Burglar with a conscience
Police in central Quang Ngai Province's Binh Son District are looking for a remorseful robber who secretly returned five valuable watches stolen from the Thien Dang (Heaven) eco-tourism area in Binh Thanh commune.
Two weeks ago, staff at the tourist resort found a glass door leading to a gallery of antiques had been forced. Five ancient Rolex watches worth about VND6 billion (US$288,000) and an ancient bracelet worth VND2 billion ($96,000) had disappeared.
The 32-ha resort is home to about 50,000 antiques. Police believe the burglar had expert knowledge because he or she zeroed in on the valuable exhibits. However, the burglar was probably not a professional because he or she left many fingerprints at the scene.
With the goods came a note of apology plus a keg of Heineken beer. But the real surprise was a statement that the bracelet also stolen would be returned when the burglar collected his/her salary.
All those working in the area, including management, have now been asked for their fingerprints, said the vice head of the district police, Duong Van A, who is continuing to assess handwriting in the note – and the fingerprints.
Beautiful blue eyes
Nguyen Van Hao, a 12-year-old boy with unusual blue, cat-like eyes lives in Da Lat Resort City in the Tay Nguyen (Central Highlands) province of Lam Dong. Hao. He is typically Vietnamese with black hair, olive skin and flat nose and attendsl Phu Dong Private Secondary School.
Hao's mother said his eyes had been blue since the day he was born. No-one else in the family has similar eyes.
Dr Le Duc Ban of Lam Dong General Hospital's Ophthalmology Department is doubtful that there has been any gene mutation. He said it was likely that the blue eyes were inherited and that Hao must have had a mixed-blood ancestor back in the past. Others suggest that he may have inherited the gene from a tribal ancestor who migrated from the north.
Whatever, Hao is always the centre of attention and curiosity, particularly from the girls. But they have to wear special contact lenses to colour their eyes.
In Sydney, Australia, one or two huge signs have been fluttering over northern highways for a couple of years. They simply state: "Australia is desperate for nurses. There are 27,000 jobs available. Please apply etc....."
The same message is available from the Australian Embassy in Ha Noi. One of the news bulletins it has issued repeats the above message, plus there is the added information that if skills, including English, need updating, Australia will extend visas to make this possible.
The message goes even further. It states that nurses on holidays in Australia can apply and accept permanent positions in hospitals. No such offer is made to any other travellers, not even the backpackers from Europe who perform much of the seasonal fruit picking in Oz.
This is probably why there are so many Asian nurses in Australian hospitals – from Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Japan, Taiwan and the Philippines. And there will probably be a lot more from Viet Nam where graduate nurses, even those whose degrees are marked "With Distinction" cannot find jobs in their own country. In fact, some say that it can even cost between US$7,000 and $10,000 in unofficial payments to find a position in Ha Noi despite stories there is a dire shortage of nurses and doctors in the country.
What's in a name?
Yesterday, this newspaper carried a story about the crazy numbering in many Ha Noi streets. The opening and expansion of many roads has been blamed for the chaos. Some residents have taken to putting up their own street numbers ... even if they are incorrect. In other streets, there are occasionally two or three numbers the same – one at each end of the street.
But what about the many streets in Ha Noi that change their names every two or three blocks? Dinh Liet becomes Ta Hien; the start of Hang Bong has a different name to the end of it; Dyke Road starts as Tran Quang Khai, then becomes Tran Nhat Duat, then Yen Phu, then Nghi Tam; Nguyen Tri Phuong becomes Cua Bac. The list is endless.
Who'd be a postman?