Sunday, March 29, 2009

Sightseeing in Ho Chi Minh City

Had some spare time after my workshop was over on Friday and spent a really interesting day sightseeing in Ho Chi Minh City. The most interesting place to visit was the Vietnam War Museum, which explained in graphic detail the story of the War from the Vietnamese perspective. Lots of military hardware and harrowing photos were on display. It all felt very vivid. Not America’s finest hour.

Apart from that, it was a case of wandering around the hot and humid streets and getting a feel for the place. It’s not particularly vibrant, but compared to other Asian cities I’ve visited It’s very friendly and relaxed. What’s distinctive is the number of motorcycles and the constant noise of revving engines. You soon get used to zig-zagging through the traffic when you cross the road.

Would like to see more of Vietnam. A few pics below.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

In Vietnam

Just flew into Ho Chi Min City today (formerly Siagon) where I'll be working for the next few days. Am staying in a lovely hotel - the Caravelle in the city centre. Changed at Doha in Qatar - never been before, which was surrounded by desert. Saw Quantum of Solace on the in - flight entertainment, which I rather enjoyed.

Not slept much so need to get some kip. Nice views from my bedroom window.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Pester Power

You read a lot about pester power when you're doing consumer research ie the power of children in influencing purchase decisions. It happens most commonly in supermarkets, where children ask for stuff they like or simply drop things in the trolley without you noticing.

However, at the moment all conversations with my 11 year old daughter revolve around her wanting a mobile phone. I see this as a completely irrational request - who would she phone? Hardly any of her friends have one and she never goes anywhere on her own. However, she constantly points out the 3 or 4 friends who do have phones as evidence that I'm being unfair.

It goes beyond conversations. I get print outs of competing phones left by my bed from websites. I get pages torn out of newspapers. She even asks me how my work is going as she knows I happen to working with a mobile phone operator at the moment.

When she goes to senior school in September and she has to walk to school on her own, then I can see the argument for a mobile phone. Before then, its just simply a desire to impress her friends.

Being a marketing consultant I can hardly complain about pester power...but it is annoying and I guess is how our economy works. The desire to impress others - as well as satisfy your own personal craving - lasts a lifetime.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Red Nose Day
Red Nose Day was a big deal in our household, with the kids dressing up for school and the teachers doing lots of funny stuff at.
Yesterday I went to Dublin. The Aerlingus flight back to London was due to take off at 530pm but was delayed by an hour. On the front row I saw Ronan Keating. (It was definitely him - I overheard an air hostess)
By the time I got home I saw him live on telly doing the Red Nose show. How did he do that?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Life Drawing Class

On Sunday I went to my first ever Life Drawing class, run by a friend of mine Trevor Flynn who runs a company called Drawing at Work . Drawing, for many people – including myself - is a scary subject. It’s something we don’t do regularly and as a result we feel we can’t draw. I had no idea what to expect or what I would produce.

However, in the hands of a fabulous teacher like Trevor it becomes less scary and genuinely enjoyable. A lot of it is down to learning the ability to look, learning basic technique and lots and lots of practice. Staring at a naked body for several hours is not something I do very often.

Now, after one day I’m not going to pretend that I’ve got any real talent for drawing, but I do feel that I could improve and develop. However, as with most things in life there are no short cuts and to produce work of genuine merit is a lifetime’s journey.

If you’ve not done any drawing for a long time I can recommend you attend a drawing class – particularly one of Trevor’s.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Day Trip to Venice

This morning I caught the 650am flight to Venice and have spent all day at the airport in a meeting. Am about to fly home and have seen absolutely nothing. Next time maybe. Wasn't there a film about a bloke who lived in an airport?