A Saturday Morning in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC)

Last Saturday morning we went for a half-day HCMC tour, courtesy of Kevin Nguyen, Chairman of Global Cybersoft.

Six of us gathered at the majestic Majestic Hotel. Just the night before we were having dinner on its roof top ๐Ÿ™‚

At 9am, the tour van arrived with Tanh, our tour guide.

First stop was at one of the art galleries – sorry, I couldn’t appreciate much of it, though I enjoyed looking at the expensive paintings ๐Ÿ™‚

Next stop was at the historical Presidential Palace. DH blogged about it some time ago.

Some of our pix this time:


I never get tired of watching aodai-clad lasses ๐Ÿ™‚ :


Historic tank:


At the roof top:


We later had a brief stop (again) at the Ben Tanh Market.

then we had lunch at another posh restaurant on the 8th (was it 12th?) floor of this building ( I think it’s called “riverview Restaurant”, but I could be wrong):


too tired… will continue later..

Almost Goodbye to Saigon..

It’s past noon here in Saigon, and I’ve just got back from a long walk round the downtown area. I’ll explain later how long it was with a map (I don’t have the copy of the map now). What I know was that we started walking at 9am and got back to the hotel at noon – mostly walking, and hardly any more shopping. ๐Ÿ™

Added on 14th July:

Here’s the map with the path of our Sunday morning walk:

The path shows that it’s quite a distance ๐Ÿ™‚

(Map taken from http://www.vietnam-hotel-reservations.com/ho_chi_minh_map.html)

Come to think of it, I haven’t got myself (or anybody else, for that matter) any silk dress or silk to be made “baju kurung”. ๐Ÿ™

Soon we need to check out of the hotel, grab the halal lunch at the nearby Bombay Restaurant, and head to the airport. Our flight is due at abt 7.00pm local time (8.00pm Malaysian time) and we’ll only reach LCCT about 2 hours later.

I now run out of USD but still have some Singapore$ and Thai Baht – I wonder if I’ll have last minute purchase? We’ll see..

Ben Thanh Market

written on 28th June (11pm Saigon time)

(Heck, with this slow Internet connection, I’ve lost the original blog thatย  I’ve composed and need to start all over again! ๐Ÿ™ )

Ben Thanh Market must be one of the most popular places in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) aka Saigon.

My first visit to the market was yesterday. This afternoon I went again, and tomorrow I’ll go there for the last time ๐Ÿ™

Pix from yesterday’s visit:


Bags, bags and more bags!

I first came across these beautiful embroidered bagsย  during our visit to Angkor Wat (Siem Reap). Then when we visited Hanoi, we saw more of them (though that time I didn’t buy any). Two months ago we saw them again in Phnom Penh.

However, this friendly and cheerfulย  lady managed to convince meย  to buy a couple more!


The next “damage” was done by the lady at one of the textile stores, who greeted me in Bahasa (She impressed me!):


I bought some tudung from her, despite knowing that the tudungs in Bukit Tinggi Sumatera are much cheaper than here. Well… most of the tudung that I bought yesterday were hand-embroidered, so that makes quite a difference, as compared to the machine-embroidered ones in Bukit Tinggi.

Another view of the interior of the market:


This lady modelled one of the aodai fabric to a customer:


Then I was off to one of the the tailorย  shops nearby:


I regret not getting any blouse or trousesย  specially tailored, during my visit to Chaingmai or Bangkok, so I decided to give this one a go:


The suits would come handy for my Dale Carnegie trainings in the future ๐Ÿ˜‰

I think it was quite cheap, considering I went to such an ordinary tailor, and not one of those “boutique-styled” tailors ๐Ÿ˜‰

Today I went to the tailor’s place again to collect my suits:


Actually they are not really suits, just pairs of blouses with pants of the same material. I specifically told the tailor that I didn’t want any lining – too hot for comfort.

This page is under construction, please come again!

Saigon – Dinner On the Roof Top

Last night we were treated to another dinner at the rooftop of the Majestic Hotel, which is located near the Saigon River.

We were there soon after sunset and the view from the rooftop on the 8th floor was really beautiful.

Some of our pix.



With Steve (all the way from Silicon Valley) & Vuong, CEO(Chief Entertainment Officer ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) of Global Cybersoft

We had a-la-carte. Some orders were prompt but others were very late (including those of Kevin’s and Manash). Luckily we were kept entertained by a beautiful Filipino singer! ๐Ÿ˜‰

But I think DH didn’t take any pics of her. ๐Ÿ™


Another pic of us having dinner.


We spotted a couple of “fish-shape” floating restaurants like this one.


On the way, I noticed this.


I thought that was a cool way to display the roses!

The Grand Opening of Global Cybersoft


The pic above is courtesy of Mr Steve Smith.

This morning I attended the grand opening of the new office of Global Cybersoft, Vietnam.

Here are some of the pics.

Three of the congratulatory bouquets.


The drummers started the function.


The dancing drummers.


Dancing Vietnamese gals too.


The MCs.


The function was conducted in both English and Vietnamese.

At one time, a Japanese gave a speech and it was translated to both Vietnamese and English!

The official opening.


Later we were taken to visit their staff at work, as well as the newly acquired office floor, to be occupied soon.


One for the album, outside the current office, with An, my guide of the office tour.


And another one with the MC. ๐Ÿ™‚


View from the stage.


For more pix, please go to our album on Global Cybersoft Grand opening.

More to come – A Visit to Ben Thanh Market, and rooftop dinner at Majestic Hotel.

Working Smart vs Working Hard

It’s only Monday, and yet I’m already very p*ssed off today ๐Ÿ™

From 9am until 5pm, we had a full-day session with our client, P**M. That’s not the problem. My problem is with this one guy in the company. Let’s call him H. H is a smart guy (intellectually, that is), and he’s been with the company ever since it started the development of the huge system. So, you can say that he’s THE GUY as far as the system is concerned.

Unfortunately, H lacks some people skill or public relations (PR) skill, especially when dealing with fellow colleagues. He’s definitely very nice to our clients, and is always preferred to by them. I have no problem with that. Lucky him, to be liked and wanted by our clients. But to treat fellow colleagues like kids and as if they don’t have dignity is too much. True, they are a couple of ranks lower than him, but that’s no excuse to be rude to them. They may just be system analysts and programmers, but they are a bunch of hard working and dedicated people!

I don’t know how to put the story. About a month ago I tried to tender my resignation, because I just felt that I could not work with him. I was kept in the dark most of the time, and instead of guiding me (as it should be), I was left alone to discover many things on my own. Never mind about that, maybe this job is just not for me. Back to my attempt to resign – to cut the story short, a senior guy talked me out of it so I decided to stay on. The incident caused many people to know about it, and many of them told me that they’ve been treated that way (unfairly) by H all this while, and they’ve learnt to tolerate him. I told them that’s good for them to be so patient, but as for me, I do not need to be put in such predicament. I was more than happy to leave the job and go back to my free-lancing life.

Since that incident too, I’ve been re-assigned to work with a different group of people, phew! However, I still need to finish up the task that was given to me prior to that incident. That requires me to occasionally work with H ๐Ÿ™

Furthermore, even with the current task, there would still be times when H will be involved ๐Ÿ™ Again, I can be professional and put my feelings aside.

Last week, he scheduled for me to have a meeting with him and a couple of other colleagues toda,y and it was scheduled to start at 6pm. Bear in mind that the office hour officially ends at 5.30pm. I thought, never mind, I can occasionally stay until 7pm (the meeting was scheduled for 6pm-7pm).

Unfortunately, it only started at 6.45pm, and we stopped for maghrib prayers at 8pm (after which I decided to just leave for home). I went to the shopping mall next door to get KFC for dinner for my family. Reached home almost 9pm, and by the time I had my showered, and opened my mailbox (it’s been 2 weeks I’ve been without Internet at work ๐Ÿ™ ) it was close to 10pm.

I tell you why the meeting was so long (Hah! I didn’t stay on to find out what time they finished). Another SA (systems analyst), Hm was supposed to present some format of output. As soon as Hm put up his first slide, H started giving his comments and remarks. I know his comments were relevant andd vital, but what I couldn’t understand was why did he have to wait for the meeting to make his points? He could have given them in an email, and saved us the time ๐Ÿ™

It’s fine with me if he loves staying late at work. He is entitled to bonus and I am not. He’s a full time employee while I am only a contract consultant. I get paid by the day, and no more insentive for staying late at work ๐Ÿ™

So, I get very annoyed if anybody makes me stay back at work unnecessarily!

I am planning to write an e-mail to him and to be cc-ed to those involved. I will tell him what I feel about last night’s meeting, and I intend to put the email on this page, so friends, watch out!! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Till then, good night!

Oops! Here’s the letter:

Dear H****,

I am sorry that I could not stay on for the meeting earlier tonight. I really admire your commitment to work, and it amazes me the hours that you put in at work. Like most of the other staff, you are so hard-working. On top of that, you are also very smart and knowledgeable, which I am neither.

Unfortunately I simply canโ€™t afford to spend as much time at work as you and others. Last night I had to leave at 8.15pm right after the maghrib prayers, because the kids at home were waiting for me to bring back dinner. I just could not re-join you guys at the meeting. It was way passed my tolerable office time.

I noticed that, the 6pm-7pm scheduled meeting (which to my displeasure, didnโ€™t start until about 6.45pm) was fruitful, despite being very late. Those issues that you raised and the points that you high-lighted were very important and vital. I have to admit that being new, both H****m and I overlooked them. Even for the meeting itself, I thought that it was meant for only the few of us, namely D***i, you, H****m and I, to discuss, identify and finalise the โ€œReport Formatโ€ before we call the other SAs. I take the blame for not inviting the other SAs to attend the meeting (hence we only managed to scrouge only those who had not gone home). As you must have noticed, I cc-ed all my correspondences with the SAs to you and D***i. You could have replied to any of the e-mails and told us that youโ€™d prefer ALL SAs to be present. If you did, I am sure theyโ€™d obliged to do so. Unfortunately you did not do so, and preferred to show a bad temper at the start of the meeting L

I also noticed that those points that you put forward to us tonight, you could have also highlighted to us (H****m and/or me) beforehand, so that we could consider them and have more thoughts. Then we would be more prepared for the presentation and would have saved a lot of the time tonight, and prevented the meeting from being dragged that long.

Honestly, when you said earlier that H****m was to prepare the format, like H****m, and most of the SAs, I also understood it was only for the format. Not that we didnโ€™t think of those issues that you mentioned but we (or at least I) think that those issues would be considered when we want to determine the man-days later and to justify the calculation.

If by any means you feel that I am not fit to be in the team and the company, and I am a misfit to the team/company, I am more than happy to leave the company. You need not have to wait until the last minute (such as the meeting earlier tonight) to embarrass me and make me feel inadequate.

Also, as for the meeting with J** on 26th and 27th June (this Thurs and Fri), I am sorry I will not be able to make it. As indicated by my calendar which I filled in at the beginning of this month, I will be in Saigon from 26th-29th June.

Thank you and good night.