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Chủ Nhật, 2 tháng 10, 2011

- I have a house. I have a buffalo. Now all I need is you.
A very sweet proposal, isn't it?
That's how Felix responded when I told him that the three big achievements for a Vietnamese man is "buying a buffalo, building a house and marrying a girl." Only then can he be considered a mature man, probably in economic, social and sexual terms.

- Would you say yes?
- I don't know. I guess so.
I was contemplating how a buffalo might help a guy wins a girl's heart this time. I was busy transferring the worth of that particular animal to monetary and cultural value, in other words.

- You should take 20 buffalo, or maybe 3 houses.
Anu jumped in, drifted me back from my thoughts. It was still a very sweet request, pretty hard to resist actually

- But Van doesn't say anything. And she's the one I am asking. - Felix protested.
- You can be a middle man, Anu - I commented
- Yes, Im her broker. Now, what would you say? 3 houses at least? And one in West lake?
- Hmm, let me think, how about if I don't have any buffalo, can I do 3 cows instead?
- I don't know, Felix. I'll wait and see - I had no idea of the difference in value between cow and buffalo, didn't know what else to say, tried to play safe.
- See, Anu? Van will wait for me

The conversation kind of ended there. I still thought such a proposal is very sweet, and tried to imagine if there was any Vietnamese man in old time who actually did so, even though the concept of proposal of course doesn't really exist here (except for some Western - romantic style influences on young people), even now.

This is one of the things I love in my job, namely to hold pointless and out of blue conversations with my supposed-to-be superiors. They are more like friends, good friends.

After all, money is not the sole measurement of success. Right?
So is why everyone so surprised, perplexed, confused or disappointed when they hear of my salary?

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