We are now several weeks into the auspicious Year of Dragon, yet for some, namely employers, the after-Tet experience can be far from fun. That is never truer than for busy working mothers with families to take care of who find that their maids have decided not to return after Tet... and receiving their annual bonus.
For solace, many maidless mothers have been tuning into the Japanese soap opera Oshin – after the eponymous hero-cum-businesswoman-cum-hard-working maid. Apparently the show, that was first aired in Viet Nam in the 90s, is undergoing a revival with young married woman. Oshin, is a spirited character who regularly quits her job as a maid after going on a protracted holiday, particularly is she hadn't been given a pay rise.
But times are hard, what with the global economic crisis and rising inflation in Viet Nam, which is why working women, and housewives for that matter, have been getting their husbands to do their share of the housework, much in the manner of the feisty Oshin.
So while these busy women are finding inspiration abroad, husbands are left carrying the can, or pushing the pram, or doing the dishes – so much for the Year of the Dragon.
Only the lonely
Loving couples have been busy over the last few days thinking up imaginative ways to celebrate the most romantic day of the year today. But for the lovelorn, Valentine's Day is a sad reminder that love has passed them by, again. Instead, they must face the unhappy prospect of spending V-Day at home alone, or out with just friends, while watching others wrap themselves blissfully in one another's arms. The more matter-of-fact might shrug their shoulders in the knowledge that their moment will come, but for others, Valentine's Day is more a curse than a cause for celebration. And they stew in their bitterness. To assuage their pain, some have taken to being cynical, or downright bitter, hoping that it rains on the big day.
Many have taken to adopting witch-like avatars cursing those who are romantically involved, while others have posted online messages claiming that Valentine's Day has been cancelled. The more nerdy have gone so far as to prove the mathematical impossibility of love on the Big Day by pointing out that if you add the numbers 14-02-12 together you get a big fat zero.
Now who said the world loves a lover?
She's got pluck
Those who watched Viet Nam's Got Talent season 1, episode 7 on Sunday night might have been disappointed with the performance given by young high schooler Quynh Anh from HCM City. But they couldn't have been disappointed with the reaction of the young girl's mother when the judges gave the girl the thumbs down.
Prior to her performance backstage, the 15-year-old had spoken passionately about her love of singing and claimed she had inherited her talent from her parents, grandparents and even her great-grandparents. But the girl's performance failed to live up to expectations and the judges unanimously gave her an "X."
Shortly afterwards, the young girl's agitated mother appeared on stage, grabbed the mike and told the audience in no uncertain terms what she thought about the judges.
"I've followed the show from the beginning and I've seen many who cannot sing as well as my daughter make it through to the next round. Why don't you give a chance to a 15-year-old girl who can sing in six different languages?" she beseeched.
Moved by her quang bom or chem gio ("throwing a bomb" or "air slashing") a number of bloggers have since suggested the mother enter the competition herself – after all, she's got a talent for making a spectacle of herself. — VNS