Viet Nam News
Dancing with death
Gyrating and jumping with gay abandon to blaring music can be an annoyance, but that’s not out of step with the times – it’s what young people generally do, and there’s no point getting flustered about it, one would say.
But when a crowd of motorbike backpackers do it in the middle of the Mã Pí Lèng Pass in the northern mountainous province of Hà Giang, forcing traffic to nervously avoid them, tensions can run high, as the revelry is happening at 1,500 metres above sea level on a dangerously winding road with a lot of blind spots.
But there are some facts that we cannot be blind to: 1) Road accidents kill approximately 14,000 people in the country each year (WHO figures); 2) Road accidents are the leading cause of death among those aged between 15 and 29 years. Senior officials have called traffic accidents a long-standing pandemic, given its high death toll.
A video of the dancing youth that is making its rounds of the social media has drawn its due share of brickbats, and one can only hope that they do not run into heads that are thick as a brick.
A twisted head turner
Helmets are mandatory for those driving or riding pillion on motorbikes in Việt Nam, but some high school students in downtown Hà Nội are continuing to wear them in their classrooms.
Have they taken a safety lesson so much to heart that they’ve lost their heads over it?
Neither. Some students of the Trần Nhân Tông High School are wearing the helmets to protect themselves against cement chunks that tend to fall off their classroom ceiling.
The municipal Education Department has rated the conditions in a majority of the school’s classrooms as unsafe, citing big cracks.
About two weeks ago, several kilogrammes of cement together with a lamp fell down on a teacher’s seat in a classroom. Luckily, this happened during a weekend so no one was hurt.
A plan to construct new classrooms has been approved, but remains on paper due to funding shortages.
It is difficult to get one’s head around how this has been allowed to happen. May wiser heads prevail and remove a problem that students and teachers need like a hole in their head.
In stitches over stitches
Last weekend, a 34-year-old resident of Quốc Oai District of Hà Nội suffering from a deep cut on his right palm was prescribed stitches by doctors at the Thạch Thất General Hospital.
It might have been an unkind cut, but the patient posted a photograph of the prescription online, asking for help in finding the organ that the doctors wanted stitched – female genitalia.
While it had readers in stitches, a red-faced hospital director admitted the mistake, blaming it on a nurse mixing up patient information during inputs. So it was not quite what the doctor had ordered, the official said.
The official also expressed surprise that the photo went online despite the prescription being withdrawn as soon as the error was spotted. In this digital age, there are times that a stitch in time may not save nine.— VNS