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Archive for the 'China 2006' Category

Tweede bericht

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

van de student die een andere ervaring meemaakt. Student M:

Na enkele dagen was ik een beetje gewend geraakt aan de snelheid en gedrevenheid waarmee mijn MIP team te werk ging. Ik hoefde mijn mailbox, bijvoorbeeld, maar op een willekeurig moment van de dag of nacht te openen en versie 1.13 van de projectplanning was zojuist naar mij toegestuurd. Versie 1.12 tien minuten daarvoor en versie 1.06 vier uur daarvoor. Doordat mijn teamgenoten consequent om 9 uur op de VU wilde afspreken betekende dat ik weer iets van een ritme kreeg, waar ik mij eigenlijk wel lekker bij voelde. Naast alle aanpassingen met betrekking tot het projectteam was ik eigenlijk nog het meest verrast over het project zelf. Positief verrast.

Voor een groot deel van de vakken zien de projecten er min of meer hetzelfde uit, ze hebben dezelfde stramien en je weet ongeveer wel wat je moet doen. Onderwerp, probleem, theorie, analyse en conclusie, dat is zo’n een beetje de volgorde. En met mijn motto (minimale input – maximale output) kom je op de VU een heel eind. Omdat ik niet zo’n een theorie-tijger ben, gaat bij mij het verstand op nul, kies ik een paar artikelen uit, vat ze samen, referentie erbij, analyse en klaar. Meestal is deze werkwijze goed voor een 7, 5 en daarmee ben ik dik tevreden. Ik ervaar mijn laatste jaar dan ook als een lange rit, die ik moet uitzitten. Zoiets als een gevangenisstraf.

Een maand geleden is daar verandering in gekomen…

Wordt vervolgd

Werken

Thursday, May 17th, 2007

en Tokio is synoniem. Ik zoek een plekje om rustig te werken aan mijn spullen voor de VU en voor mijzelf. Ik heb internet nodig, koffie en thee en een goed bureau. Het zou mooi zijn als het een soort bibliotheek is waar ik de hele dag kan zijn en in en uit kan lopen. Die plek vind ik uiteindelijk op de 49e verdieping van Mori Tower in Roppongi Hills. Daar is Academy Hills gevestigd, een soort leeszaal/conferentieoord/vergaderruimte/werkkamer met uitzicht over Tokio. Voor een dag betaal ik Yen 2.000,– (EUR 12,50) met onbeperkt internet en een gratis kopje thee. De onderstaande foto is genomen vanaf mijn werkplek.








Transport

Thursday, May 17th, 2007

in Vietnam is largely by scooter or motorcycle. As many people have enough income for a car almost every family has a motorcycle. It costs quite a lot of money to buy one, $1500,– for a foreign one, $ 650 for a local one. This is the normal view and experience on a normal moment in any Vietnamese city on a regular crossing. Or, there are many motorcycles in Vietnam. One can only guess what will happen if all these people earn the money for a car. It will be impossible for the city infrastructure to handle that number of cars.





It is a very nice experience to rent a motorcycle and drive around the city. Walking is frowned upon and its very comfortable and quick. People dont drive fast, only 25 – 40 km. Still its quite dangerous as many people are not good drivers and the rules are not clear.

Trucks is a whole different story. Apart from moving people a growing economy has to move goods and raw materials. It is said that in a growing economy transport increases with double the growth of the economy. In Vietnam transport is scarce so any means of transportation is taken care of and used. The truck below is a very common sight, if its not working. If its working you will not see it because of the smoke surrounding it. Its slow, open and cannot carry much.



The next level of transportation evolution is something called an IFA.These trucks were made in Eastern Germany in the time of communist rule and the Comecon (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comecon). Comecon was the Eastern equivalent of the European Union with central planning and distribution. So, Germany would make trucks, Russia Tractors and Hungary would make Pigs. Then after five years the plans would change and the whole thing would be rearranged and a lot of investments were redundant. Also, if you have a Russian locomotive and Bulgarian Wagons for the train you can imagine problems occurring. One joke in Eastern Europe is that they are good with technical stuff because they had to work with Russian tractors and cars for many years, repairing them day and night. The truck you see below is an IFA truck. The last time I saw one like this was in 1991 in Hungary where I was working in a state farm. I thought they would have vanished by now but no . . . see this one.



Now, the future has arrived with the japanese selling their cars and trucks and also financing them. The oil companies have come in and efficiency and results are there.


Agriculture and food

Wednesday, May 9th, 2007

Did you ever wonder what rice looked like? Worry no more. This is what it looks like



Many people think its some kind of root or that it grows in the water. But it doesn’t. Its like grain and it grows in a wet area like a rice paddy (sawah in Indonesia). You can have several crops a year and you have many different varieties. On a motorbike ride out of the Village of Hoi An I decided to go off the main road and drive around the small villages and the smaller paths. These are some of the images:



Rice paddy



Rice crop, the machine is operated by hand.

Fish is as important in Vietnam as rice. Many of the fishing is done by hand with primitive means. There is also a lot of fish farming going on with shrimps being grown in rice paddies. This is a picture of a man in his very simple boat fishing up his nets and checking what he has caught.

Exposure

Wednesday, May 9th, 2007

for the students and their project. The students did an interview with a youth newspaper in Vietnam. It is for sale all over the country. One of our students, Kim Anh, arranged the meeting between the newspaper and a small group of students through her contacts. As AUREUS, the faculty students club, has the objective of having national news coverage at least twice a year i think they have succeeded at least once. Unfortunately I cannot, for some reason, change the format of the image and turn it. The students in the picture are Elske and Nicolien.


Unclo Ho

Wednesday, May 9th, 2007

Unclo Ho Is present in the whole of Vietnam. He is a big hero in this country. Today I went to see his house and mausoleum. I also went to see the Ho Chi Minh Trail Museum but turned around halfway, the traffice was too heavy. Its impressive to see what they made of this hero worshipping. Im not impressed and I don’t like it. Unclo Ho did not want to be worshipped, he wanted a small funeral and a simple burial place. Now he’s locked up in this big ugly thing.



Uncle Ho’s House on Stilts

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ho_Chi_Minh

I rented a motorbike and finally I had time to experience the real Vietnamese life on the road. I already felt half Vietnamese with a scooter on the pavement out in front of the Hotel. There are no car owners except for some rich people, taxi’s and government officals. Everybody has a scooter which costs between $ 700 and $ 1700 which is a lot of money. My travel dreams have been about motorcylces all the time. My first dream of a motortrip was inspired by Che Guevara and his book the motorcycle diaries. Some years this book was made into a very good movie. My dream is to drive this route in South America.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Motorcycle_Diaries_%28film%29

Another dream is to travel with a Toyota Landcruiser from Holland to South Africa. I would also like to buy an Enfield motorcycle in the south of India and drive all the way up to the Hymalayas. The last plan is to travel on a scooter from Aceh in the west of Indonesia on the island of Sumatra to the east end of Indonesia. Lets see what comes of this.

Companyvisits

Thursday, April 19th, 2007

are the main source of information for the students doing their research. They bring me along sometimes to show they are supported by facultystaff and to improve the way of doing research. For me its very nice to come along. The students are highly motivated and pressing for information all the time. They use all their skill to use the networks at hand to find new contacts and new information.
This time the students are visiting the National Eonomics University in Hanoi. They have 40.000 students paying EUR 300 a year to study.
www.mde.edu.vn
Today I went along with the team doing research for Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam. Our faculty has been sending students on research missions for 3 years now. Each time they come back with a lot of information on the students and exchange market and the opportunities for our faculty. The international developments of universities is a hot topic, rewards and returns not yet clear and demanding a lot of investments. The SVS research project is a high quality, low cost and well informed way to find out about a market.
The students experience the learning and academic environment in a developed country. Today we had a discussion with the vice-dean, had coffee in the students dormitory and saw the students do sports. This evening some students of ours met the Vietnamese students and tomorrow our students are meeting the dean and the rector (main boss) of the university.

Eten?

Wednesday, April 18th, 2007

Wat hoort in het rijtje niet thuis?





Wat een zegening is het dat er landen zijn in de wereld die geen mcdo en geen starbucks hebben. Hoe zullen al die kleine Vietnamezen er straks uit zien als de gouden M gearriveerd is en je een large latte kunt bestellen?

Sports

Wednesday, April 18th, 2007

is a nice way to express yourself and a good way to meet people. In China the studytrip group played football. In this trip they played volleyball and some football. They also played with kids on the beach near the Vinh Moc tunnels. These kids are victims of the life and system affecting chemicals used by the Americans during the war. These kids are taken care of by a Dutch Vietnamese organisation. Such a touching and happy day.



Chess game with one of the SVS participants Thomas, I lost unfortunately. He is good



Local chessgame (chinese chess) as played in the park.



Football game with some foreigners in a local sports club. Me in goal.



Volleyballmatch Holland-Vietnam (Holland lost) in the park.

Het War Remnants Museum

Wednesday, April 18th, 2007

in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC of Saigon) is een indrukwekkende ervaring. Er is niet veel te zien maar de dingen die er getoond worden zijn erg indrukwekkend. De tentoonstellingen gaan over oorlogsmisdaden die door buitenlandse mogendheden in Vietnam zijn begaan. Onderdelen van de tentoonstellingen zijn: gebruikte wapens, foto’s van omgekomen journalisten, brieven van het front en gevangenschap inVietnam naast nog een aantal andere items. Ook is er een deel van een tigercage gevangenis zoals gebruikt in Zuid-Vietnam met buitengewoon wrede opsluitingsmethoden.

De schaal van de gruwelijkheden is maar moeilijk te bevatten. Het beperkte materiaal dat er is mijn maag doet omdraaien. Het is maar een fractie van wat er allemaal gebeurd is en dan is er ook nog eens veel verzwegen waarschijnlijk.

Een van de deelnemers vertelt me tijdens een maaltijd zijn gedachten tijdens de tocht die de groep maakte in de Mekong delta. Hij zei dat hij zich voor kon stellen hoe de Amerikaanse soldaten doordraaiden en gekke dingen gingen doen. Hij zag het zo: je bent voor het eerst buiten je vaderland, je ontmoet voor het eerst een andere cultuur, je loopt in een onwerkelijk landschap dat anders is dan je je ooit voor kunt stellen, je gebruikt drugs, je bent 18, de mensen hebben heel andere emoties dan je gewend bent. Ook heb zie voor het eerst gruwelijkheden en dood je mensen. Er is veel propaganda en de reden van de oorlog is ook nog eens erg abstract.

In het museum is deze foto beschikbaar van een man die jaren in de gevangenis heeft gezeten en mishandeld is, gemarteld is en nu misvormd door het leven moet.



De Vietnamezen lijken zeer vergevend en tolerant. Ze hebben het alleen over de toekomst en werken daar hard aan. Het is maar de vraag of de Amerikanen, als ze uit Irak vertrekken, ooit deze tolerantie en vergevendheid zullen ontmoeten. Los van de vraag wat ze nu echt geleerd hebben in Irak.