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For last year's words belong to last year's language,
And next year's words await another voice.
TS Eliot
Old Year and New Year by Christina Rossetti

New Year met me somewhat sad:
Old Year left me tired,
Stripped of favourite things I had
Baulked of much desired:
Yet further on my road to-day
God willing, further on my way.
Happy New Year

"Cut your coat depending on your cloth"

A lot of saying of our grandparents and parents has been handed down to their offspring and children to provide useful advice. It is not easy to understand all those but we have to figure out the meaning of a saying to see the literal and figurative meaning of each word
Yesterday when I had a discussion on my future plan with some friends and were told that " you should cut your coat depending on your cloth". I know they mean that I should consider my target.
Coat is a goal I aim at. If the goal is beyond my reach I should retail the cloth in order to make the coat that the cloth allows me to perform. The figurative meaning of this saying want to advice one should not be too greedy and too blinded to judge his/her ability.
Yet, a negative attitude to life is unacceptable. Life is changing everyday and we have to struggle to seek opportunities to learn and improve ourselves to meet the social demand. And thank to Mr. Google a lot, I can search and find many materials, sources that has been providing me knowledge and skills to improve myself with a little cost.
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Comments

  • ZomZom Shadok Posts: 3,081 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Have you made up your mind about the kind of coat you would like to wear NathanKevin?
    It befits a man to be merry and glad
    Until the day of his death.
  • nathankevinnathankevin Posts: 137 ✭✭
    @Zom: Thank you for your reading my discussion. Rain coat or poncho is only thing we keep in mind when we go out. In the south of Vietnam, there are only 2 seasons that is rainy season and hot season. When rainy season comes, you can see rain can go and stop continuously and sometimes it rains all day and the major of people use bikes as individual transportation means so rain coat is always ready under the seats of bikes. In hot season, we wear jacket as a protection from sun and dust. In the North is more fashionable because in there has 4 seasons. In winter you can see people wear the fashion coats siting in coffee shops, in parks or just walking around to show off their coats.
  • ZomZom Shadok Posts: 3,081 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Wow @nathankevin, it's very interesting. I understand that the raincoat you wear is not only t protect from rain, but also to give an indication of how wealthy you are.

    The ponchos or raincoats that Vietnamese people usually wear, what material or fabric are they made of? Synthetic? Leather?
    It befits a man to be merry and glad
    Until the day of his death.
  • nathankevinnathankevin Posts: 137 ✭✭
    @Zom: All are made from waterproof materials and depends on the the price, the quality is ranging from cheap plastics to high end synthetic materials, some are just one time use while some are more heavy duty for repeatedly use. its design is also flexible to fix people's demands that provides variety of one person use to a married couple use when driving bikes.
  • ZomZom Shadok Posts: 3,081 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    I guess that people have several raincoats and depending on where they are heading to or up to, they select the more appropriate one. My thinking is that if they work in the pouring rain, in the fields for example or to sell their goods in outdoor markets, they probably wear something different from when they go to a bank or meet someone for business reasons. Does it make sense?



    It befits a man to be merry and glad
    Until the day of his death.
  • nathankevinnathankevin Posts: 137 ✭✭
    edited October 2018
    If you work outside, for almost cases you are recommended to stop working and go inside and wait until stop raining. For example in construction fields, when rain comes, workers have to stop working and run into the places that have roofs and wait there until stop raining. Sometimes it rains all day and that is your bad business day since you must pay but workers cannot work.
    For special cases, people must wear rain coats or ponchos working under heavy rain since their job such traffic police officers.
    For business, people meet each other in office. If You have an appointment with someone and you have to go out when outside is raining you can wear rain coat to go. when you arrive you can take off rain coat outside, hang it somewhere then go inside for an appointment (but need to rearrange your appearance before go inside) or you can make a phone call to cancel or postpone the appointment. Almost people understand your circumstance and people learn to live with this.
  • ZomZom Shadok Posts: 3,081 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Makes me wonder @nathankevin. What about the shoes? No matter their job, if they often spend time outside, children, policemen, farmers, construction workers,etc, does everybody wear gumboots during the raining season?

    It befits a man to be merry and glad
    Until the day of his death.
  • nathankevinnathankevin Posts: 137 ✭✭
    @Zom: Normally, people choose to wear plastic slippers to go outside during raining time. For people who have to keep working outside during raining time they wear gumboots. When people are driving bikes and have to keep diving under raining for this or that reason, I see people take off their shoes and keep driving with bare feet or with people they don't take off their shoes they will cover their shoes by plastic bags to keep their shoes dry from raining. It looks funny sometimes.
  • ZomZom Shadok Posts: 3,081 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    @nathankevin - If you don't mind the question, what about you? What are your rain gear?

    It befits a man to be merry and glad
    Until the day of his death.
  • nathankevinnathankevin Posts: 137 ✭✭
    @Zom: no problem at all. I am not exception but I never take off my shoes or cover them by plastic bags since it looks funny. My rain gear is a big poncho so that it can cover over my head and my bike. If I have to walk outside during raining, i wear plastic slippers with an umbrella. Frankly to say, I don't like to wear rain coat. I am allergic to weather so I don't want to go out when it is raining. Sometimes I accept go to bed with an empty stomach rather than go out with a rain coat or umbrella.
  • ZomZom Shadok Posts: 3,081 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Let me check something. You're are allergic to the weather or to the rain gear? LOL

    Like you I love it when I can just wear a short and a t-shirt and don't have to add any layers of clothes because of cold or rain. But no, not to the point to go to bed on an empty stomach instead of putting on a poncho and gumboots to go out and buy some food.

    Which raises another curiosity question. You last sentence makes me think that you are used to eat outside rather than cooking at home. If I am right, does it mean that in Vietnam people usually eat most their meal outside?
    It befits a man to be merry and glad
    Until the day of his death.
  • nathankevinnathankevin Posts: 137 ✭✭
    @Zom: I am allergic to weather. Every time I go out during raining time I will suffer runny nose and if I wear rain coat/ poncho the problem is less serious.
    In Vietnam, people tend to have breakfast outside so in the morning you can see ranges of breakfast restaurants, food shops, stands of food located along streets, front of companies, front of schools. hospitals...Almost them provide cooked foods, ready made foods, prepared foods or make to order foods but not fast foods.
    Because of working, almost people also choose to eat lunch outside. So some food places mentioned above try to linger over the mid-noon to serve lunch for people and then they are closed right after that.
    Dinner is the meal family and also a main meal of Vietnamese people. This time is a chance for family member to meet up after a long hard working day. The moms are supposed to prepare dinner for her children and husbands. If moms bare busy, sisters are supposed to replace and if sisters have no time then you are supposed to eat out.
  • ZomZom Shadok Posts: 3,081 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Hahaha, therefore we are all allergic to the weather: it's impossible not to catch a cold and have a runny nose when temperatures and weather conditions change.

    Anyway, back to food. You said, "Because of work, most people also choose to eat their lunch outside." Then France and Vietman have something in common. Here too, most of us among people working, we often eat out at lunch time. That said we expect both boys and girls to be able to cook for themselves. I remember that my mum showed us (my brothers and I) how to cook pasta, eggs and other basic stuff when we were around 8 or 9.

    Do you think that you're missing on something when you're not able to cook for yourlsef? Or do you think something like, "It's not worth the burden of shopping and cooking when there are so many opportunities to eat outside"?


    It befits a man to be merry and glad
    Until the day of his death.
  • nathankevinnathankevin Posts: 137 ✭✭
    @Zom: I like this sentence "It's not worth the burden of shopping and cooking when there are so many opportunities to eat outside". It is really true to me. I can cook some basic stuff too. However to cook a meal for myself is long process from shopping to prepare things such as washing, cutting, marinating then cooking. I calculate it could take me about 1,5 hours from shopping to serving while I spend only 15 minutes to complete a meal. Eating outside can help me save time and money.
  • ZomZom Shadok Posts: 3,081 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    @nathankevin - In France, I don't think you would spare any money eating outside, rather the opposite.

    A meal would cost you about 12-15 euros, whichs makes an expense of 300 euros a months (5 days a week, 4 weeks a month). I think you could spare a big deal of money preparing your own meal and not eating outside, say probably up to 30% . Actually since more and more people seem to have problems making ends meet, many people bring their homemade food to work and more and more companies make kitchens available for their employees to use. These kitchens usually have fridges, and microvawes to store and warm up your food.

    How much money (in %) do you think you spare each month eating outside?
    It befits a man to be merry and glad
    Until the day of his death.
  • nathankevinnathankevin Posts: 137 ✭✭
    @Zom: you know in Vietnam, people go to market (open market not supermarket) everyday (even from very early morning since they think the early bird gets the worm) to buy stuff to cook the meal for whole family and people rarely keep the leftovers in refrigerators so I forgot to take this fact in my consideration. Yes I agree that if I cook one time for many meals then keep them in fridges is more reasonable but I don't know why our grandparents and parents don't do that way and neither do I since I learned form my family.
    In Vietnam if you eat street foods is cheaper than you eat in food shops or restaurants. Eating outside I mentioned in previous message that is street foods which could cost you about 0.7 up to 1 US dollar/meal but if you bring 1 US dollar to buy stuff for cooking a meal you will get nothing. The average cost could be 2 US at least for one time shopping.
  • ZomZom Shadok Posts: 3,081 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 2018
    I can't imagine myself going shopping every day for the meal of the day, but thinking of it, Vietnamese people doing it, they must be super healthy and fit, aren't they? Every day walking to the open markets, buying only fresh food and eating meals cooked by themselves, Wow!

    Would you consider street food in Vietnam also healthy food? Or it's the contrary? If you base your diet on street food only, you woud end up eating always the same thing and maybe only, say, fried stuff?

    I'm asking because in France we don't have this culture of street food. When people want to eat cheap and fast, they usually go to a baker to buy a sandwich or a ready meal that they offer. (Not something I would recommend to do on a regular basis.)
    Post edited by Zom on
    It befits a man to be merry and glad
    Until the day of his death.
  • nathankevinnathankevin Posts: 137 ✭✭
    @Zom: Many foreigners they showed their interesting when they went to open markets. At there you can see and buy fresh water fishes are swimming in the water tanks, vegetables are still covered dusts and soils, alive chickens and ducks lying while waiting to be ordered and killed for meat, fruits are remained leaves and branches, warm pork chops and beef chops are been chopping by butchers ...By going shopping every day for daily meals Vietnamese people should've been healthy but actually not healthy at all.

    Since many dishonest businesses just aim at purpose: the more benefit they het the better while regardless of the health of people. Fishes are used chemicals to remain healthy when displayed in water tanks, vegetables are soaked in chemicals to remain fresh and green, chickens and ducks are injected to gain weight, cows and pigs are feeding chemicals to grow fast and lean...These chemicals are bad affected to people's health and are root cause of cancer disease. That why Vietnam now is top 2 on the world cancer map.

    As never before, we are facing the crisis of confidence. I am expecting the Business laws must be strict enough and corrupt people must be severely punished. Only a clean and responsible machinery of government would solve the problem. Besides, honesty should be included in family and school education.
  • ZomZom Shadok Posts: 3,081 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    (with a bit of re-writing)
    Many foreigners show their interest when they go to open markets. There, you can see and buy fresh water fish that are still swimming in water tanks, vegetables still covered with dirt and soil, chickens and ducks still alive, waiting for a buyer and killed on the spot for their meat, fruits with the leaves and branches still attached, cooked pork and beef that are chopped by butchers in front of the passers-by, etc.
    As they go shopping every day for their daily meals, Vietnamese people should be healthy but actually they are not healthy at all.

    'foreigners'? When it come to tourists visting a country, I would prefer the word 'visitor' or 'international visitor', if you really to say that they are no Vietnamese residents. But of course, it's a personal choice. ;)

    I visited the wet market in Guangzhou, China and it's similarto what you describe: animals alive and killed on the spot as you buy them, vegetables in dirts, etc., and yes, I was impressed because it was a first time to me.
    Now realizing that it could have been, say, a show and that all sorts of chemicals are at play,this makes me feel sad. It's better to know it though. Thank you for this information.

    To go back to something more joyful, what are your 3 favourite dishes?
    It befits a man to be merry and glad
    Until the day of his death.
  • nathankevinnathankevin Posts: 137 ✭✭
    @Zom: By the way may can you explain more: is it offensive or impolite or improper if I say "foreigner"?
    Now I go to your question: "what is your 3 favorite dishes?
    International visitors when come to Vietnam are introduced "Phở Sài Gòn" as typical food in Vietnam or "Bún bò Huế" or "Bún chả Hà Nội".
    "Phở" is a kind of flat rice noodles served with super hot beef soup, thinly sliced beef, stewed beef and herbs.
    "Bún Bò Huế" is a round noodle kind, originated from old Citadel Huế (Central capital) and also served with hot beef soup, stewed beef and herbs.
    "Bún chả Hà Nội" is another kind of noodles. The noodles is also round but smaller than "Bún bò Huế". Its name tell you where it come from. This noodles is served with fish sources, grilled patties, sliced pork belly, herbs and green papaya pickles
    With 3 given above dishes, I am not a fan of them. I like have breakfast with a plate of broken rices, topping a grilled pork cutlet, floss pork rinds, steamed egg patty or a sunny up egg served with fish sources, pickles and cucumber. With a plate of broken rice like that it costs you around 1 dollar and it can provide you full energy even for a whole working day.
    "Bún thịt nướng" is also my first choice when eating out. It can share the same recipe with the same fish sources, sliced grilled pork with the same marinated, vegetable, cucumber and pickles. The difference is rice noodle instead of broken rice.
    The third is " spring rolls" that will make me home sick if I am in oversea. The recipe is very simple. You just need a rice paper, make it sticky and tender by sprinkling some water on its surface , topping vegetables, herbs, pickles and sliced boiled pork then roll over. Then you have a spring roll ready to eat, just dip in the sources (fish source or soybean paste) and enjoy
  • ZomZom Shadok Posts: 3,081 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    No, it's not impolite, nor improper to use the word 'foreigner'. It's just that far too many people use it when they want to refer to someone that doesn't belong and that they will not include them.

    I know, Phở Sài Gòn. There is a Vietnamse and Thai not far from were I work, and I take this dish when it's cold outside and feel like some kind of soup. I like it. It's a pity that they have none of the stuff with fish that you mentioned. It's something that I would like to try.

    It surprised me that there were nothing mentioning coconut milk. I thought that coconut milk was used a lot in Vietnamese dishes. Am I wrong here?



    It befits a man to be merry and glad
    Until the day of his death.
  • nathankevinnathankevin Posts: 137 ✭✭
    edited October 2018
    @Zom: I could say that coconut meat is one of main ingredients in Vietnam cuisine. Coconut juice and water are used for almost dishes from savory to pastry, from main dishes to side dishes since its favor and fatty taste. Coconut fruit is also one of the main fruits that must be displayed with papaya on altar of every family in lunar new year since coconut pronounced in Vietnamese language is "dừa" which means "just" and papaya is "đủ" which means "enough". In Tet holiday, our parents usually pray for " just enough" for whole year. Our demand is "Just enough", not too much but we are always provided shortage.
    Post edited by nathankevin on
  • ZomZom Shadok Posts: 3,081 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Wow!

    So the coconut and papaya are the stable food of Vietnam, and there is also a spiritual attitude linked to it. I love this "Just enough" approach. The Vietnemese people seems to be not a greedy one. Well, if it were the mindset of all its inhabitants, but I doubt it after your description of open markets and what sellers do to sell more.

    It befits a man to be merry and glad
    Until the day of his death.
  • nathankevinnathankevin Posts: 137 ✭✭
    @Zom:" I doubt it after your description of open markets and what sellers do to sell more. "--> I understand your doubt. The things that I described about coconut and papaya are just practiced on Tết Holidays (lunar new year) as a folk religion.
  • ZomZom Shadok Posts: 3,081 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    To me public holidays like Tết in Vietnam are awesome. The main reason is that I think many people put themselves on pause and reflect, like during Tết, they reflect on the "just enough" via the papaya and coconut ofrand and attitude they have during this festival.

    All Saints day or Christmas for example, they do the same to me.

    We are ugly beings and wz let greediness, envy, etc creep in at times, but I think that these festivals act like a wake up call. Atleast for teh people who follow them. Don't you think so? Do you experience the same?
    It befits a man to be merry and glad
    Until the day of his death.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 41,412 ✭✭✭✭
    @nathankevin I'm hoping to find time tomorrow to visit the market in Kathmandu to get some coconut and some raw sugar to take home with me to France.
  • nathankevinnathankevin Posts: 137 ✭✭
    @Zom: Yes, Tết holiday in Vietnam is most important festival in year. This is the opportunity for people have self- reflection, forgive and forget the bad things happened in year. It seems you understand about Tết. Have you ever been through Têt in Vietnam?
  • nathankevinnathankevin Posts: 137 ✭✭
    @mheredge: I guess now you have things that you wanted in your hands. By the way, coconut oil is also a worth thing if you want to buy something for gift (it is my 2 cents). France is a capital of perfumes. In the south of France I saw a lot of fields of lavenders, roses, jasmine, apples, peaches... are planted to extract essence oils but I didn't see coconut trees
  • ZomZom Shadok Posts: 3,081 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 2018
    @nathankevin - I don't know much, but I had a fantastic Vietnamese friend in Paris. He arrived in France with some members of his family when he was 9 or 10. We followed the same university cursus, we did lots of activities together and so I used to spend time at his place where I could soak up some of the atmosphere and culture. His firstname is Sik-Keat. Is it a common Vietnamese name?
    It befits a man to be merry and glad
    Until the day of his death.
  • nathankevinnathankevin Posts: 137 ✭✭
    @Zom: No, Sik-Keat is not Vietnamese name. He is Vietnamese but his parents or grandparents could be from Cambodian or Lao or from minority peoples. Vietnam shares the same borders with Cambodia, Lao, China so many people came form those countries for political upheavals.
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