by Van Dat
New diet fuels marriage advising
No one, including herself, can explain it, but 48-year-old Ha Thi Bay has been subsisting for two years now on a diet of just fruit and ice. Yes, that's right. Just fruit and ice.
While doctors say there is nothing wrong with her, Bay, a resident of Huong Chu Ward in Thua Thien Hue Province's Huong Tra Town, has paid a heavy price for her diet, something that she did not choose of her own volition. Her husband has left her and her parents have taken her children away, considering her too weak or crazy to take care of the little ones.
Surprisingly, the destruction of her family life has helped her save other marriages from meeting a similar fate. She is now famous in the province for her ability to reconcile couples, even those who are on the verge of getting a divorce.
This is not a situation that Bay would have imagined when, one day two years ago, she suddenly felt she could no longer swallow meat or even plain rice. When she tried to force feed herself to survive, she vomited everything.
Now, she loves eating nothing except fruit and ice. The once plump woman has lost a lot of weight, but doctors – she has been taken to the Hue Hospital and even hospitals in Ha Noi – insist there is nothing wrong with her and that she is in good health.
Before developing her strange diet, Bay sold brooms to feed her family. Now, she gets up early in the morning and walks around the streets in Hue City, alert for any signs and sounds of family discordance.
Bay, who has earned the admiration and respect of people in the area, says she does what she does now to help unlucky women like her and to prove that she has no mental problem.
"I tell them it's not easy to get happiness. Both the man and the woman have to be responsible for keeping their family happy."
Grateful couples and an admiring public acknowledge that so far, most of her interventions have been successful.
In a class of its own
It looks likes a kindergarten class in session, with all the pupils repeating sentences after their teacher in unison, time and again.
However, this is neither a religious congregation nor a kindergarten class, these are students who have graduated from high school and are preparing to sit for the university entrance examinations.
The tutorial in Ha Noi's Cau Giay District, which boasts a 90 per cent success rate with its "special" education method, is highly popular, reports the Dan Tri online newspaper.
In order to enter the "special" class, students have to buy tickets as well as a set of literature documents. During a four-hour lecture, the lecturer's only job is to make her/his students memorize a sample essay, the paper reports.
With as many as thousand students signing up, there is considerable jostling for space, and chairs are placed outside the windows of the classroom. It's hard to move out, so food is sold at the classroom door itself.
A three-minute video clip of the class, posted online, has attracted many expressions of disgust and anger, but only time will tell whether the tutorial will change its ways or stand by its "successful" method. — VNS