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Resolutions from Vietnam: I’ve decided in 2016 to...

Thursday, December 31, 2015, 10:16 GMT+7
Resolutions from Vietnam: I’ve decided in 2016 to...
Happy New Year's Eve, everyone!

In 2016, I will make a resolution to be more polite and patient with the traffic around me. I’m sure this will go down with my neighbors and improve my social status with the taxi drivers that I usually snarl at when we get to the traffic lights.

I won’t make a resolution to lose weight this year – I might need that extra fat for the next round of dengue or another tropical disease. Also I will resolve to grow my hair longer just to horrify people who tell me I look ‘handsome’ with dementedly short hair, courtesy of my local hairdresser who’s half in love with me. It’s weird when she suddenly stops cutting my hair to take a selfie of us – me in my apron and her trying to get her hair to fall across my face.

I will step out in fine form this coming year to the beach to tone and buff my body into something from the Avengers. That’s a big resolution to get out there and go exploring the sun and surf of Vietnam as I’m usually such an introvert that I have more contact with my keyboard than humans.

However it’s tough to choose a resolution I can keep. Less chocolate? Nothing doing. More beer? I’ll think about that. Save some money? A marvelous idea if someone would die soon and leave me a huge amount of money that I won’t transfer to Vietnam.

I drag this lesson each year between Christmas and the Western New Year just to keep my students on their toes. Generally, the girls in the class will make a resolution to lose weight – why? If skinny is beautiful, then they should be perfect right now! The boys will make resolutions to get a good job or win the football betting. They rarely manage to do both successfully. Typically, I recommend that they find a rich boyfriend or girlfriend and leave it at that. I know everyone in Vietnam believes in luck but in English it’s more like ‘don’t push your luck!’

What should we resolve for in 2016? Money? Love? A bigger salary? My students usually vote for a bigger salary. At least mum and dad will be happy about that. But that’s more of a ‘wish’ than a resolution. Maybe it’s better to resolve to get more skills and learn about life. 

I also resolve to write more funny stuff next year, 2015 was a bit of a ‘downer’ as I battled illness and some really awful relationship battles. I haven’t won the battles but I did manage to end the year stronger and more creative than before. That’s an encouraging sign.

Do try to make resolutions, everyone, to be more creative and less logical in 2016. The planet needs you to think lots of clever stuff to help us overcome climate change, create new jobs in new industries, and generally be more awesome people.

I think we should all also resolve to be friendlier and drink more wisely, perhaps a change to red wine rather than Saigon Green might be a considerate thing. We could also resolve to park our motorbikes more thoughtfully. I’m pondering over the idea of recommending that we all find more creative ways to carry stuff on a motorbike but that’s another story...

Wherever you find yourself on New Year’s Eve, do make the resolution to recommend this fabulous nation to all who come here. There’s money in it, you know?

Most of all, I make the resolution to wish each and every one of my readers a fantastic year with lots of happiness, luck, success, love and maybe a secret ambition fulfilled.

Happy New Year, everyone!

Stivi Cooke


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