Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Unexpected Birthday Present

I normally do not celebrate my birthday. It's the day I officially age one more year. I don't care much about the aging part, and to me, it's just another day. In fact I almost forgot it was my birthday today until people sending me birthday wishes on Facebook and private messages.

Last week BBC Vietnamese asked me to write an article about my trip to the South Pole. I have been very busy at work as we were about to ship a new product, so I procrastinated the writing. Actually, it was more like I wrote it slowly. Not only because I didn't have much time, but also the writing was in Vietnamese. As I mentioned in some post before, I could write in Vietnamese pretty well, but it's not what I do often, and a lot of vocabulary and the writing style I have lost over the years.

So the process of writing was very slow. I had to use an online dictionary to get the exact meaning of some English words . And in a few cases, I almost gave up as I couldn't find the equivalent terms, for example, the word expose as in "expose my skin to the cold". You would think all languages should have that, right? Yes, but depends on how you use it too, at least in Vietnamese. I couldn't choose the right word for it because it would sound strange in Vietnamese, something to the extend of "display", "show" or even "strip off" which may have some negative connotation in Vietnamese, while what I was looking for was contact or tiếp xúc in Vietnamese.

Anyway, I sent them the article last night. And by this afternoon, some Vietnamese people at work forwarded me the article on BBC Vietnamese. I was surprised they would publish it so quickly. It was a sweet surprise though. I'm sure they did not know it was my birthday and I did not expect any gift. It was unexpected for both sides. And a nice one too!

Thanks for the gift and birthday wishes, everyone.

Click here for the article (if you read Vietnamese).

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