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November 16, 2009
hartney-hornsby “Bring Out Your Grandmothers Tour”. Ha Giang - Cao Bang

I’ve just posted the second lot of images from our recent “Bring Out Your Grandmothers” motorbike tour. This Google map shows Ha Giang town (A) bottom left with Pho Bang and Dong Van at the centre top, northernmost Viet Nam. View Larger Map Clicking on the image below will bring up the slideshow in my […]

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November 16, 2009
a perfect form of meditation

This entry was written early one morning in the hotel at Bao Lac. I’ve transcribed it from my notebook pretty much verbatim, sans spelling errors. “Friday Nov 11 2009, 6am Hotel balcony at Bao Lac overlooking the river. A heavy mist has set in overnight and I can’t make out the tops of the cliffs […]

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November 10, 2009
hartney-hornsby “Bring Out Your Grandmothers Tour”. Ha Giang - Cao Bang

I’ve just arrived back in Ha Noi after 2 weeks on the road visiting Ha Giang and Cao Bang provinces in the far north of Viet Nam close with the Chinese border. I have much to write about the trip and many images to process and post to royby.com. But all in good time. This […]

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October 25, 2009
delicious uncertainty

I feel like writing, which is an odd feeling because for the longest time even contemplation of sitting before this keyboard brought on feelings of nausea. Perhaps it is the hint of autumn in the Ha Noi air that has invigorated my senses dulled too long by the torpid humidity of a Sai Gon wet […]

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October 16, 2009
Moc Bai & return

Yesterday I caught a #703 public bus from Ben Thanh which carried me along route 22 to the small village of Moc Bai on the border with Cambodia (see Google map below). I had some paperwork to attend to that could not be taken care of in the city and so this day trip became […]

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October 16, 2009
avarice

On a recent weekend in Vung Tau I rented this motorbike that had a rather strange choice of brand name, the definition of which I’ve placed below. Could it be indicative of the culture currently sweeping this country? av⋅a⋅rice  [av-er-is]  noun insatiable greed for riches; inordinate, miserly desire to gain and hoard wealth.  

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September 13, 2009
Atop the new Phu My Bridge connecting D2 with D7

Although the approaches to both sides of the bridge are yet to be completed it is now open to motorbike and car traffic, but closed to trucks and buses etc., which will be the main type of transport to use it once it is fully operational. This bridge will be an integral part of the […]

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September 12, 2009
Horny Lillies

The perfume from these Lillies in my room is almost overpowering. When you look at them, Lillies are quite horny flowers!!

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September 9, 2009
It’s definitely not WHAT you know

You can know a lot of things in this world, but most often you can achieve more through WHO you know, and getting the Internet put back on at my house was no exception. My neighbour happened to know the right technician and with a wink, a nod and a crisp 100,000 VND bill Internet […]

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August 26, 2009
Mobylette Magic

 

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April 22, 2009
its only a few tiny holes!!

Comment of the month must go to the staff member of the furniture company in Sai Gon who rang and asked why I had insisted on returning a new lounge suite that is riddled with borers, “But its only a few tiny holes, what is the problem, you can hardly see them”. Meanwhile, the sawdust […]

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February 10, 2009
life is tough on feet in Sai Gon

Sometimes the traffic in Sai Gon can be, what would you call it, congested? Getting caught in a traffic jam here can be something like being on a motorbike for the start of a cross country enduro race, with everyone jostling for a place and fighting to get into the narrow end of the funnel […]

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December 29, 2008
Viet Nam wins

It’s ten after midnight here and it’s a touch over 3 hours since Viet Nam drew 1-1 with Thailand and thus won the 2008 Suzuki Cup (also known as the ASEAN Football Championship). Viet Nam leveled the match in almost unbelievable fashion when Le Cong Vinh headed a goal in the final seconds of injury […]

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December 18, 2008
Vietnam: Where pirated apps match personal budgets | Crave - CNET

CNET editor Dong Ngo is spending some time at home in Viet Nam and writes this article about the proliferation of pirated software available for purchase here. He makes a good point about the affordability of expensive software in low-income countries like Viet Nam and comments that it would be better for software vendors to […]

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December 15, 2008
welcome home!

Well, it’s nice to know that some things are consistent. Upon arrival back in Sai Gon last night I was pushed out of the way by the baggage handlers at the carousel, queue jumped at the luggage x-ray, fought to get a taxi at the now badly disorganised taxi rank, had an argument with the […]

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September 19, 2008
Australian Alumni Friendship Award

I’m very humbled to be told that I’ve been nominated for the Australian Alumni Friendship Award presented by the Vietnam Graduates from Australia Club and the Australian Consulate-General Vietnam. This award seeks to recognize an Australian citizen who has made a significant contribution to the relationship between Vietnam and Australia and/or to the development of […]

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April 8, 2008
bad traffic events…

We all have bad days, or bad parts to our days. It’s how we deal with the aggravation those bad things engender that makes the difference. Today I began my day with a “bad traffic event”. Usually I can drive my motorbike in the peak hour traffic and not worry too much about the congestion, […]

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April 1, 2008
language is culture, culture is language

Since moving to Viet Nam 4 years ago I have enrolled in 3 Vietnamese language courses, 1 in VN and 2 while back in Australia. I also own 4 different self help learning kits, have 5 electronic Viet-English dictionary programs for laptop and Palm Pilot and 2 reasonably large hard copy dictionaries. But I have […]

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