Vietnam Visa Service Rating — 3 out of 10

Some people might be against this blog, but my goal is to support as many people as I possibly can throughout my travels. This was the first time I applied for this particular visa because I had to enter through Da Lat Airport (other services emphasized that they wouldn’t be able to get me a “letter” to Da Lat)….so I was a bit hesitant.

I talked to the person through email and chat — both of whom who very unhelpful. It was almost as if they were disinterested, but I really didn’t want my money to go to waste, either. I went on the purchase a one-month single entry (American passport) and an Airport Fast-Track (normal)…..if you guys are unaware, lines at the airport could be ridiculously long sometimes, especially in Egypt.

I emailed them COUNTLESS TIMES (support), along with chatting with a man named David (last chat was about asking for my approved visa and he NEVER RESPONDED just seconds after a previous message was sent)….and they never confirmed my landing at the airport and the fast-track.

I have numerous friends in HCMC and they called them….only to be shoulder-shrugged away. I had their Whatsapp….messaging them on a number of occasions and they never responded.

PISS-POOR SERVICE

Living here in Thailand has made me very intolerant of garbage service. That’s one things I just don’t tolerate…and this company provided that. I wanted to make haste going through the airport (which wasn’t needed), but from the failed telephone call service, to the other things I encountered with the terrible chat and late emails, never use this service!

Don’t Use This Website

Use This one Instead!

What’s your Inspiration?

First time I came to Thailand, I was put in such a crazy, uncomfortable position. Seeing green rivers covered in days/weeks/months old trash, the way people were looking at me (which ended up being a huge foreshadow of things to come); nevertheless, I saw the ultra-gorgeous, lush green vegetation towering over turquoise waters down below.

Was this inspiration? Not necessarily, but this was the beginning of my journey.

Vietnam – 2016

After visiting the Remnants War Museum in HCMC, I saw the absolutely destruction of what the United States Military did to Vietnamese people, also known as “communists.” I stood next to a Chinook (ironically named after a tribe of Native American Indians — a group which that was wiped out by the colonizers), and then switched to a heavy-artillery propeller. A plaque read, “this machine causes mass damage and casualties in Vietnam.” I then glanced up and said, “you’ve killed so many people.”

I took a step back, clicked on the photos app in my phone and deleted all the militaristic garbage from my phone. When I went inside and went up 5 floors of anguish and hell, it caused so much grief. I saw my friend tearing up, who was Vietnamese, and all my life I’ve been told to respect a military.

Not anymore.

I was going to @ Borack Obama and all United States military channels and berate them words of hell. Never again have I saluted, represented or mention the military anymore and I never will again.

Innocent people in Laos are still dying today because the bombs that were dropped 45 years ago.

Americans would say, “look at the brightside,” I would say, “well, with how pooly you treated blacks, and with the Native American genocide, you’re now depicting us as the monsters….but in fact, no one knows about what you’ve done.”

I didn’t make it a mission to expose anglo-America/Europe for their genocides that wreaked havoc around the world, but I did want to give back. Seeing the children, the photos of my friend teaching at poor schools in the war-torn, ravaged middle of Vietnam…..I found my inspiration.

No one deserved to have anyone come in their house and kill them, but in saying all of that, Vietnamese people of BOTH SIDES came together after the war and has coexisted to this day. What I saw was an inspiration for me to give back — to come back to Vietnam, and to help people who desperately need help.

Laos – 2018

I was approached by an amazing manager of a hotel who had sent me a number of whatsapp messages, wanting to know about my arrival. I arranged a taxi and a few other services with the hotel. It delivered (although loud from music), but the hospitality was amazing compared to other places. The manager of the hotel invited me for drinks at night and took me to a wonderful noodle shop before my flight.

He invited me to come back and to volunteer at a poor school about 1.5 hours outside of the main city.

This was my dream. This brings more happiness then making 5k-10k per month. This is true fulfillment.

Finding my inspiration. It dealt with a lot. Seeing poverty, seeing death, but also seeing my soul open up to the masses out there. People need my voice, and that’s why I created it.

Ramble of Positivity: 5th Anniversary In Thailand

It’s been an unbelievable 5 years.  Wow, how can I even put it into context. I will try highlighting this through pictures.

First Three Years

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You understand where my focus was, right? 2013-2015 were the rough years with lots of racial influences, advertisements, and me focusing on “what I didn’t want.” I had a woman from Thai Airways threaten my life, stating that she would get dangerous people to kick my face in.  I got the “ewww black man! Low-class! Pimp!” comments from lots of women.  I was denied jobs for being black.  My language center (New Education World if you must know the name) denied me dozens of jobs stating, “ohhh, they want a white teacher.”  All of these culminated for three years (and even well into this year after cutting off the unknowledgeable job)…..until the beginning of 2016.

Then this happened…..

Last Two Years

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And just like that, within two years time, I was able to overcome all of the ignorance — ignorance that I saturated myself in.  Let’s look back at the years that transformed me into the influential figure I am.  It’s time for the ramble!

My first photo, which was taken at a night safari deep in some forest in Bali, is possibly the best trip I’ve ever had in my life.  Bali, an alluring island that’s tucked away in the bottom of Indonesia, was one of those chips that changed me as a human being.  It should’ve been the trip that made me quit my current job, but it never crossed my mind.  This island is inhabited with white sandy beaches, quiet beachside fronts, jungles, monkeys, and a rich history.  The indigenous people there are full of smiles, big round eyes, and possess such a wonderful heart.

The second Spartan Race, which took place in Chon Buri, Thailand, was a memorable WALK.  I’m kidding.  However, I’m not kidding about it just being a long walk.  Regardless of laziness and the willingness to push yourself, this was one of my favorite runs because the amount of smiles and people pushing each other.

Maldives.  I’m laughing while writing this because this was a country that featured no currency.  That’s right.  I went there with Thai currency, only to be turned away and had no means of getting any currency while I was there.  Until I was met with the most incredible gesture anyone has ever given me.  This trip, which could’ve been a hell of a lot better, taught me a lot about myself in general.

Ho Chi Mihn City – the city of beautiful souls.  Well, not all.  I got cussed out roadside by a Vietnamese boy who was soliciting me for services *curling eyes*.  Going inside the remnants war museum and seeing the pure destruction the USA Army unleashed upon all Vietnamese crippled me inside.  Not only that, but it made me realize how strong-willed the Vietnamese are.

First Spartan Race in Malaysia (and the one just two weeks ago) were FUN! Wait, I’ll take that back. The first Spartan race SUCKED.  Ok, yes….it was near public transportation (versus the last one that was in the middle of a damn jungle), but there weren’t comedians or anyone cheering each other on – on the course.  Get what I’m saying? But a Sprint and Super have been achieved.  It’s time for the BEAST!

Moving into my new condo and leaving a place that was killing my insides…was a monumental feature.  I believe I brought all the pain from the beginning of the years to my last job and it held me down.  I took the leap of faith, left, and I could finally breathe again.

Anyways, enough of that.  How about checking some things off my list! Sheraton Hotel, which is a five-star hotel in KL, was put on my 101 goals list in 2015 — ACHIEVED! It wasn’t the only one to join the “checking” list with several others being highlighted.

And last but not least, the trip back to Arizona — a place I haven’t been in years.  I competed in a Tough Mudder after fighting off food poisoning (courtesy of Singapore Airlines – Thank You!).

All in all, when I was looking in my camera roll on my iPhone, I began to tear up.  How was I able to overcome all of it?

Personal development, of course.  5 years in Thailand and I still go through the craziness of it all.  So, I want to just say THANK YOU to no only my loyal followers and supporters, but the fact that I never gave up.

What Would I Tell To My 19-Year-Old-Self? What Do You Really Want.

In the picture was Thanksgiving holidays in 2007.  Yes, I was 19-years-old, taking classes at college and not having a goal in mind whatsoever.  I did make up my mind in terms of Dental Hygiene (which later failed), but what did I truly want?

It’s hard to say going back, but if I had been able to travel for a year, I would’ve gotten a really firm grasp on life at a very early age.  I love going back to my student — Kim Kim — who knows just as much as me at the age of 16.  I didn’t have this at that age.  I was taking Algebra II and worried about a girl name Maria Ventura cheating on me in 10th grade of high school.

The insights and everything I have now in terms of schooling, international schools focusing on the core genius of their students, Finland completely dropping all subjects (just as NIST does here in Bangkok), and so many other things could’ve helped me in terms of making a decision.

If I can tell my young self something, it would be, “get off the god damn games.  You’re living in the age where people are soon to become billionaires and you’re letting it go right past you.”

Myspace in 2004 — Tom took that 41 million + and that was it.  Mark of Facebook stole and idea and now he’s one of the richest men on the planet (that was between 2004-2006).  The internet was not in the embryonic state, but it was already a kindergartner.  The Twitter, Instagram, Uber, Snapchat and dozens of other apps changed the world right around when I was in my dormitory playing God of War.

Those times I complaining about my ex-girlfriend leaving me in the beginning of 2009, there were NO VIDEOS on YouTube in terms of how to deal with breakups.  I didn’t know the Napoleon Hills, Dale Carnegies, Gary Vees of the world.  I had blinders on with my hands out, searching for something that didn’t exist.

Now I’m telling myself that I have no regrets.

But what if?

Podcast

TOEIC Grammar: Double Comparatives & Order of Adverbs

Double comparatives

  • Our nation gets fatter and fatter every year.
  • more and more + adjective :
    The problem is getting more and more difficult to solve.To say that something is increasing all the time.

    We can use comparatives with the definite article the

    The more you say, the worse the situation will be. The more, the merrier.

    To say that two changes happen together.

    Order of Adverbs

    Adverbs that go in mid-position express:

    • frequency: never, rarely, always …
    • certainty: probably, certainly, obviously …
    • degree: nearly, almost, quite …The word order for adverbs in mid-position is as follows:

Tense

Subject

Auxiliary verb

Adverb

Main Verb

Complement

To be in simple tense

I

am

usually

right

Perfect tenses

He

has

already

seen

this film

Modal auxiliary verb

We

can

sometimes

play

tennis

Simple tenses

She

hardly

cooks

dinner

Passive with two auxiliary verbs

He

has

never

been remembered

for his novels

Only and even go just before the words they emphasize. It will only take (only) five minutes.

  • They have even forgotten (even) his name.

Sometimes / sometime / some time

Sometimes: means occasionally

Sometime: means at one moment in the future (it can also mean “one day”)

Let’s have dinner sometime next week.

Some time: means a period of time

She’s lived in Italy for some time, so she speaks Italian quite well.

YouTube

Building Stronger Job Esteem

There’s nothing like getting the “thank you for applying” email, right?

Heck, just recently I went into a second-stage of an interview, only for them to tell me, “oh, well we think there are more qualified teachers.”  Ha! The qualified teachers who just open a book and teach number by number, right?

I began putting some figures together and things just weren’t adding up to be honest.  Honduras was offering 400$ USD a month – mind boggling.  Costa Rica, and it’s big companies, was offering just over $1K.  The job that denied me, located in Providencia, Chile, was offering just over 1k, too.

Well, after long though, why would I take gigantic steps back, right? I mean my first job (and I say this out of all honesty) was a measly $600 dollars a month: “sorry, we can’t give you the same price as the white teachers because they’re white and you’re black,” I was told.

Second job was an 80% increase.  However, I started making waves at my present job about two years ago, propelling myself to the $3k on pure hustle.  Since then there has been a change of management, and of course, lots of jealousy.  Lots of finger-pointing and “don’t give Arsenio work because he talked about why I came here to buy a wife” angry-at-my-dad syndrome.  LOL! Good times.

See, you never want to fall or take a gigantic step back.  Take your monthly average, for instance, and make that your starting mark.

I applied for an online teaching job, which will ultimately fall into my laps, recently.  What I like is I can make 2.5k easy and teaching at my own pace and rate.  Not only that, but breaking into the Chinese market is HUGE at this point.  I’ve been preaching about the emergence of online teaching and how China will ultimately burn out all language centers around the world because of face-to-face English conversation.  Well, I have an interview, which I should’ve had with another company about two years ago, coming up in a few days.  Once I land this, I’ll be able to teach from home, make a consistent wage, and push all my projects and MSI’s (multiple sources of income).  However, I don’t have a place I can call home…..which is being sorted out now.

Nonetheless, if you look at denial and failure by face-value, you will always give-up pretty quickly.  I just told you guys about the dream job – pulled disappearing act – that bailed.  Then, Providencia, which is located on the other side of the planet, later followed suit.  Are these blessings in disguise? ABSOLUTELY! How about you just have your own projects, Arsenio (what I ask myself)?

If you find yourself feeling like a failure such as what happened to me just a couple days ago, and in the last few months, create a list of “bragging rights.”  Create a list of all your accomplishments, contributions, and three key stories about times when you overcame an obstacle in the past.

By recognising your strengths and ability to succeed in the face of challenge, you can totally shift that bummed out state-of-mind that you’re in.

Podcast

TOEIC Grammar – Comparatives & Superlatives

 Comparatives and Superlatives

Adjective

Comparative

Superlative

one-syllable

hard

-er harder

-est hardest

two-syllable ending in –y early

-er earlier

-est earliest

other two-syllable and long tiring

intelligent

more more tiring

more intelligent

most most tiring

most intelligent

some two-syllable quiet

clever simple

more or –er more quiet

cleverer simpler

most or –est quietest

most clever most simple

Some adjectives have irregular comparatives and superlatives as shown in the following table:

Example: The situation should get better soon. How much further is it?

The new model uses less gas.

+) A lot, much … with comparatives

Before the comparatives of adjectives you can use:
much, a lot, a little, a bit, far, any, no, rather, slightly, and significantly

  • If we leave any later than 5.00, we’ll get caught in rush hour.
  • This task is much more complicated than that one.

 As … as

We use as … as … to say that people or things are equal in some way. Note:

  • as much … as …, as many … as …
    I didn’t get as much money as I hoped.
  • twice/ three times … as … as …
    A US worker is 10 times as expensive as a worker in Mexico.
  • the same … as …
    My hair is the same colour as yours.

Adjective

Comparative

Superlative

good

better

best

bad

worse

worst

far

farther/further

farthest/furthest

little

less

least

much

more

most

TOEIC QUESTION

  1. A customer requesting a refund must be prepared to wait __________ 4-6 weeks for the request to be processed.

a. rough

b. rougly

c. rougher

d. roughest

 

YouTube

 

Darren Hardy: Don’t Drink Dirty Water

I worked for a dental office on a temp contract 6 years ago in Coburn (town north of North Sydney, if I’m not mistaken), and this man (the dentist) would look at me crazy and say, “did you drink your water? Arsenio, you must drink your water. The average being needs to consume X AMOUNT everyday.  If you don’t, your body can’t function.”

You get in life what you create. – Darren Hardy

Whatever you’re allowing yourself to hear and see is what you’re creating.  For the people out there who are literal thinkers, they’ll continue recreating the same life every day, week, month, year, and life.  The best part of this is once you realize that you are the creator – it’s life transforming.

Look at your life like a glass.  Your glass if filled with whatever you put it in.  For instance, I had a very uneventful weekend featuring disorganization and people who wanted to see me fail – but I didn’t fail.  Am I going to go home knocking what happened? Absolutely not.  Everything that happened – happened the exact way it was suppose to.

Media Diet

From the tabloids screaming at you in the stores, to CNN being on in the airport and even at the gyms – there’s no running from it.  However, you can cancel the subscriptions and stay away from the news all together.

Just this morning I was running on the treadmill and there were the older folks, walking and staring at the T.V. – all while watching a building burn.  Shortly after that segment, there was a homicide (of some sort) showing the dead body.  I didn’t necessarily see anything, but it didn’t phase me whatsoever because I had a motivational talk in my ear and cardio to do.

What is it with people who just find the need to slow down in traffic, too.  I’m talking about those who slow down to look at the carnage on the road.  Here in Thailand….they take photos.  That’s right.  The literally take photos of all the body parts – which ended up being splattered all over the place so they can gain social media likes.

This is why I go on a Newsfeed purge.  My friend, who I had dinner with last night, was completely against my purge.  She said, “how do you know how your friends are doing?”  I retorted, “they can tell me if it’s great news!”  I stopped following virtually all my Asian friends, especially after seeing one of my Vietnamese friends sharing a video involving a deceased young boy in an ice-chest.

The empathy; the heart; the sympathy and compassion of people, especially in Asia, has gone out the window.  Am I saying everyone? No….but my goal is to see inspirational messages and people doing great things.  My goal is to comment on photos that draw a lot of good attention.

There needs to be a “positive news” channel.  A news channel that just shows how you can overcome the senseless bigotry that’s peddled all over the news.  I can preach right now that there’s so much more good happening in the world than bad.  It’s just an issue because the news outlets broadcast things that can sell.  Good news doesn’t sell.  People don’t want to be happy.  People want to bitch.  You know this – and I know this.

Create A Personal Junk Filter

The majority of news doesn’t have a bearing on your goals, dreams or aspirations anyway.  Can you stop what’s happening in Myanmar? In the Middle East? I remember Joe Vitale saying on ‘the secret’: “maybe you have to be informed, but you don’t have to be inundated.”

Bottomline, things are happening all around the world that we have no control over.  Just like Tim Ferris’ Low Information Diet, Darren Hardy has the same thing, too.

I don’t want to pour mud into a clean glass of water.

Enroll In Drive-Time U

In the morning when I get out of bed, I have a podcast app on my phone ready to go.  Gary Vee locked in.  Also, Hodgetwins….the meaning to laugh, regardless of how ridiculous it is, is essential.  So, I’m standing on the platform in tears of laughter before heading into the train.  When I get inside, that’s when I get to work for the next 35 minutes.  I’m posting things on Instagram, Weibo, Twitter, FB, sharing things, writing things on my notepad.

Some people are probably driving.  Ok, if you drive to work, set yourself up a nice audio the night before.  I would seriously recommend Lisa Nichols, Gary Vee, Les Brown, Tony Robbins, Impact Theory (I love Wyclef Jean’s Story), and so many other videos.  Seriously…drill your mind relentlessly and you’ll be amazed how fast your paradigm shifts.

Podcast

TOEIC – Reading Section: Introduction, Tips, & A Passage

I decided to do the reading section of TOEIC because I simply haven’t done a video or blog on it yet.  I’m excited about doing this because Native English Speakers can use these techniques for SAT (maybe). TOEFL is a difficult test, but it’s also something you can use with it.  Stay tuned for that, but I haven’t had any students approach me in regards to TOEFL yet.

So, let’s dive into it.

Different Types of Questions

  1. Specific Information (positive)
  2. Vocabulary Questions
  3. Main Idea & inference Questions
  4. Specific Information Questions

Specific Information questions are the easiest and quickest to find.  I love to tell my students to look at the questions that have numbers.  These are the easiest.  Questions that say “what is the purpose of this memo” (ex. number 3 – main idea and inference questions) should always come last.

If you look at number two, which is vocabulary questions, you can see that this is probably the second easiest.

The toss up for last will be between question types 3 and 4.

Questions

  1. For whom is this letter intended?

A) Alberto Romero

B) Benjamin Weintraub

C) John Teirney

D) Alex Andreas?

      2. What kind of job does the applicant want?

A) Human resources

B) Advertising

C) Marketing

D) Sales

      3. Where did Mr. Romero Want To Work?

A) In Britain

B) In North America

C) In Eastern Europe

D) In Asia

 

Passage

Alberto Romero

1711 Taylor Avenue

North Las Vegas

NV 89030

USA

Dear. Mr. Romero,

This letter is to thank you for your application to join out international sales team.  Unfortunately, we must inform you that due to the large number of highly-qualified applicants that applied for the position of Eastern European sales representative, we have already filled all the positions that were advertised in the May issue of the Human Resources Bulletin

As you know, administrative and marketing positions in our European and Asia-Pacific offices regularly become available during the year and we would welcome your application for future international postings.

Yours Truly

Frederick Andreas

 

YouTube Video

TOEIC Grammar: Countable & Uncountable Nouns + Articles. Podcast & YouTube Video Included

Unit 2: Countable/Uncountable Nouns + Articles

When a countable noun is singular, it is used with an indefinite article a/an; when a countable noun is plural, it ends in –(e)s.

Example: To request extra credit card for other members of your household, call our automated service line. (not correct)

A countable noun must be used with an indefinite article a/an in the singular form; otherwise it should end in –(e)s in the plural form. (card/cards)

The electronics company has recruited staff from several of its competitor. (not correct)

A plural noun must be used after such determiners as several, some, many, etc. (competitor competitors)

B. Uncountable nouns

Uncountable nouns refer to substances, concepts etc that we cannot divide into separate elements. An indefinite article a/an cannot be used with an uncountable noun. Besides, an uncountable noun in the subject position must be used with a singular verb.

Uncountable nouns are singular in form.

Example: The equipment you ordered are scheduled to be delivered on August 26. (not correct)

Because equipment is uncountable, it is singular and is used with a singular verb. (are – is)

Uncountable nouns cannot be used with an indefinite article a/an.

Example: They helped needy people by the provision of a clothing, food, and shelter. (not correct)

Uncountable nouns cannot be used with an indefinite article a/an. (a clothing)

Uncountable nouns that frequently occur in the TOEIC test

advertising, equipment, information, pollution, traffic, advice

furniture, machinery, recreation, luggage/baggage

clothing, knowledge, homework, merchandise, money, stationery, scenery, fun, employment, leisure.

 

Podcast Link – learners in Mainland China.

https://www.spreaker.com/e/QbaQEXYMZkN

 

Youtube Video – Rest of The World