Illustration by Trịnh Lập by An Phương Among the nine results listed on Google when I asked the question “Should women drive?” in Vietnamese, six of them gave me negative answers, which inspired me to talk with many people about the topic. This topic has caused controversy among many people recently, especially after several serious car crashes with female drivers occurred. I’m a woman who can’t drive and I don’t plan to learn how to drive anytime soon as I’m totally fine with riding my own motorbike, taking taxis, or booking a GrabBike when necessary. However, I have to admit I have a conflict of interest. While I encourage all my female friends to take driving lessons or drive, I judge, albeit in a low-key way, other women that cut me off as they drive a car. Quang Minh, 32, told me that women are generally not solid drivers of cars. “I’m not saying this because … [Read more...] about Should Vietnamese women drive a car?
Talk Around Town
Illustration by Đàm Minh Chí 12 years ago, when a television still occupied a central position in every Vietnamese house, I remember myself, a middle school student at the time, muttering along to a catchy song. “Let us sort waste as it is an invaluable resource. 3R! 3R! 3R! 3R! 3R!” In the campaign's advertisement promoting sorting rubbish, three women in road sweeper uniforms swing their brooms and dance to a steady beat. Although the video stuck with me, it seems like not everyone had the same reaction. More than a decade has passed, yet waste sorting remains a relatively strange concept to most Vietnamese people. A single wastebasket standing alone on the street is a common sight. Separate bins for recycling are only found at schools or in high-rise buildings and modern urban areas. And yes, people who really care can sort their garbage, but they will need to find scrap collectors to sell their … [Read more...] about Environmental protection cannot be a passing trend
Illustration by Trịnh Lập By Nguyễn Mỹ Hà “Can you believe it, our Thăng Long (Ascending Dragon) has become Hạ Long (Descending Dragon)!” exclaimed one graduate of the school, one of the top public schools in Hà Nội. This year, nearly 86,000 students had to sit for the entrance exam to get into the public high schools in the city. The accumulated scores of the previous years were not counted. Students must pass the exam to get a place at the city’s public high schools. But the public schools can sit only 63,000 students at most, which means only 73 per cent of the city’s high school-age students will get a place to study. The rest can apply to private schools or vocational schools. This makes the exam even more dreadful for students and places even heavier pressure on the parents. “I’m here to apply for a reassessment or wait for the school to lower its pass … [Read more...] about Feeling the heat with high school exams
Illustration by Trịnh Lập Khánh Dương A GrabFood courier in HCM City is unlikely to forget the day when he stood alone on a street with 40 cups of milk tea desperately trying to call his customer. No one appeared to pick up the order. The driver received only VNĐ18,000 (US$0.8) as a delivery fee but had to pay VNĐ1.6 million ($68) in advance for the tea and did not know what to do when the order was cancelled only a few minutes before he reached the delivery address. He reported the case to GrabFood and was told they were trying to deal with it. “When we confirm that customers have cancelled the order, we will try to provide the best support for drivers including paying compensation,” a representative from GrabFood said after the incident. Not long after that, after ordering 20 cups of milk tea worth VNĐ1.2 million ($51), a girl in HCM City texted the driver … [Read more...] about Who will pay the price for cancelled online orders?
Illustration by Trịnh Lập Paul Kennedy October 1951, was an important month in the history of television, and more specifically, light entertainment. A new kind of show aired for the first time on the 15th of that month staring Lucille Ball and her husband Desi Arnaz. It was called ‘I Love Lucy’ and appeared on America’s CBS network, running for a little under six years with a total of 180 episodes recorded. It may not have been the first sitcom to air on television, but the importance of the show was far-reaching and indeed ground-breaking in the world of television. Lead actress Lucille Ball was a pioneer, not only leading the way for future generations of female comedians, but also running the production company in charge of the show. Her real-life husband and co-star was Hispanic, and Ball had to fight tooth-and-nail with the network to make sure he played the part of her onscreen spouse. And she won. … [Read more...] about YouTube success can bring you fame, but what about fortune?