The Rotten Apples poem

1975 Mr and Mrs Nguyễn Cao Kỳ – ex Vice President of South Vietnam – in a refugee camp in Pendleton, California.
General Ky Exiled In United States. (Photo by Paul Slade/Paris Match via Getty Images)

<<Story related to the poem>>

Live in the now,
Old enemies are friends,
The big money depends
On the friendship!

Shaking the hands
That kill their own people.
The exile all dangle
With known devil!

They bring us shame!
The acquisitive ones
Who were refugees once.
Soulless creatures!
(Abhanga-style poem)

1975 Mr and Mrs Nguyễn Cao Kỳ – ex Vice President of South Vietnam – in a refugee camp in Pendleton, California.
General Ky Exiled In United States. (Photo by Paul Slade/Paris Match via Getty Images)

The Rotten Apples

Prime Minister of South Vietnam, Nguyen Cao Ky, and his wife made a two-day visit to southeast Queensland in 1967. (link to newspaper article http://www.couriermail.com.au/ipad/wild-welcome-for-vietnam-pm/news-story/57a5dd5fc8d76c59d83d166e7d9e5d4e)

<<Facts, pictures, and video clips related to this post – visits, investments in Vietnam by the family of the ex-Vice President’s family>>

I always feel very lucky that I was accepted to resettle in Australia after escaping the Communist. However, I also feel inferior and have developed a complex seeing the bad things other Vietnamese refugees did in Australia that made headlines. Crimes such as drug dealings, forming gangs, welfare fraud, immigration tricks,… I don’t join Vietnamese groups that habitually gather to speak loudly in our native language and yet don’t mingle with others at social events in Australia. I distance myself from unruly, uncivilized, unethical and small-minded Vietnamese. Another friend once told me that he felt good that Australians often mistook him for Japanese because he didn’t feel proud to be recognized as Vietnamese.

More than ever, I witness the financial burden brought on by recently arrived asylum seekers as well as the social issues coming with them while Australia struggles with budget deficits. These days, like those in later generations of Vietnamese refugees that I know, I feel embarrassed to be recognized as a refugee in Australia. I dislike reading stories of Vietnamese boat people that said they escaped the poverty induced by the Communists. I don’t like to be blindly grouped as economic refugees.

The death of Đặng Tuyết Mai, on 21st December 2016, brought mixed feelings to me. She was also known as Madame Nguyễn Cao Kỳ, the former wife of Nguyễn Cao Kỳ, South Vietnam Vice President until his retirement from politics in 1971. As the country fell to the Communists in 1975, Mr and Mrs Kỳ fled to the US.

In 2004, Mr Kỳ returned to Vietnam, playing golf with Communist leaders, calling for peace and reconciliation with a government he once fought and hinting that he might even move back to Vietnam. Mr Kỳ later was involved in organizing trips to Vietnam for potential U.S. investors.

In September 2009, Madame Tuyết Mai went back to Vietnam and opened a plush restaurant called “Pho Ta” – specialised in the traditional Vietnamese beef noodle soup – on one of the busy streets in Saigon.

Mr Kỳ’s daughter from his second marriage to Madame Tuyết Mai, a former stewardess, is Nguyễn Cao Kỳ Duyên. Kỳ Duyên was a 10-year-old girl when Saigon fell in 1975. She and 20 others escaped in a crammed military cargo plane to Washington. Her father flew his own helicopter to a waiting U.S. aircraft carrier. Now she is a well-known mistress of ceremonies on the thirty-four-year-old and famous “Paris By Night” show. The Vietnamese-language musical variety show is popular overseas as well as in Vietnam and features musical performances by renowned pre-Saigon Fall performers and modern-day young stars.

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A Silver Bar Tears Up the Paper’s related information

The Vietnamese Communist Customs officer collects the VND$100,000 slipped beneath the papers.

<<Story related to the information>>


Video the moments a Vietnamese Customs officer keeps an overseas Vietnamese standing in wait at Tân Sơn Nhất airport’s passport counter until she bribes him to leave. This doesn’t happen to Westerners.

Customs officer at Vietnam airport caught in bribery scandal (vietnambreakingnews.com) JULY 6, 2016

A customs officer at Da Nang International Airport has been reassigned pending an internal investigation after a woman posted a complaint on Facebook accusing him of soliciting bribes.

The Vietnamese woman, a university teacher, said in the Facebook post on Tuesday that she arrived in Da Nang the previous night from the United States, and the officer found six bottles of supplements in her luggage.

He said the bottles were subjected to taxes but she could simply give him some “money for a drink,” according to the post. She gave him a VND200,000 bill and the officer asked for “another bill” for his colleague.

On departure, Customs officers at Vietnam airports often harass overseas Vietnamese by telling them to open their luggages to be examined. The incidents often led to the passengers missing their flights unless the victims bribe the officers.

Pham Duy Nhat, director of the customs department at the airport told Thanh Nien Wednesday that the officer, who is not identified, has been removed from the luggage check unit. He said he will look into security footage before imposing necessary punishment.

According to Vietnam’s customs regulations, luggage brought from overseas are subject to taxes only when exceeding personal use limits.

Using the excuse to check on luggages from arrival flights, Customs officers open luggages and steal goods from inside.

Video where the Customs officer calling people in an authoritarian voice “Eh, that guy!” (at point 1:18) and collects bribes (at point 2:53).


Video Vietnamese Customs officers wanted to forfeit “undeclared” $5,000 USD from overseas Vietnamese.

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A Chinese girl in Vietnam’s related information

Chinese Opera actresses put on make-up before a performance.

Chinese Opera actresses put on make-up before a performance.

<<Story related to the information>>

CHOLON 1955 - La Rue des Marins - Đồng Khánh street. The book "CHOLON" was written by Jean-Michel de Kermadec with pictures from Raymond Cauchetier. It was printed in December 1955 by "'Imprimerie Française d'Outre-Mer" (IFOM) 3, Rudyard-Kipling Street (Nguyễn Siêu street) in Saigon.

CHOLON 1955 – La Rue des Marins – Đồng Khánh
street. The book “CHOLON” was written by Jean-Michel de Kermadec with pictures from Raymond Cauchetier. It was printed in December 1955 by “‘Imprimerie Française d’Outre-Mer” (IFOM) 3, Rudyard-Kipling Street (Nguyễn Siêu street) in Saigon.

Chợ Lớn (The Big Market) in Chinese quarter in Saigon before the Fall of Saigon

Chợ Lớn (The Big Market) in Chinese quarter in Saigon before the Fall of Saigon

A market in Chợ Lớn (The Big Market) - another name for the Chinese quarter in Saigon in 1965.

A market in Chợ Lớn (The Big Market) – another name for the Chinese quarter in Saigon in 1965.

A market in Chợ Lớn in 1966.

A market in Chợ Lớn in 1966.

A street in Chợ Lớn in 1970.

A street in Chợ Lớn in 1970.

A street in Chợ Lớn.

A street in Chợ Lớn.

A street in Chợ Lớn.

A street in Chợ Lớn.

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Harder than Acting

They're the sand embedded in my shoes that wear me out, and yet all I can do is grit my teeth and smile.

They’re the sand embedded in my shoes that wear me out, and yet all I can do is grit my teeth and smile.

Comments about this post on ABC Open 500 words – Faking it.

It is easier to act in a play than fake liking ‘them’! To me acting is genuinely living as the character, thinking and reacting as if I was them. When my facial muscles want to contract, my hands shake and my heart beats faster and louder, I find it is actually harder to betray my body, my feelings and put on a happy face in front of ‘them’.

I often wonder, “Why did you have to marry into my circle, so for the group’s sake, I have to keep the relationships in harmony?” Then I remember the time my father was incarcerated in the torturous communist jail, the maltreatment the Communist gave my family and my deadly escape from Vietnam.

Passing through the threshold of the door, I felt relieved that I had held my façade, successfully giving a strong handshake and a warm smile to ‘him’. He migrated here under the sponsorship of his sister. But wait there’s more!