1. Do you like to receive gifts? (Why? / Why not?)
Yes, especially on special occasions like my birthday. I think it’s a way for other people to show their love and respect towards me.
2. What kind of gifts do you like to receive? (Why?)
I don’t have a particular gift that I’m fond of. I love getting surprises from other people’s gifts.
3. What gifts did you receive in your childhood?
The gift I remember the most is a big doll. I still remember vividly my dad gave me that doll on my 8th birthday party. At that time, the doll meant the world to me because it represented my dad’s love for me.
4. Do you like giving gifts to people? (Why? / Why not?)
I only love giving gifts to my relatives or close friends. I consider gifts as a symbol of love, so I only give my love to my loved ones.
5. What gifts did you give to others in your childhood?
Just some non–material gifts because at that time, I only received a little pocket money from my parents. I just could afford some small gifts like pencils, notebooks and things like that.
1. What types of musical instruments do you like to listen to?
I like to explore all genres of music, but currently, I am learning how to play the guitar, so most of the time, I like to listen to guitar songs and melodies. Besides that, I also enjoy listening to piano music, especially when I need to concentrate on my work.
2. When do you like to listen to music?
I love being immersed in pleasant, harmonious sounds. Therefore, I would turn some music on whenever I am alone, except for when I am sleeping of course. In a typical work day, I usually listen to music in the morning, right after I wake up, so that I can boost my energy and prepare myself for the day.
3. Did you learn to play a musical instrument when you were a child?
No, I didn’t. The town where I was born was extremely poor, and people back then were too busy trying to just get by. They, including me, literally worked all day long, leaving no time for entertainment or self-improvement activities. That’s why as a kid, I was not given the chance to even touch an instrument, much less learning to play it.
4. Do you think all children should learn to play a musical instrument?
Yes, of course. I strongly believe that when a kid learns how to play an instrument, he or she will be able to develop positive traits like patience, discipline, and commitment. I am learning one myself and I’ve seen huge benefits from it. The only thing I regret is that no one encouraged me to do so throughout my childhood.
1. Do you like trees?
I’m quite a nature enthusiast, so yes, I do love trees. Of course I acknowledge their beauty and importance in our lives, but that’s not all. I believe that there’s a close connection between human beings and trees, and I think people have a genuine affection toward all kinds of plants.
2. Are there any important trees in your country?
The bamboo tree is widely considered the Vietnamese national tree. It is, in fact, a kind of tree which is very strong and straight from its root to the top. Many believe that this particular tree symbolizes our country and its people, especially during our great wars.
3. Is there a forest near your hometown?
Hanoi lies in the centre of a plain, so there are no forests to be found near the city. In Vietnam, if you want to go into the woods, you’ll have to travel all the way to mountainous areas, or at least to plateaus like those in Lam Vien or Moc Chau.
4. Would you like to live in a place that has a lot of trees?
Only in the summer, I have to say. Although trees mean the world to me, I still feel the chill whenever I walk across a leafy area during winter. I just don’t have great physical endurance when the weather is extreme.
5. Where can one find trees (or forests) in your country?
You can easily find all sorts of trees or even evergreens everywhere in Vietnam. They’re planted alongside a lot of streets, in parks and zoos, and around most building complexes. However, it’s a bit harder if you need to find forests, since these areas are often far away from metropolises and also often more difficult to reach due to the underdeveloped transport facilities nearby.
6. Do you think places with trees attract more visitors than places with few trees?
Without question. As I’ve already mentioned, people tend to be attracted to nature as a whole, and particularly, trees. Since trees provide oxygen, they are a kind of fresh-air- generator, so I think that people feel more refreshed when they are around them. This partly explains the attraction I think, you see, we don’t just go to all the attractions just to stare at trees, but we are indeed attracted to leafy areas for our comfort.
7. Did you ever climb a tree when you were a child?
Sadly, even ‘till now, I still can’t manage to climb a tree. This has been the most challenging task for me ever since I was a 5-year-old. Actually, I really envy those who can reach the top of a tree and look down from the top. I did try to climb a tree once, I really did, but it’s a shame I fell so hard on my face that now I’ve still got a scar above my mouth.
8. Have you ever planted a tree?
Well, I love trees, but it’s a pity I’m just not cut out to be a gardener. My gardening skills are so terrible that all my friends and family call me ‘the plant-killer’. I tried planting trees several times, but they all end up dying for some reason.
9. Do you think people should plant more trees?
I couldn’t agree more with that idea. We are so badly in need of trees these days, since a large number of plants in urban areas have been cut down to make way for the construction of new infrastructure. You know, fewer trees in the city means higher levels of air pollution we have to bear with. I’m afraid if we don’t take immediate action by planting more trees, it will soon be too late.
1. What are some of the things that you can cook?
I am not a skilled cook, I only know the basics, like fried egg and boiled veggies. The sad thing is, I can’t even make these dishes very well. Most of the time, they would be either undercooked or burnt.
2. Do you like cooking?
I am not interested in cooking, nor do I have a gift for it. However, I do enjoy watching cooking shows on TV, Master Chef for example, since I love seeing footage of food being prepared.
3. How often do you cook?
I don’t cook on a daily basis; just when my mom, who is in charge of cooking, is on a business trip. To me, cooking is not a pleasure, but rather a chore, so I don’t do it very often.
4. What dishes are you best at cooking?
I can proudly say that instant noodles is my signature dish. I have cooked it so many times that I know all the necessary techniques to make a restaurant-quality bowl of noodles.
5. Does anyone in your family like to cook?
My mom is very keen on cooking. She loves experimenting with new ingredients and collecting recipes on the internet. Her home-cooked meals are not only full of nutrition, but also appetizing. My brother and I like her cooking so much that we rarely eat out.
6. Do your parents know how to cook?
My mother has a knack for cooking. She always does a good job at seasoning, and her knife-work is no joke. My dad, on the other hand, knows nothing about cooking except for frying eggs.
7. Do you think that it’s important to know how to cook well?
As much as I hate to cook, I must admit that people who can cook well, especially girls, are very charming. It often means that they can take good care of themselves and those around them.
8. Who is the best cook you know?
I don’t know much about the culinary world, so I can’t name any famous chef. To me, the best cook is no one other than my mom. She knows the recipes for almost all dishes like the back of her hand, and her food is always so tasty.
9. What cooking experience have you had?
Like I mentioned before, I don’t cook very often. The only memorable cooking experience I had was when my mom sent me to a short cookery course. I got a minor burn right on the first day, so my mom pulled me out immediately.
10. Who taught you to cook?
My grandmother was my cooking teacher, as I spent most of my childhood in her kitchen. She was skilled at making the dishes not only taste good but also look good. For example, she taught me the art of vegetable carving and table setting, which I still remember clearly.
11. When you were a child, did you ever help your parents to prepare a meal?
Yes, I did, but rather than cooking, I helped my parents with simple chores, like washing the vegetables and setting the table. I enjoyed such times, since it was a great bonding opportunity for my family.
1. Are there many museums in your hometown?
Honestly, I have no clue. Museums and historical sites are places that I couldn’t care less about, so I don’t really notice if there are any in Hanoi. Maybe there’re a couple of museums somewhere, I think.
2. Do you think museums are useful for visitors to your hometown?
If they want to know more about our traditional activities and culture, sadly, no. If they find our history and the colonial wars that took place in Vietnam interesting, then yes. I think whether a place is considered ‘useful’ or ‘suitable’ for tourists depends on what they want to achieve from their visit.
3. Do you often visit a museum?
It’s like… never. For me, one should not ever go to a museum unless they are already bored to tears. Maybe I’m a little bit biased against all kinds of museums in Vietnam ever since I last visited one. I guess it’s just very boring having to walk all the way through a building just to see some pictures and odd-looking things I’m not allowed to touch.
4. Did you go to any museums when you were a child?
It was hard not to. I mean, it’s one of the ‘compulsory’ extra-curricular activities that we had back in primary school. We went to a different museum each year with the whole school, and nobody was allowed to be absent from this annual activity, even if you were sick that day.
5. Do you think museums are important?
Though I’m not really a fan of museums, it’s quite impossible to deny the importance of these places. They hold all forms of evidence of a country’s historical development, such as artefacts or documents… you name it. Besides, what makes museums very special to our society, in my opinion, is the way they teach us to have gratitude and appreciation for things that happened in our country in the past.
6. Do you think it’s suitable for museums to sell things to visitors?
Yea, why not? In fact, most museums are free of charge, so apart from the often inadequate government funding, these museums virtually have no other source of budget to cover operating and management expenses. So, revenue from selling souvenirs can act as additional income to help maintain them.
7. When was the last time you visited a museum?
I can’t really think of the answer for this question off the top of my head, perhaps because it’s been such a long time since the last time I went to a museum. But I don’t think I’ve ever paid a visit to any place of such a kind after primary school.
8. Are there many museums in your country?
There are! Museums in Vietnam are quite diverse, and they cover almost every field, namely the War Remnants Museum, the Fine Art Museum and plenty more. However, museums are not so appealing to the young, which is unfortunate, they could have been much more educational.
9. Do you think museums are useful for visitors?
I don’t think so I’m afraid. Museums are more like tourist attraction, because if tourists wish to search for information on a place, the Internet would be a much better option.
10. Do you often visit museum?
I don’t. I wish I do but I never have the time. My parents took me to Vietnam Museum of Ethnology every Lunar New Year festival so that I have better understanding of Vietnamese’s culture. My memories of that place are truly invaluable.
11. Did you go to any museums when you were a child?
I did, very often actually. As I said before, The Vietnam Museum of Ethology was my childhood! If my memory serves me well, it was 2007 Spring when I first visited the place. I still remember vividly how amazed I was stepping into the museum!
12. When was the last time you visited a museum?
Ever since I graduated and worked as a researcher, I’ve never had a chance to visit any museum much as I wish to. What a pity!
13. Do you think museums are important?
Absolutely! Museums are where knowledge and culture are preserved. Apparently, museums are of paramount importance and play an irreplaceable role in our educational system.
1. Do you often get bored?
Unfortunately, I do. And I feel extremely terrible whenever boredom comes and occupies my mind. That’s why I always try to make things a little bit more interesting, like creating some challenges or games in tasks that I have to complete.
2. Do you think you get bored more often now than you did when you were a child?
That’s exactly what I feel. I think it’s partly because my childhood was full of joy and excitement since I still lived with my family and had tons of friends to keep me laughing all day long. Now, even though I’ve been far from home for a long time, I still miss those days and the nostalgic feelings seems to exaggerate my boredom. You know, all the work- money things are not very amusing.
3. What things do you find boring?
Most activities that cost a lot of time seem pretty boring to me because I’m not that kind of person who can sit still and work for 10 hours straight. Also, I am easily bored by the same routine every day, so I change my schedule regularly to keep myself energized and enthusiastic.
1. Do you like animals?
To be honest, I only like friendly animals such as dogs, cats and birds. I consider them human’s friends and keeping them as pets will help me release my negative emotions.
2. What’s your favourite animal? Why?
Dogs, definitely. I am actually raising two dogs at present. Whenever I head back home from work, they are waiting to welcome me at the door. Also, they make me feel better when I’m down in the dumps. That’s why I love dogs.
3. Are people in your country fond of animals?
Actually no. It’s sad to admit but this is the truth. Instead of loving animals, most Vietnamese people enjoy torturing them and taking photos to show other people or put on Facebook to get satisfaction.
4. What kinds of animals as a pet do the people have in your country?
Just like other countries in the world, we tend to keep dogs and cats as companions. This is because these animals are tame and easy to live with humans.
5. Do you think cities are suitable places for keeping a pet?
I don’t think so. This is because cities are areas of bumper to bumper traffic and heaps of construction, causing harm to pets’ health, and they are likely to face road accidents or a lack of playing space.
6. Do children in your country like animals?
Yes. Vietnamese children are keen on playing with animals, especially dogs and cats, which are so friendly and have soft fur. They can hug and stroke these pets.
7. What kind of animals do you think children like?
I think it really depends on their personality. I can’t say for sure. For the most part, children love dogs and cats since they can play and roam about with them. Some children, however, adore birds because of their beautiful voice. Also, there are some who always enjoy teasing or hurting animals.
8. What was your favourite animal when you were a child?
I was a big fan of dogs. If my memories serve me right, I used to play with a neighbour’s dog called Kiki whenever my parents got into an argument. That was a way I chose to escape from the uncomfortable situation. For this reason, I love dogs so much and now I own a dog with the same name.
9. Did you have any pets when you were a child?
Unfortunately, no. My parents didn’t allow me to keep a pet as they were worried that I could be bitten by them.
10 What do you think are the benefits of a child having a pet?
Well, there is a wide range of benefits for children if they have a pet. The most obvious advantage is that they can learn how to show love to other animals by hugging or stroking them. In addition, they could probably take responsibility for some household chores by feeding their pet or taking it for a walk.
11. If you have children in the future, will you allow them to keep a pet?
Yes, of course. I suppose keeping a pet is beneficial to a child’s development. By living side by side with them, pets can become their friend and give them emotional support.
12. Why do some people keep pets at home?
Well, there are a number of reasons, but I think the most important one is having a pet is like having a comforting companion. They can help relieve stress and cheer people up when they are upset or tired. That is why many people treat pets, such as cats or dogs, as a member of the family.
14. What kinds of animals do you like?
I am into all kinds of birds. For me, they are beautiful and lovely creatures. In fact, some of them may be naughty, but watching their behavior can be something really relaxing to do.
14. Have you ever had a pet before?
I used to have a bulldog. You know, it was a present from one of my buddies. I had had it for more than a year before it was stolen. Since then, I have never wanted to have any pet again as the feeling of losing something you love dearly is terrible.
15. Do you like to see animals in the zoo?
To be honest, I have to say “no’” because I always feel sorry for animals that are kept in the cages. Although they are well looked after and are provided with food, they don’t have the freedom like living in their natural habitat.
16. What is the most popular animal in Vietnam?
Well, it is dogs, perhaps. In the countryside, each household typically has a dog to watch their house as dogs usually bark when they see strangers. In the cities, many people, especially the young, do not hesitate to spend money on buying a dog and take care of them like babies.
1. Have you ever travelled by boat?
Yes, I’ve been on a boat so many times. If my memory serves me well, the first time I ever set foot on a boat was in my first year of high school when my family went on a cruise in Ha Long Bay. It was a truly amazing experience for me.
2. Do you often travel by boat?
Well, not really often, maybe once or twice a year. I live in a mountainous area, so I only got on boats and yachts in my summer vacation when I go to the beach.
3. Are boat trips popular in your country?
Yes, they are. My country has an extremely long coastline, so journeys at sea are really common. Tourists to any beach always have plenty of options of boats to get on, they are all affordable and offer wonderful sightseeing experiences.
4. Would you like to have your own boat?
I’d love to. I have been dreaming of owning a yacht ever since my first trip on water. It doesn’t have to be a huge boat, but it must be tough enough to withstand the most hazardous weather so that I don’t have to worry about storms when enjoying my journey.
5. If you had your own boat, what would you do with it?
I would go on a cruise whenever I had time. I often picture myself standing behind the wheel of my own boat, discovering the vast ocean and enjoying scenery that could take my breath away.
6. Where in your country do people most often use/travel by boats?
Well, I suppose it is the central part of the country since this region is famous for the long coastlines, which are really convenient for water travel and fishing on boats as well.
7. Do many people in your country own their own boats?
I don’t think so. Boats are often used commercially so most boat owners are fishermen and people who use them for rent. Other than that, I don’t think there are many individuals in my country that are wealthy enough to afford to own a boat themselves.