Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Twenty Pho Hour Fitness

Here's a few pictures from the gym my dad goes to. He just bought me a membership for this month... It cost $240! Thats way more than 24 hour fitness back at home. But it really nice and its located inside a 5 star hotel on the 4th floor. Check the pics...

Here is the picture of the hotel... Its walking distance from my dad's house.

The view from the gym is really nice...

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Company Field Trip

This morning I left the house at 4:30AM to meet at the company office w/ our employees for a field trip to the city of Lang Son. Lang Son is about 3-4 hours away from Hanoi and is the bordering city between Vietnam and China. At first I wasn't sure if I wanted to go b/c my dad wasn't going and neither was Mr. Bentley (my dad's right hand man)... But I'm really glad I did b/c I got to see different parts of Vietnam and hang out w/ the company employees. We had two tour buses full of people... Fun times!

Here we are at one of our few pit stops... Thats my dad's older brother on the far right. He's really goofy!

On our way we stopped by two different temples where people prayed for a prosperous 2007. The first temple we stopped by was deep in the wilderness. We had to all partner up and hitch a ride on the back of motorcycles.

Here we are crossing a sketchy bridge... The surrounding area was beautiful!

Here I am w/ a few of our employees.

Willy's Workshop!!!

Here's the second temple we visited.

This is a pretty funny looking statue... HAHA

Lunch Time...

Check this sick pair of Meike Air 360s... HAHA

Anyone want an iPod?

We visited a few markets on our way...

Check out these gnarly mosquito swatters... All you have to do is swing it around and mosquitoes start to get zapped.

This one's for TJ and Ron... Have you ever seen a pipe this big? HAHA

We finally made it back to the office at 9:00PM... I ended up going w/ my uncle to his house to visit his family. This my 9 year old cousin Viet. PEACE!!!

Here's his 17 month old brother.

Check out this funny picture they had of me and Drew holding Viet when we visited in 2001. Dude... Viet has a Ronald size head... HAHA

It was great to get a chance to venture outside of Hanoi and see different parts of Vietnam. The company employees are like a big family... I had a great time but when I got home just a few moments ago I had the shits b/c of all the strange things I ate.

OK... Have fun tonight guys! Happy Birthday Sister Bear... You're people wish you the best! HAHA


Sunday, March 4, 2007

Best of Both Worlds


I haven't had much time to sit down and blog in quite a while. There's so much I want to blog about but I'll try my best to keep it short and to the point... But since I've been here I've lived in two worlds... One w/ my dad: Luxurious, Fast Pace, & Spontaneous... While on the other hand staying w/ my grandpa is the total opposite: Humble, Relaxing, & Calm.

Wednesday 02.28.07 - Myster and I ate my final meal in the US... ALVARO'S!!! Carne Asada Fries & 3 Roll Tacos. Here's our last picture together... =( I miss you baby!

Check out this picture from the air... I'll send this one to you Alvin.

Thursday 03.01.07 - Happy Birthday EDWIN! I was traveling forward in time... I didn't even have a March 1st.
Friday 03.02.07 - OK so after 29 hours of traveling I finally arrived to VIETNAM. The weather is great... Its been in the upper 70s w/ cloudy skies, which is terrific considering it reaches the 100s in the summer and its so humid. That night we at dinner at a restaurant called Al Fresco's Bar & Grill. They serve the best western style food in Hanoi... I always eat here when I go back to Vietnam. The owners are Australians with restaurants in both Hanoi and Saigon. YUMMY! Best of all they deliver pizza!

After we ate at Al Fresco's my dad met w/ two architects who are currently working on two huge projects with him. The first is to remodel a restaurant into a stock broking firm. The Vietnamese Stock Market just opened two years ago and there is lots of money to be made. My dad along w/ 4 other partners are starting their own stock broking firm called "Original Securities Company." The location is beautiful... Its directly across from the 5 Star Hanoi Hilton and only a block away from Vietnam's Wall Street.

I'm not sure if some of you remember but I have an office building layout in my room... I think a few of the homies have seen it. This week the old show room and factory are being torn down to start construction on a new 18 store office building. Its going to have a two store underground basement parking lot and 14 floors of office space available for leasing. The top two floors are going to be penthouse suites... Maybe for me!!! I'm getting a copy of the blue prints... Its expected to be finished early 2009.

The streets of Vietnam... Tons of people, motorcycles, and more Vietnamese people! HAHA

Look out for an episode of MTV Cribs Vietnam ft. Uncle Ben's crib! My dad's house is a six story building each with its own balcony and an elevator which over looks two lakes. The 1st floor is a 3 car garage, floors 2-4 are separate rooms and bathrooms. The 5th floor is the living room w/ TVs, couches, and a pool table. The 6 and final floor is the kitchen w/ an outdoor patio w/ a small fish pond... There's also two turtles in there too! Here's a picture looking out from the garage... Its really relaxing!

Saturday 03.03.07 - I finally got the chance to visit my dad's factory that I've heard so much about. Its been over a year and its still a work in progress. Its so weird to see him at work b/c he has so many employees who are all willing to do everything he ask w/ out hesitation. He's constantly on the phone, constantly meeting w/ people, constantly thinking about business. He's come a long way... I'm really proud of him! Hold on... I am getting coked up... BRB

I was blown away when I first got there b/c it was weird to think that this is my dad's factory. Its a 15 acre stretch of land located about 30 minutes outside the city where land is still really cheap. Click to see the full size panoramic view of the factory.
Here is the metal roofing sector of the factory. Olympic Metal Roofing is the name of the brand.

My dad hard at work... he's the one wearing black and white. Please cross your hand when listening please! HAHA

The office building and showroom is still under construction.

Half of the land is still unused...

Our second department which is still in its testing phase... Olympic 30liter Water Heaters COMING SOON!

At 12PM everyday the 100+ employees get an hour break to eat lunch at the cafeteria and take a short nap. When I walked around the factory everyone was constantly staring at me. A few of the employees remembered me and others were all shocked to find out that that's Ben's son. During lunch I was invited to join everyone to eat. As we were all walking to the cafeteria people would walk up to me to compare how tall they were to me. TJ you're actually considered average height here. HAHA I was surprised to find out that some of the workers there have been w/ the company for over 10 years. DAMN!

That night I went back to Grandpa's house to send the night b/c my dad was going out. My dad isn't use to having me here... He always looks over at me and laughs to himself b/c for over 10 years he's been one of Vietnam's most eligible bachelors. Not many people know he was once married and has two big kids. Everyone here thinks he's about 35 years old... He says its weird for him to see me sitting next to him while he runs his daily errands.

Anyways, my grandpa was excited to see me. Its been over 6 years since I've seen him. His house is pretty nice for a Vietnamese house. Here's my bed... I got bite up by mosquitoes that night while downstairs... You know I got that sweet meat! HAHA So my grandma, technically my step-grandma set up the mosquito net for me.

Sunday 03.04.06 - That moring I woke up at 5:30AM to go exercising w/ my grandpa. We walked about a mile around a lake near his house. Its funny b/c my grandma is like a fitness instructor for older people. Everyday at 6:00AM she leads the stretches for a group of about 15-20 people. She's super small... Probably 4'10"... Like JULIE! HAHA We ate pho after...

Here's my grandpa... SO NICE!!!

These are what typical Pho restaurants that you find on the streets look like.

My grandpa's house is the highest one.

We kinda look alike don't we?

This is his dog... Me-Lou! Funny looking dog! HAHA

Here's their bite size kitchen... It looks normal b/c everything is pretty proportional but the counter is seriously up to my mid thigh.

Later that night my dad an I took the Lexus SC430 out to go eat dinner. We drove around w/ the top down and it was the strangest feeling... It was kinda uncomfortable actually. The funny part is he ran into a few girls he knew while we were stopped at a red light. They were both only 18 years old... I would have guessed 22ish but they had no idea we were father and son. They were asking my dad, "Introduce us to your friend"... They even asking for my phone number. My dad told me not to say anything... He gave them a fake name and told them I was already married... Which is TRUE! HAHA Later that night, my dad said that one of his other homie girls called him asking who he was with b/c they heard from those girls he was good looking. HAHA Its so weird b/c that my dad! If they only knew the TRUTH...

Finally... I'll try to update regularly since I just got an internet connection installed in my room. I also got got a cell phone too so I have an "International Number" now too according to Vince. I actually don't know what my number is but I'll let you guys know when I find out just in case you wanna call me!

OK... So I've brought the comment function back so you guys can leave me messages! I'll try to update again soon... BYE BYE!!! 143!!!