I thought my last trip to HCM City in April 2007 would be the finale, so I was relaxed and enjoyed my luxury Japanese lunch box in the Vietnam project meeting that was held 2 weeks ago. Before I could swallow a mouth full of tempura and express myself, my boss had announced that I would be going to inspect the preparation of clinical specimens and ship them back in mid-June. The news spread and I was assigned to multiple tasks including property inspector, technical specialist and a postman.
Currently, two Vietnamese are taking technical training courses in Taiwan. I wrote an email telling them my schedule in HCM City and asked if there were something they would like me to bring back to Vietnam. The next day, I got an email from a doctor who is going back to Vietnam in 2 weeks asking me to bring a rice cooker that he brought with him one and a half months ago back to his mother. An emergency document, of course; a small gift to a loved one, maybe; a rice cooker that takes half the room of a suitcase? That was something I didn't expect. I couldn't figure out how would someone ask me to bring a rice cooker to Vietnam on a business trip especially that someone is going back in 2 weeks.
On my way back to Taiwan, my suitcase was filled with sweaters, cosmetics, mosquito incense, gifts for professors in Taiwan etc., and I didn't even have room for clinical documents that concerned the project. Among all items in my suitcase, the sweaters puzzled me the most-- the last technician leaves in Sept. and it's still hot like hell in Taiwan.