Featured Blogs & Columns

When it comes to female weight training, myths and false perceptions abound. Many women are too ...
Apr 20, 2017
Here is a portion of a letter I received from a Vietnamese acquaintance of mine, who is ...
Apr 20, 2017
When a Western tourist collapsed outside the Independence Palace last January, media outlets ...
Apr 17, 2017
I recently returned from some professional development training where situations arose that ...
Apr 17, 2017

By the time you read this month’s column, there will be a new president-elect of the United States. She will have earned every debate, every speech and every vote that put her there.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so the expression goes. In one episode of the American television series, The Twilight Zone, a beautiful woman tries to undergo a procedure to disfigure her face because the society in which she lives views her as ugly. It is her attempt to gain acceptance. At one point in the story, a doctor describes the woman’s face as “the face of her real self”. Although I would argue that a person’s face does not reflect their “real self”, the implied message is to look beyond the surface to see the beauty that lies within a person.

Tough, difficult, unrealistic or plain old mean landlords are common. It should go without saying, if you have a difficult or bizarre landlord who keeps a close eye on you or has obnoxious requests, the best thing you can do is try to be a good tenant for them. The key to dealing with conflict is to try to absolutely avoid it at all costs. Much easier said than done, but here are a few pointers to keep in mind from someone who has been on both sides of the fence.

Tourism affects, directly or indirectly, many of us in Vietnam. That number of ‘us’ is also increasing because tourism is one of the biggest and fastest-growing economic sectors in the world, contributing nearly 6% of the globe’s GDP. Tourism is so important the UN has declared 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development.

You can call it a myth if you will, but that’s me at my best friend’s wedding exactly one year ago and I caught the bouquet (and no, she did not throw it to me.) And now I’m getting married, I really am the next one in line. I have lived in Hanoi for three years teaching English. Now my life is about to change in the most dramatic way and I have no idea how to adapt to the change.

Another year has gone by already. Brace yourselves: Flu season is coming. And along with the coughing, fevers and aches, you can expect a lot of unreliable or downright wrong information about the flu vaccine. While you can’t entirely germ-proof yourself or your child, you can learn to separate fact from fiction, keep your family healthier, save time, money and frustration. Let’s start by putting some of the more common myths and misunderstandings to rest.

Dear Douglas,

Every country possesses some interesting dishes and traditions. Asia has many dishes that make me look twice. My Vietnamese work colleagues look wearily at my lunches even though they consist mainly of chicken or fish and vegetables.

A rare literary and botanical gem recently came into our possession. It’s a 1990 collaboration between the World Health Organization and the Institute of Materia Medica, Hanoi. It’s 400 pages, in English, and contains a wealth of information about Medicinal Plants in Viet Nam.

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As expats, most of us at some point have experienced interactions with our hosts that are hard to understand. At times our worldview can seem askew to that of local people.

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