Yes you, I am talking to you!
Just in case you wouldn’t notice me, hey again!
If you don’t know what that means, I can give you a clue: it’s the same as: moi, moikka, hei, heippa, morjes, ciao, hola, hallo, Nǐ hǎo, bonjour, zdravstvuyte and zdravo. So probably right now you are wondering, who I am? I’ve been asking myself that question for the past 22 years also. Just kidding. Ok so now let’s get to the real stuff. My name is Minh, but you can call me Bing, or Bing-a-ling, as some of my friends tend to call me that way. I like keeping my name just “Minh” (even though my full name is Minh Hieu Nguyen) because, well, it’s like Adele. It’s just Minh. Nothing’s more. Nothing’s less. And people won’t have problem pronouncing my name whenever I try to say it out loud.
I was born and raised in Hanoi, Vietnam, a capital city which has over 7.4 million people living in, which is like, I don’t know, 1.5 times bigger than that of Helsinki??? Anyway, if you don’t know where Hanoi is, well, look at google maps. At least you Finn should know Hanoi Rocks (very original name huh?). And if you don’t know where Vietnam is, it’s next to Thailand. 1994 is a good year. It’s the year when Green Day released their breakthrough album Dookie so, I should be a very “breakthrough” kid.
When I was 17 and a half, I decided to move to Finland, because of two reasons: I love being abroad and the universities in Vietnam suck-a-lot. I chose LapinAMK (back in 2012, it was called RAMK – Rovaniemi University of Applied Sciences) because the idea of being in a far up-north place seemed quite interesting. I was wrong. The winter was too cold, there was too much snow, the study was very bad (I studied IT before) and cultural shocks were also in the way. But still, I managed for 3 years.
Things changed when I switched to Tourism. It is a much better choice for me, as I find myself fit to the whole thing. I love the study here, it’s not too perfect but it’s worth it. I like travelling, getting to know different cultural backgrounds and interacting with people. I love every land that I’ve been to. I have not been travelling that much, in comparison to other so-called travelers, but every place that I went to, I just cannot hate it. There is always something new, something excited, something exotic and something mesmerizing. I don’t know how, but every land, I have found myself there, but also, I’ve left a piece of myself to that place. That’s why I feel very attracted to travelling, because it helps me understand me, understand the world and understand what’s around me. I got a chance to appreciate my choice, when I got my first internship in Safartica, a safari company. I learned a lot of things that were completely outside of school and even though there were some stressful moments, I just loved going to work every day.
But the thing that makes me realize I am in where I should be, is that I have a lot of good friends with me, most of whom are my classmates. I love hanging around with them. We usually go to party together, drink together, eat lunch together, and even sometimes, making racism jokes that I wouldn’t even care less about. I hang out with them too much, that they consider me now that I am a Finn. I guess that is a compliment! J
Through time, I find it tolerable with the weather and the bore here. Turn out, it’s not that bad. It can be really beautiful during winter time (except when it’s 1 degree, the snow melts and everything just looks disgusting). I don’t mind the snow that much anymore, as I could actually live with it. -30 seems terrible for you, but for me, it’s just another day. Rovaniemi is a nice city. Yes, there’s nothing to do here, but that is the beauty of it. I find myself some quality time to just relax and enjoy the silence. The quietness makes it so that you can just have a moment of thinking about you, your life, your choices… (I sound much like a Finn now)
I am now super happy to have the honor to represent LapinAMK for the EMCup this year. Truth is, I never expected myself to be in this position. But I guess, all the great things come from when you don’t expect anything. I am just going to be me, try my best and yea, enjoy this opportunity. Winning or not, it’s not that important for me. What matters is what I learned and what I got from this, and yes, I don’t expect anything so let’s see how things are going to be.
For now, I say good-bye. We see each other soon, my friends!