My friend, who has entered a Facebook beauty contest based on photos, phoned and asked with a wavering voice, "Should I pay VND750,000-1 million (US$36-48) for gaining 1,000 ‘likes (approvals) for my photo offered by some online providers?"
Doan Minh Huong, a student at a Ha Noi-based university, is known as a "hot" girl because she has clear eyes, sharp nose and a naturally beautiful face. All this is revealed in her photo!
The winner, who must be the person with the photo with the highest likes, will be awarded the latest version of smart phone Samsung Galaxy S4 worth about VND15 million ($720). However, as the deadline nears, she is frantic that her photo has only received about 500 likes, while some competitors have earned thousands.
After hours of Googling, Huong found it wasn't easy to get more . . . . and then the vote providers moved in with their tempting offers. These include paying VND750,000-1 million ($36-48) for 1,000 likes. However, she learned that it could cost her VND4,000 for just one "like" if the need was urgent.
The providers are believed to have created many Facebook or social network accounts. They are even known to pay VND100,000 ($5) to hire one account a month.
Huong however felt that the money she would have to pay out was not worth the effort, and began to waver. I helped her by pointing out that an honour paid for was no honour at all.
Man's best friend
A man named Nguyen Van Thang from Ha Noi's Ha Dong District hired a detective for VND50 million ($2,400) to find his beloved dog which disappeared two days ago. He said that the dog had been in his family for more than 10 years and was considered a family member.
Thang's parents became distressed when the dog did not return. Distraught even, that's presumably why they pumped up the reward to a figure more than the annual income for the average worker.
But hold on! I agree that loving pets is wonderful, I had one as a girl myself, but, the reward oosted rivals the amounts offered for children who are kidnapped and sold into neighbouring countries.
And what about the thousands of homeless and underprivileged children have nothing to eat and nowhere to stay? But then, after all, in Viet Nam, maybe a dog is still man's best friend (away from the dinner table)!
How to be sexy
Welcome to Ha Noi in the summer! This is the time you see women covered from head to toe in protective gear to ward off that most frightening effect of the sun - SUN TAN! Using masks, protective shirts covering everything right down to the fingertips, and sunglasses, they flood every road in the city.
But the protective clothing is so thick and all embracing like the gear worn by Japanese ninjas. Even when temperatures soar to 37-40 degrees Celsius - and the humidity is as steamy as a sauna bath - no decent Vietnamese girl will be seen exposing herself to pure sunlight. Even many young farm girls wear big hats and gloves.
One Ha Noi dancer even went public last week with an exhibition of over-clothed Vietnamese women. She took thousands of photos of such women on the roads of the capital in just three days. Her aim is to get women to ignore the trend and get more sunshine. She provided samples of a well-designed sun protective shirt and skirt for consideration.
But, according to doctors, women may like a white skin, but the simple truth is that all skins need a daily or at least weekly dose of the sun (Vitamin D). This tops up their hormonal system, including the vital ones controlling happiness and desire. And without Vitamin D as a catalyst, none of the other vitamins works effectively. So, if you want to be more happy and sexy, do not dress as a "ninja"! — VNS