Asia | Dominik Mayer – Products, Asia, Productivity

Nurses, Doctors and a Pilot  

In case you’re not following Vietnam’s Coronavirus success story you might not be aware of “Patient 91”, a British Vietnam Airlines pilot that was the most severe Corona patient in the country.

He caused one of the largest clusters of infections in Southern Vietnam and was comatose for over two months. During this time the news media reported on all the details of his health. From blood levels to treatment plans.

Now the pilot is awake and the media shares pictures, videos and a conversation between patient and doctor.

Today, VnExpress’s Anh Thu wrote an article about the nurses and it’s pure gold. Some of my favorite parts:

The patient is over 1.8 m tall and weighs 88 kg, while the average female nurse only weighs around 40 kg.

And:

After the patient exited a two-month coma, one of the biggest challenges proved to be his Scottish accent, which the nurses found hard to understand, fueling his bad moods and the frequent scolding of nurses.

And:

He is quite sensitive and has a low pain tolerance. Nurses must inform and explain in detail any procedures prior to commencement, according to gentle and resilient Tham.

The patient’s eating regime and taste also proved a major obstacle. When he started eating again, Vietnamese cuisine simply did not appeal, forcing the hospital kitchen to dish up anything from spaghetti to western-style lamb chops.

And:

“He is very sensitive and cries easily,” Thi said.

Do yourself a favor and read the whole thing 😆.

Phuc Bui

An American college professor asked Vietnamese-American student Phuc Bui Diem Nguyen to change her name:

Could you Anglicize your name. Phuc Bui sounds like an insult in English.

Understandably, she did not think this was a good idea and so in a subsequent e-mail he would go so far as to explain:

Your name in English sounds like Fuck Boy. If I lived in Vietnam and my name in your language sounded like Eat a Dick, I would change it to avoid embarrassment both on my part and on the part of the people who have to say it.

Phuc Bui’s sister Quynh shared the exchange on Instagram from where it was picked up across the globe.

Now Vietnamese names can be tricky. But suggesting a student to change her name…

As for the professor: Should he ever visit Vietnam, he might want to check out Phuc Long Coffee & Tea 😄.

Tones and Humidity  

The Max Planck Society:

Their study has revealed that languages with a wide range of tone pitches are more prevalent in regions with high humidity levels. In contrast, languages with simpler tone pitches are mainly found in drier regions. This is explained by the fact that the vocal folds require a humid environment to produce the right tone.

I’m from a very non-humid climate. Maybe that’s the reason why it’s so hard for me to learn Vietnamese…

Colors  

Stephen Anderson and Karl Fast in Figure It Out: Getting from Information to Understanding:

All cultures start with the ability to distinguish dark things from light things. This is followed by the recognition of red. After that, it might be the addition of yellow or green. And blue always seems to come last. Not every language follows the exact same path, but they adhere to this same general pattern.

One of the many odd things of the Vietnamese language is that both “blue” and “green” are “màu xanh”. In case you need to differentiate between the two you would add something like “of the sky” (màu xanh da trời) or “of the tree” (màu xanh lá cây).

I had one Vietnamese teacher that would mark the traffic light with “blue light” and the Korean presidential offices with “green house”.

Cold War 2.0  

Christopher Balding writing about China:

Second, better negotiation or communication will have little to no impact on Chinese government policy. A common argument whether it is on bilateral basis, whether the personnel at the negotiating table, or at international organizations, a common argument is that better communication or negotiation strategies will give the US influence. However, the CCP will never negotiate its authoritarian stranglehold on China willingly. The CCP will not change its intent to establish a loose alliance of global authoritarians as a bulwark against open democracy due to better PowerPoint slides from well meaning DC think tanks. The CCP will not change its policies on import substitution and policies after reading a report from about what is really in its best interest in a Washington Post oped. It has not happened in since the turn of the century and it is not going to happen going forward.

Exactly.

He goes on to suggest measures that could work.

Read the whole article. Great analysis.

How to Fix a Broken Knee

In case you’re ever hit by another motorbike and break your tibial plateau, that’s what they’re gonna do. Just saying…

Waves

d’strict specializes in “designing, making, and delivering breathtaking visual content on Digital Out of Home”:

Our first case of IP licensing, ‘WAVE’ with anamorphic illusion has been successfully revealed on a magnificent DOOH of COEX K-POP SQUARE, the largest & high-definition outdoor advertising screen in S.Korea at 80.1m (w) x 20.1M (h).

Another wave:

And waves made of balls:

Phu My Hung

Phu My Hung is one of my favorite places in Saigon. It has so many nice corners, a lot of soothing greenery 😉 and walking around the area is pure pleasure.

How to Choose a Chinese Name  

Sinosplice founder John Pasden:

Should learners of Chinese have a Chinese name? That’s a good question, but it’s not one that I’ll be answering in this article. Assuming that you feel you need a Chinese name, there are several approaches that you can take, depending on your preferences and your needs.

I got my Chinese name assigned when I enrolled in Tongji University.

Marry Early  

Viet Tuan for VnExpress International:

Vietnam is urging citizens to marry before 30 and bear children early to maintain an ideal replacement fertility rate. […]

The decision calls for people to marry before they are 30 and bear children early. Women should have their second child before 35, it advises.

The reason being:

Vietnam’s population hit 96.2 million last year, which is third in Southeast Asia and 15th globally, according to the Central General Census and Housing Steering Committee.

The country however reached a turning point in 2015 when it started to become one of the countries with the fastest aging populations in the world, the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs said in a 2016 report.

The person who asks is a fool for five minutes, but the person who does not ask remains a fool forever.

–– Georg Christoph Lichtenberg?

Wabi-Sabi  

Robyn Griggs Lawrence, author of Simply Imperfect: Revisiting the Wabi-Sabi House:

According to Japanese legend, a young man named Sen no Rikyu sought to learn the elaborate set of customs known as the Way of Tea. He went to tea-master Takeeno Joo, who tested the younger man by asking him to tend the garden. Rikyu cleaned up debris and raked the ground until it was perfect, then scrutinized the immaculate garden. Before presenting his work to the master, he shook a cherry tree, causing a few flowers to spill randomly onto the ground.

To this day, the Japanese revere Rikyu as one who understood to his very core a deep cultural thread known as wabi-sabi. Emerging in the 15th century as a reaction to the prevailing aesthetic of lavishness, ornamentation, and rich materials, wabi-sabi is the art of finding beauty in imperfection and profundity in earthiness, of revering authenticity above all.

Check out the Wikipedia article for more examples and some photos.

On the Huawei Campus

“We wanted to invite U.S. media to come ask any questions on behalf of American customers,” said Catherine Chen, Huawei’s corporate senior vice president and director of the board.

VICE News took Huawei up on its offer and found out we were the only news organization that showed up.

The gigantic complex contains twelve European style towns.

The Life and Possible Death of the Mekong Delta  

Saigoneer editor-in-chief Michael Tatarski explains why the water of the Mekong is brown:

“If in the future all of the planned Mekong River dams are built, 96% of sediment will be trapped, while 50% is already trapped by the cascade dams in China,” he adds. “If this happens, the coastal water will become transparent, while right now it’s chocolate-colored for 30 kilometers from shore.”

And why that’s a good thing:

Additionally, the loss of sediment would not only starve sea life of nutrients, but would also expose the delta to dangerous storms and waves, as sediment-filled water is heavier than open ocean water and absorbs wave energy.

Shanghai, a 195-Gigapixel Panorama  

Chinese Chingkun Tech crated a 195-gigapixel panorama of Shanghai:

After taking photos in the Oriental Pearl Tower which is 230 m high and after data treatment for two months, we successfully created this picture, the world’s third largest picture and Asia’s first largest picture, marking that our team became a top creative image production team of the world.

I found my old appartment building, my university, friends' houses, … Pure nostalgia…