|Nguyễn Văn Mạnh. — Photo soha.vn|
Teenagers these days want short-cuts to everything.
Nguyễn Văn Mạnh, 19, of Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu Province, was one of them.
Like many, if not all of us, he wanted some cash, preferably a lot of it, and preferably in double-quick time. So he thought and he thought – of places where he could lay his hands on some serious cash without too much of a hassle.
Finally, he settled on the Vĩnh Tràng Pagoda in Mỹ Tho Province. Last Sunday, Mạnh sneaked into the pagoda, broke a window and used a knife to prise open the donation box. He took out all the money and was about to go to another room with hopefully more cash, when someone from the pagoda discovered the theft and raised an alarm.
Mạnh ran away as fast as he could, and, Buddha be praised, saw a xe ôm (motorbike taxi) right outside. He hopped on to the motorbike and told the driver where to go, in a hurry.
The driver, though, had other ideas. As luck, or fate, or divine intervention (take your pick) would have it, he was a cop in plainclothes. Off they went to the nearest police station.
After the “loss” of such a lot of money, a penny for Mạnh’s thoughts? At the very least, he must be having second thoughts about stealing from a pagoda.
Resolving a hitch to getting hitched
It was a happy Sunday morning when a bridegroom and his entourage set forth from Bến Tre Province to HCM City to pick his bride up.
They had set out early because they wanted the bride to be picked up at a propitious time set by the astrologers.
However things took a less than auspicious turn when, all of a sudden, two men riding a motorcycle in the same direction began pelting the van with stones, and hitting it with helmets. Then they went further. They stopped the van and gave it a working over with a wooden bar they must have been carrying. The driver of the van was also attacked.
Turns out that it was a “simple” case of road rage. The two men said they were upset because the van had tried to encroach into their lane.
Police officers came to the spot and sorted out issues fairly amicably, but there was a hitch. The van could no longer be used, and groom might not be able to pick his bride up during the “good time” bandwidth.
Senior Lieutenant Phạm Thế Kim, who was handling the case, took matters into his own hands. He talked to his superiors and took the group to the bride’s home in HCM City in a police van.
Thanks to the kind-hearted cop, the couple was able to get married in good time, and everybody had a good time later.
A prank that bombed, big time
A few days ago, a group of young people posted a four-minute video clip that opened with this introduction: they were going to “throw bombs at people on the street”, for fun.
Then, a young man dressed in white gown, presumably imitating an extremist from a particular community, holding a fake bomb bag in his hand, walks through streets, parks and bus stops, throwing the fake bomb at people. People can be seen getting scared and running away as fast as they can.
Halloween was weeks ago, and even then, such a prank would have been in bad taste, given the reality of people being bombed and subjected to gruesome violence in several countries.
These youth might have been inspired by many bomb prank videos that have gone viral for a few years now, but some people are not amused.
Senior Lieutenant Phạm Thị Hằng of the Hà Nội Police Department said they are in the process of identifying this group. Nguyễn Anh of the Hà Nội Bar Association said the youth could be charged with causing social disorder.
When you want to do something fun that’s not funny, you can get into serious trouble.