on holiday and became addicted to cheap beer
  • came for school and decided to stay (a lot of Germans, Koreans, and Australians)

Others come here due to Vietnamese blood relations, and some come specifically for the business opportunities.  And then there are the true expats, the ones who were sent here or came to work for a specific job.  Traditionally, they would get a fat expat compensation package with housing allowances (thus driving up housing costs for all) and other perks, but this is changing.

So what do those expats who didn't come here with a job in hand already do? 

1. Freelance.  With Vietnam connected to the world via internet (barely, sometimes), many of us with creative skills such as programming or writing can continue to work for clients back home.  Due to the much lower cost of living compared to Western countries, one doesn't need to work as many hours or maintain as many clients as before.

2. Find a job.  This is a bit harder since there may not be the breadth of positions available to match your specific work experience.  Having a PhD in some applied science may be worthless here.  Nobody may have heard of the university you thought was famous.  But most people I know eventually get a real job here (ignoring survivorship bias).

3. Make your own job.  This could be by starting a company, something which is within the reach of most foreigners here, whereas it would have been a highly risky use of savings back home.  Others shop their skillset around to companies who might not have had a position open if you can make them realize you are the solution they just weren't looking for.

4. Teach English.  This is what people do while they are in the process of #2 or #3.  Some people do this for years.  Teaching English in Vietnam is the easiest way to make decent money in Vietnam, assuming you're from the US, the UK, Canada, or Australia/New Zealand (but they also hire good English speakers from the Philippines, Europe, and other countries).  Teachers are in high demand and salaries are often more than you'd make back home.  Teachers don't even need high school degrees, much less college degrees.  Some English teachers find a school before coming here, but it's absolutely not necessary.  The situation is similar in neighboring countries like Cambodia and Thailand.  But with low cost of living and high salaries, Vietnam is probably one of the best countries to come and teach English in.

That covers the where, the what, and the why.  But how?  It used to be quite easy for most Westerners to stay in Vietnam on a 6-month business visa without actually having any business here.  They've since cracked down a bit but it's still possible and quite common to stay on a 3-month tourist visa renewed multiple times.  The laws on the book (not so much in practice) are always changing though, so more on that next time.

Daily Twitter Posts - 07/22/2011 - 07/29/2011

Submitted by tomo on July 29, 2011 - 11:45am

07/28 08:05 @fisheggtree Subtitling some select programs might help (in Vietnamese even!) #
07/27 11:59 Honored! @Vietnam720: Just given my very 1st to @tomosaigon. My very 1st Google +1'd for his article on #BarCampSaigon - #
07/27 06:55 Correction: Vietnamese are stealing each other @vantuly #
07/27 06:16 Chinese are stealing Vietnamese people RT @vantuly: Chinese police rescue dozens of infants from traffickers - #
07/27 05:20 @ericburdette Follow the link: The Perry nuclear plant on Lake Erie outside
Cleveland, Ohio. #
07/27 04:43 5 lessons learnt from #barcampsaigon 2011: #
07/26 11:25 @MienHPham I was hoping Firefox 4 would finally let me open dozens of tabs without crawling to a halt but it still doesn't. #addicted2chrome #
07/26 10:30 @caligarn @dynamicscholar There is already software for online jamming (musical collaboration) - RiffWorks, built by some good friends #
07/25 11:47 Thinking about doing business on Facebook? Do you have Facebook insurance? #
07/24 11:48 @andrewduck Likewise, enjoyed chatting with you about your big plan for Vietnam! #
07/24 10:28 Really great, thx everyone! RT @barcampSaigon: barcampSaigon: Great! More than 570 participants showed up today at #barcampsaigon #
07/23 19:50 #barcampsaigon weather update: pouring down rain over Binh Thanh and Phu Nhuan. let's hope it lets up soon. #
07/23 13:48 Hackers! Check out Code For America today - - Code For Vietnam tomorrow? #
07/23 01:38 #barcampsaigon pre-party tonight! At Milwaukee Grill 277 Pham Ngu Lao D1, from 7:30PM #
07/22 12:28 #barcampsaigon There will be an informal welcoming party in D1 tomorrow night so stay tuned to for details! #
07/22 06:50 @TylerWatts Math is hard. Let's go shopping! #
07/22 06:50 @Conversoul Would you rather buy gasoline or horse feed? :) #
07/22 06:21 Future Gmail: "You appear to be trashed. Sending delayed until you pick the ugly girls from this lineup." (A better captcha also?) #
07/22 05:55 If you mention "attached file" in a gmail w/o attaching a file, gmail will ask you to confirm before sending. Neat. #
07/22 05:33 On increasing ineffectiveness of new Vietnamese regulations/laws: thx @wigjefferson #

Barcamp Saigon Summer 2011 Parting Thoughts

Submitted by tomo on July 27, 2011 - 2:31am

Sunday we had our 4th and largest Barcamp in Saigon. About 570 showed up to the premier free and open tech event in Vietnam. Here are 5 of the things I took away from it.

1. The most people sign up in the last few days before the event.

(if the below graph doesn't load, try reloading the page)

Traditionally, we would get a 50% show rate of the registrations but this time we had 999 people sign up and 570 show up. Without any setup for cross-checking registrations we don't know how many showed up without pre-registering. Because so many signed up after we settled financial calculations, it wasn't possible to accommodate the unexpected people with free food.

2. Barcamp is a recruiting event. Sponsors came with recruitment in mind. Non-sponsors can also try to muscle their way in. Giving a presentation is a great way to advertise your company and the people who ask attentive questions might be good hiring candidates. But giving a presentation as an individual is also a great way to advertise your hireability to companies.

3. Morning rush - everyone should have an equal chance in getting their presentation on the schedule as long as they show up to the opening. But it's kind of chaotic. When the dust settles, most sessions are in the morning while the afternoon schedule is sparser. A lot of people end up leaving before the closing ceremony and t-shirt giveaway, not that there's a problem giving out all shirts. Other Barcamps do it differently. Some use a voting system and I've thought about some implementations for next time.

4. Serial event organizing needs (infra)structure to make organizing less stressful over time. Without huge Google or Microsoft campuses in town, we're lucky we do have the large (although far) and impressive campus of RMIT to depend on. If we want to go Yangon-scale, we may need a totally different location.

As a tech-heavy event with talks on web scalability and high throughput, it's no good when the official web server falls over under load (I blame Windows). Good internet connectivity at the end is also a must.

Other skills the organizing team needs: Fund-raising, logistics, graphic design, legal, and the ability to get the word out.

5. Outsiders are awesome. I'm really grateful for the guys who brought Barcamp organizing experience from Cambodia, China, Southeast Asia, Germany, etc. to Saigon to share with us. Barcamps are often bootstrapped by foreigners. Outsiders also expose us to new ideas in technology. But I was happy to see at least some local ideas find an audience in the foreign attendees.

Barcamp isn't just about the sessions. It's as much about people coming together and sharing ideas outside of the sessions. The organizers' task isn't to control who speaks, unlike traditional conferences. Our job is to provide a platform for everyone to share knowledge with anyone who is interested. The trend, I hope, is for more people to realize that they do have knowledge that's interesting and worth sharing and to give them the opportunity to speak in front of an audience and further develop their ideas when putting together their presentations, and also get feedback from strangers that they otherwise would have never met.

Some newspapers reported about Sunday's event (in Vietnamese):

Daily Twitter Posts - 07/15/2011 - 07/22/2011

Submitted by tomo on July 22, 2011 - 11:45am

07/21 23:30 @mybigfatface Many 'upwardly mobile' Cambodians make the trip to FV Hospital in Saigon, but not recommended if you're dying right now #
07/21 12:41 @Tanguyen86 Awesome, thanks T! I'll hit you up with details #
07/21 11:50 Wait, so China is banning Harry Potter and all foreign films to screen a $12 mln revisionist propaganda film? #
07/21 11:44 @geetree haha, and trampolines! Dense cities never have enough trampolines. #
07/21 06:16 Screw stairs. World needs more slides. #
07/21 05:38 @Jessdiep Barcamp is from 8am and wraps up around 4 in the afternoon, followed by an optional afterparty. R U free? @barcampSaigon #
07/21 02:12 @Tanguyen86 @saigonchic Receive attendees when they enter, hang around and manage the session rooms, etc. Can you join? :) #
07/20 09:44 BarCamp Saigon is this Sunday at RMIT! We still need a few good volunteers so hit us up if you're interested :) #
07/19 07:26 RT @cnualart: #Saigon go to Zerostation to see this work in progress! Graffiti off NKKN in hem 288. Great fun! #
07/19 04:07 The way 'headache' is spelled vs pronounced causes one. #ghoti #
07/19 02:34 @doortomykitchen @madlyduck Borders always had great books and magazines I didn't know I was looking for. #
07/19 02:30 @saigonchic That is a good opportunity to fart very loudly #
07/18 23:48 Pouring some coffee out for the loss of miles of bookshelves, a place to browse books after work. #Borders #
07/18 13:48 @philip_arthur Honestly, something as powerful as salvia, having a sober person babysitting is responsibility #1 #
07/18 10:59 Is increasing medical tourism to Vietnam good or bad for us expats? #
07/18 09:02 Vietnam needs Underwriters Laboratories, and Consumer Reports. #
07/18 07:09 @jon7b What kind of desk? Adjustable? #
07/17 06:27 @Anita_Tran @jon7b So they should label all films about honest cops as "science fiction" :) #
07/17 05:21 ATTN: Groupon clones in Vietnam, good luck using 'copyright law' to defend against aggregators from commoditizing you #
07/17 05:16 @tamkaizen Good question. I think the difference is the same as between police and mobsters #
07/17 04:19 I was charged $14 to use ANZ's ATM in Phnom Penh. #
07/17 01:46 Cambodia has world's smallest stock exchange, followed by Mozambique and Laos #
07/17 01:03 Everyday some 3000 scientific articles are published. Perhaps a handful from Vietnamese. Probably none of them living in Vietnam. #
07/16 11:17 RT @TheOnion: Drunk Pilot Going To Pull Over Onto Cloud Until He Sobers Up A Little #
07/16 07:23 @PedroInSaigon @fisheggtree Most hysterical reports were from Western Christian sympathizers, nothing objective #
07/16 02:52 @pqnga Sneaky! Not escape-proof, but I know an abstract db layer that won't expect to sanitize an order by clause #
07/16 02:42 @PedroInSaigon That happened a few months ago, don't believe any outsider independently confirmed. VN govt story totally different #
07/16 02:39 @HelpingHandSG Who is this? You should make Drupal themes too :) #
07/15 16:05 @jobnomade Opera lets you group tabs then collapse a group . TooManyTabs for Chrome good for 'suspending' tabs for later. #
07/15 05:51 @OfficeSpace_SG I can't wait! And subway/metro any year now. I'd be happy with dedicated busways in the near future #
07/15 05:50 @madlyduck lol, sounds like an easy job, plenty of time to ponder astrophysics! #
07/15 04:13 @OfficeSpace_SG Saigon also had trams! It's sad impoverished Hanoi couldn't maintain their trams a few more years. #
07/15 04:00 @madlyduck Fortunately, your job isn't to drive people from point A to B using the least amount of fuel possible #
07/15 03:04 @madlyduck Just the negotiated cost to travel about 1-2 km. Still not convinced why (that) nobody in PP could find a numbered street #
07/15 02:57 Some languages in Vietnam have up to 41 vowels. Good luck. #
07/15 01:21 Phnom Penh travel protip: Get a 'free' 1-hour city tour when the motorbike drivers can't find a numbered street 10 min walk away #

XAMPP: Apache Vhosts with SSL

Submitted by tomo on July 18, 2011 - 6:21pm

I needed to test out ssl on my Macbook as a web server with XAMPP.  It took more effort than it should have because I was using virtual hosts as well.

Read the rest of this article...

Daily Twitter Posts - September 2010

Submitted by tomo on July 18, 2011 - 4:17pm

just noticed youtube has rolled out html5 by default, at least for some videos. one more nail in the flash coffin Fri Oct 01 16:49:55 +0000 2010
@caligarn $500/mo in VN gets me a house w/ maid svc 4x size of my chicago apt, personal transport (not the El), eat out/coffee daily, etc Thu Sep 30 19:09:18 +0000 2010
@layered perhaps that 80% makeup figure should be read: 20% of vn girls never wear makeup, the rest do sometimes Thu Sep 30 11:59:51 +0000 2010
@caligarn yup, have a number of .jp friends including some 2nd gen (ie def. not counted by .jp gov). refreshingly, only 1 teaches english Thu Sep 30 08:09:01 +0000 2010
just found out there's 10000 japanese registered with .gov in vietnam, mostly in #saigon Thu Sep 30 07:51:00 +0000 2010
RT @nguyenhimself: The future soon, or maybe right now: Patients can now be frozen into state of suspended animation for surgery. http:/ ... Mon Sep 27 19:01:09 +0000 2010
@kennedypj how different from twitter/tumblr/posterous or smaller microblogging sites? Sun Sep 26 14:22:31 +0000 2010
@dylanduong @rockportrait re: dallas, i might distinguish btwn contemporary as opp. to authentic/nostalgic vn cuisine; broader range here Sun Sep 26 14:20:40 +0000 2010
@kennedypj i was just there for nearly 3 hours! Sun Sep 26 14:00:34 +0000 2010
i won a 100,000VND voucher for Phở 24 at last night's fiesta! at their current prices, enough to buy 2 bowls of phở. attn: phở diggers Sun Sep 26 06:17:33 +0000 2010
@rockportrait @dylanduong my $0.02 from living in dallas (one of the largest vn by pop), a few good contemporary vn joints, mostly just avg Sun Sep 26 05:57:09 +0000 2010
RT @soldbynam: New property rights for overseas Vietnamese Sun Sep 26 05:50:33 +0000 2010
@kennedypj please share more about your microblogging idea, maybe i can help Sun Sep 26 05:20:38 +0000 2010
@tamkaizen neither. mày là Việt Kiều! Fri Sep 24 13:31:35 +0000 2010
@tamkaizen you/nielsen or cimigo should have accurate figures on vn? numbeo is biased from english-speakers = expats who pay >$2 for smokes? Fri Sep 24 12:58:32 +0000 2010
@caligarn haven't played violin since high school when i picked up guitar, later turntables. shame really. you play? Fri Sep 24 12:35:34 +0000 2010
@betoneko know any JP speakers who would like to work for a game/3d company? Fri Sep 24 12:24:04 +0000 2010
@caligarn kennedypj saigon-mui ne really unpleasant imo, only worthwhile if continuing on to da lat which is a beautiful ride Fri Sep 24 08:07:32 +0000 2010
@tamkaizen they pull stats from anyone willing to enter datapoints. weak and unsubstantiated. bet few real vnese there. median salary < $653 Fri Sep 24 07:59:15 +0000 2010
@caligarn dude you played viola? i played the squeeky violin for like 9 years by the suzuki method Fri Sep 24 07:52:09 +0000 2010
@tamkaizen $4.50 for an inexpensive meal in vn? think numbeo's numbers may err high for vn, more accurate for US Thu Sep 23 22:36:27 +0000 2010
RT @newsyc20: $250,000-a-day Minecraft strikes indie game gold ( Thu Sep 23 20:32:40 +0000 2010
@Vietnam720 same here! kaiten zushi is fun w/ a friend. so i think Kichi Kichi hotpot applies the concept well even if there's better lau Tue Sep 21 10:08:41 +0000 2010
@jodiehuynh @betoneko @Vietnam720 Sushi Bar = Pho 24: many locations, a lil pricy, the only one many have tried, but real jp/vn go elsewhere Tue Sep 21 09:55:44 +0000 2010
@kennedypj @jodiehuynh yes, correction: the event is saturday! Tue Sep 21 09:44:20 +0000 2010
@jodiehuynh i've been following @thomaswanhoff tweets re: barcamp vientiane. see that it's not til Nov. thx for reminding! Tue Sep 21 08:18:43 +0000 2010
@jodiehuynh looking forward to eating/networking with mexican food/people this sunday! at Tue Sep 21 08:04:43 +0000 2010
sadly just now finding out about #barcamp phnom penh this weekend #barcamppp3 Tue Sep 21 07:59:47 +0000 2010
@Vietnam720 @betoneko baby spoon serves contemporary japanese/western cuisine, think of dishes like omu-rice made with cream Tue Sep 21 07:54:12 +0000 2010
@jodiehuynh coffee on wednesday it is! Mon Sep 20 09:05:05 +0000 2010
@betoneko thx for putting me in a special box ;) Mon Sep 20 09:02:50 +0000 2010
@caligarn @tamkaizen i believe HCMC govt keeps statistics on foreigners on their website. most expats are asian, not "white" Sun Sep 19 17:13:49 +0000 2010
@caligarn good question. how much are you willing to pay for an option to purchase today's paper for delivery in 1 year? Sun Sep 19 17:12:31 +0000 2010
@kennedypj with names like that, those beans'd probably sell for a high premium in VN, right? with sữa i probably couldn't discern anyhow Sun Sep 19 16:44:36 +0000 2010
@betoneko i just picked up a copy of yesterday's paper. i can't believe they still sell yesterday's news, and at today's price! Sun Sep 19 16:36:02 +0000 2010
@betoneko i'm also interested in printing biz cards; obviously Ly Thai To is the go-to street; b4 i went nearby on Dien Bien Phu Sun Sep 19 16:14:02 +0000 2010
product development in 3 words: "Ready! Fire! Aim!" Sun Sep 19 16:04:45 +0000 2010
@rockportrait @kennedypj it's not real weasel-from-weasel-butt-hole coffee, but it's still delicious (and i'm kind of an anti-fan of #4sq ;) Sun Sep 19 11:00:45 +0000 2010
reminder to self: return to this bamboo cafe to see if it's as awesome on another day. delicious weasel coffee Sun Sep 19 09:32:08 +0000 2010
anyone have a copy of saturday's Tuoi Tre? i got a long quote in @betoneko's article about working 2nd jobs Sun Sep 19 04:47:01 +0000 2010
@CoachLeaders i don't remember much about the BC era (Before Computers) ; if it's not in the cloud does it truly exist? Sat Sep 18 20:18:44 +0000 2010
sometimes i dream in slideshow format moving from one conceptual frame to the next Sat Sep 18 08:55:06 +0000 2010
the time has come to raise the bar in saigon, say 1m higher. re-christen "venice of the orient" and call it a day Thu Sep 16 10:21:55 +0000 2010
@jodiehuynh it was from the previous tweetup. how a propos! Thu Sep 16 10:15:20 +0000 2010
@michaelcoyote yup, traffic cops and usually a bill or 2 should be sufficient but whiteface'll get hit up for more for not knowing better Thu Sep 16 10:12:41 +0000 2010
when i type @ i want names to start autocompleting, and then i want whatever i am thinking to just appear in the box Thu Sep 16 10:09:38 +0000 2010
@saigonnezumi i know a secret route behind the manor that should skip the flooded portion of NHC Thu Sep 16 10:09:04 +0000 2010
i guess i did get caught by a photographer in the latest issue of The Word magazine Thu Sep 16 09:24:57 +0000 2010
saw an old white guy busted by cong an at the edge of D1, counting off a wad of 100s that was too much. he looked like this: >:[ Wed Sep 15 13:13:14 +0000 2010
@CoachLeaders nice chatting with ya at #saigontweetup but i hope half of what you said went right over her head haha Tue Sep 14 18:20:38 +0000 2010
at blackcat sg: family of 3 speaking .fr; a .jp couple; 2 .kr girls 1 speaking .vn on mobile; single .jp guy reading silently; and me. Sat Sep 11 07:30:08 +0000 2010
need priority inbox for twitter and facebook Fri Sep 10 12:08:52 +0000 2010
RT @newsyc20: Top Japanese Social Devs Make $1,000,000 Per Month ( Wed Sep 08 20:06:52 +0000 2010
looking for the cheapest way to get 180 Trung Thu lanterns to the US (Ann Arbor) by September 12 Fri Sep 03 11:21:53 +0000 2010
you're sick. you're coughing as hard as you can. do you have to cough directly on me? thanks for giving me a reason to take pseudoephedrine Thu Sep 02 08:28:45 +0000 2010
@HelpingHandSG i already donated my bike to a poor student, actually he borrowed it and just never gave it back Wed Sep 01 18:41:43 +0000 2010
RT @HelpingHandSG: looking 4 corporate sponsors gving us bicycles 4 gd students from vry poor families, travel by foot far 4 skool, HCM ... Wed Sep 01 18:40:49 +0000 2010
and... vietnam goes on holiday for the rest of the week Wed Sep 01 12:31:45 +0000 2010
to add some spice to your life, pick your nose after handling chopped up chilis Tue Aug 31 21:47:43 +0000 2010
even the bike repair shop has wifi in saigon Mon Aug 30 09:54:33 +0000 2010
@peoplewithideas i've learned to self-diagnose, google the bag'o'pills from the Rx when i get home. being a Dr. isn't so hard after all! Sun Aug 29 21:13:30 +0000 2010
@tdichristopher imo VN must develop inter+intra-urban train travel to make SG-HN bullet trains feasible; SG-Nha Trang would be a start Sun Aug 29 20:55:24 +0000 2010
RT @unrelated_says: — BBC News - Rare 'fire tornado' filmed in Brazil Sat Aug 28 08:40:09 +0000 2010
i think 'Reasons to hate Vietnam' can mostly be mitigated by leaving hanoi and living in saigon for awhile Fri Aug 27 07:51:55 +0000 2010
@tamkaizen cops should be out looking for all the petty thieves instead of looking for bribes, otoh i can drive w/o a license for 100-200k Wed Aug 25 09:14:50 +0000 2010
RT @unrelated_says: — Epic traffic jam in China leaves drivers stuck for 9 days - Tue Aug 24 08:53:08 +0000 2010
@Vietnam720 I lease a dedicated server in the US (not VN), been doing so for years, before the cloud was an option Tue Aug 24 08:51:02 +0000 2010
goodbye dubai? ( Thu Aug 19 15:48:38 +0000 2010
turn saigon into the silicon delta Wed Aug 18 17:29:40 +0000 2010
RT @TheEIU_Asia: #Vietnam devalues the dong by 2.1%. The move highlights growing concerns over wide trade deficit a ... Wed Aug 18 16:07:51 +0000 2010
usatoday's why .5 million Viet Kieu are coming home annually (with stock photo of Saigon Pearl) ( Wed Aug 18 14:06:02 +0000 2010

Daily Twitter Posts - October 2010

Submitted by tomo on July 18, 2011 - 4:15pm


@Conversoul do you skate? i'm only aware of the skate shop on Bui Vien Sun Oct 31 09:06:33 +0000 2010

someone please invent socks that keep your feet cool, and kills mosquitos Sat Oct 30 08:24:13 +0000 2010

luxury imports -> inflation -> poorer people. so each minivan you see is a small village of hungry people, each iphone is a hungry child Thu Oct 28 07:30:30 +0000 2010

@kennedypj excellent! flying direct to vte? i'm planning fly -> bkk, train -> vientiane Thu Oct 28 07:27:45 +0000 2010

@rockportrait @kennedypj @betoneko indeed, said tongue in cheek. nip=nippon, but rarely heard now. to youth, nip is just short for nipple Thu Oct 28 07:25:36 +0000 2010

anyone want to go to Barcamp Vientiane nov 27? @barcampVTE Thu Oct 28 06:09:17 +0000 2010

@betoneko hey! shouldn't call japanese people japs. nips is better, and funnier Thu Oct 28 05:56:43 +0000 2010

cost-benefit analysis: arresting a blogger is probably an ineffective way to keep a topic off the internet Wed Oct 27 07:45:53 +0000 2010

@betoneko @saigonnezumi check out Drupal, it comes highly recommended (by me :). if you have any questions ask me Wed Oct 27 07:43:59 +0000 2010

@saigoninacup @caligarn i too set down the fiddle many moons ago. i studied suzuki method, so played for years before i could actually read Wed Oct 27 07:22:39 +0000 2010

@BellVietnam i know some SEO/SEM guys in saigon. hit me up for the infoz Wed Oct 27 07:15:06 +0000 2010

RT @betoneko: Will the new Epat page be called Exprattle or something else? You decide! Last day to suggest and vote Mon Oct 25 05:34:27 +0000 2010
ended up at chinese-vnese b-day party for a 4-yo, starting at midnight, not knowing the name of a single person and xlating japanese to viet Sun Oct 24 21:41:07 +0000 2010

RT @OneVietnam: Mosquito Nets & Blankets Needed for Flood Victims in Vietnam! See how you can help: Sun Oct 24 07:13:56 +0000 2010

@betoneko wow, back in my father's time it was much simpler - live in a French house, eat Chinese food, marry a Japanese girl (or something) Sat Oct 23 12:00:01 +0000 2010

@caligarn Computer Assisted Language Learning! Sat Oct 23 05:10:34 +0000 2010

@HerDailyDigest i was wearing a blue shirt, with 2 lovely ladies. i didn't know it was your kid! Fri Oct 22 08:43:46 +0000 2010

@HerDailyDigest yes, saw some kids running around last night... did you shrink? :) Thu Oct 21 09:15:34 +0000 2010

@rockportrait @HerDailyDigest it was loud, not sure how i'd classify - contemporary rock. there was a japanese noise band at Tadao last week Thu Oct 21 09:14:39 +0000 2010

@HerDailyDigest oh, i was at Pacharan last night too but didn't see you, was listening to that japanese band! Thu Oct 21 08:35:44 +0000 2010

RT @dukedylan: I love my maid. She refuses to accept more than 10 dollars per month and accepts beer cans as a tip. #Vietnam Thu Oct 21 08:10:33 +0000 2010

@TylerWatts @dynamicscholar @ericburdette my friend's dad gets around his (f'n big) property in D2 by golf cart, even takes it out to street Thu Oct 21 08:07:19 +0000 2010

@betoneko i set up a needanym project for naming your Expat Page w/ some suggestions, invite ppl to suggest names at Thu Oct 21 08:02:54 +0000 2010

@kennedypj lorem ipsum is used by web developers to fill in content, say for a mockup, so as not to distract from the design Wed Oct 20 10:12:41 +0000 2010

@kennedypj @betoneko @shilkytouch It's gangstafied lorem ipsum, my twizzles. meant to be meaningless text (not unlike many tweets) Wed Oct 20 08:35:43 +0000 2010

@caligarn hey dude, did you get my DM? not sure what's up with twitter Wed Oct 20 08:26:59 +0000 2010

Lorizzle ipsizzle fo shiznit boofron, crazy adipiscing elit. sapizzle velit, crunk volutpizzle, suscipizzle quizzle, yippiyo vizzle, arcu. Wed Oct 20 07:25:30 +0000 2010

@dynamicscholar i think i won't switch to my Wu name "Dubious Masturbatah-X" @tamkaizen Tue Oct 19 16:11:57 +0000 2010

@betoneko thx.. i'll be sure to ask for the biggest cakes they have! Mon Oct 18 11:55:04 +0000 2010

what bakery in saigon delivers birthday cakes? Mon Oct 18 06:25:49 +0000 2010

@saigoninacup i have some jalapenos (from Veggys) but you can never have enough! Sun Oct 17 06:46:17 +0000 2010

@shilkytouch holla! you've self-actualized into 100% super salaryman kevin in yo profile, so i didn't recognize Sat Oct 16 21:19:40 +0000 2010

@michaelcoyote in saigon convenience stores they sell these packs of what are basically like thick nori chips, meant to be eaten as snacks! Sat Oct 16 20:44:16 +0000 2010

about to book on #Qatar Airways, "World's 5-Star Airline", please stop me! Sat Oct 16 17:50:06 +0000 2010

just put #beatcancer in a tweet and a nickel is raised against cancer (for the next day or so) Fri Oct 15 19:52:40 +0000 2010

@HerDailyDigest my exp booking hotels in Jakarta is that prices are cheaper when you just walk up than prebooking online Fri Oct 15 10:42:56 +0000 2010

@caligarn @BellVietnam @tamkaizen i think VN can learn many lessons from SIN, but "have once been a british colony" isn't one of them :) Fri Oct 15 08:10:44 +0000 2010
@saigonnezumi so let's talk about a Drupal-based SIS :) Tue Oct 12 16:39:46 +0000 2010

@saigonnezumi FPT is giving me over 50% packet loss right now, it's been like this for a few days and i wonder if other ISPs are any better Tue Oct 12 16:33:54 +0000 2010

i get a kick out of giving directions to vietnamese who stop me on the street Mon Oct 11 13:47:13 +0000 2010

@betoneko what language for the expat column? Mon Oct 11 13:24:46 +0000 2010

today is just a little bit quieter without #4sq <evil laugh> Mon Oct 11 08:15:05 +0000 2010

sat at a cafe waiting for someone, instead of tweeting about it, I hacked together "h8sq: The 4sq Killer for Twitter" Sun Oct 10 15:36:13 +0000 2010

@ethuynh Silicon Valley is neither a city, nor is it cool, just has VC. the time to build the Silicon Delta is nowSun Oct 10 10:41:05 +0000 2010

@saigoninacup @ericburdette haha, like chicken mcnuggets... but fish! however, i'm a fan of White Castle's "chicken rings" Fri Oct 08 08:08:07 +0000 2010

@ericburdette what?! there's a Long John Silvers in Vietnam? Fri Oct 08 07:48:17 +0000 2010

someone should invent a fish w/o bones that still tastes like fish. or maybe chicken. Fri Oct 08 07:09:55 +0000 2010

@betoneko $0 earners: maybe farmers or people far from civilization, retirees, kids! also sometimes me :) Fri Oct 08 06:02:17 +0000 2010

@saigoninacup you can definitely order Dr Pepper at Wayne's Texas, since it wouldn't be TX w/o Dr Pepper. prob also penos and ranch there Fri Oct 08 05:36:52 +0000 2010

@BellVietnam true dat, Peter, many aspects of living in VN can't be compared, esp. things i like most can't be bought for reasonable $ in US Thu Oct 07 19:19:03 +0000 2010

@ethuynh my vietnamese name is Trí which i did not pick myself Thu Oct 07 18:55:26 +0000 2010

@betoneko calculating costs as a %age of salary sounds really smart. so if i make $0, then everything costs exactly the same? :) Thu Oct 07 18:41:11 +0000 2010

@betoneko vn is much cheaper than jp! :) thx Thu Oct 07 11:47:38 +0000 2010

@mattlepub i think low-end/entry-level smartphone market is interesting, tho certainly not best quality. plus .cn fones do 2x sims :) Thu Oct 07 11:45:19 +0000 2010

@caligarn blogged about CoL in saigon on ; see you at rich people jazz night tmrw ;) Thu Oct 07 11:40:35 +0000 2010

@ethuynh hey trung, good to catch up. btw, we have the same family name! Wed Oct 06 21:07:25 +0000 2010

my take on the cost of living in Vietnam: It's Really Cheap Wed Oct 06 20:28:29 +0000 2010

so where can i buy a Huawei (Chinese) Android phone in #saigon Wed Oct 06 19:17:16 +0000 2010

@betoneko people would say "what's a prattle?" and "why are you no longer a prattle?" Wed Oct 06 19:15:00 +0000 2010

Of 6909 known languages 1/2 expected to disappear this century; every 2 weeks, the last fluent speaker of one dies. ( Wed Oct 06 07:35:50 +0000 2010

i wonder if Animal Farm has ever been translated into Vietnamese Tue Oct 05 21:44:33 +0000 2010

i like how it can be pouring down rain, but cross the street into another district and all the streets are dry Tue Oct 05 07:22:35 +0000 2010

RT @Orangwutang Vietnamese universities do little original research; rarely cited by scientific scholars (The Economist Sun Oct 03 08:41:04 +0000 2010

@ericburdette re: the article, where in OH are you from? i grew up in columbus Sun Oct 03 08:17:45 +0000 2010

The Immigrant Paradox: so stay in VN to have math genius kids ( Sat Oct 02 16:49:18 +0000 2010

just noticed youtube has rolled out html5 by default, at least for some videos. one more nail in the flash coffinFri Oct 01 16:49:55 +0000 2010


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