Thursday, February 28, 2008

* Sharapova spoof story backfires

In the world of tennis Maria Sharapova is one of the biggest super stars going and the Russian bombshell had everyone in a tizzy after a satirical story written by a major Vietnamese daily paper got mistaken for a true story and was subsequently picked up by the international press. A Vietnam-based online English language paper first translated the spoof story that the Australian Open Champion, who really was in Vietnam a while back, saw a bunch of local residents chasing mosquitoes with those buzzing and crackling plastic rackets near Bang Ky bridge in the south and after a mistranslation by her translator she mistakenly believed them to be passionate tennis fans who just couldn’t afford tennis balls. You know because playing with invisible tennis balls is like so much fun! The story continued that Maria was so moved by this tragic scene that she wrote to the Vietnamese tennis federation proposing to open a centre where impoverished tennis players could always find a ball with her name on it. Beautiful story but it turns out that Tuoi Tre ran it as a spoof article and doesn’t everyone feel pretty silly now?

* Hamsters nothing but trouble

The Year of the Rat has led to massive new fad for teenagers in Vietnam and China – keeping a hamster as a pet. This furry little critter is cheap, easily fed and cared for – even a fickle teenager could manage the responsibility! But there are growing fears that this mass movement will lead to an agricultural disaster and health problems for you, me and everyone we know – yes, even your super healthy tennis playing friends who go to yoga and pilates classes and swim 5km before eating a breakfast of muesli and fresh fruit will be defenseless against the bugs that come out of these rampant hamsters. You see droves of these oh-so adorable rodents are being smuggled in from China without quarantine and well, who knows where they’ve been. So if you see or know anyone with a hamster, tell them to put the little fur ball on the first train to Lao Cai and then place it on the other side of the border. We can only hope that we manage to get through to the Year of the Buffalo alive and well but sure then all the kids will want a large heifer for a pet and we'll all be knee deep in cut chau but at least that’ll be the last we hear of the hamsters for another Lunar zodiac cycle.


elliott said...

the joke's on the press, i reckon, for not getting the joke in the first place.

Caitlin said...

An update on the hamster craze at

pittstop designer said...

The hamsters are the talk of the town!

Elliot-o : think the jokers are the english 'nam net. They still have articles from 2005 in the good Life section, including ones written by your good self!!!

elliott said...

meant the international press i did.

but on the local front, i love this description in the hamster article:

"Hoang Van Nam, deputy head of the department, said it was very likely rodents imported illegally into Vietnam would be culled."

culled? now there's a funny euphemism if i've ever heard one...