When K.D. asked me to write a column for this website a little while ago, she had suggested a variety of topics to write about, from “What I find sexy in Viet girls” to “Men who cry.” You know, the kind of topics that someone like me, a second generation Viet guy, could have an intimate heart-to-heart with you curious guys and gals. With that in mind, I thought I’d start out with something different, a topic that no one had written about (that I know of), something that I have personally experienced, before I start dwelling about what’s so hot about Viet chicks and why dudes cry.
We’ve all been there, sitting in our living room, fantasizing about one or more of the beautiful singers from the latest Thuy Nga, Asia, or Van Son programs that you hopefully bought for full price; or for the sinister crowd, the bootlegged $2 VCD version that you “borrowed” from your best friend’s mama’s house while no one was looking. You had passion in mind. You thought about looking into her lusty eyes and telling her how beautiful she is and how her songs carried you through the day (or something corny that you lifted straight out of Winter Sonata or another Korean soap). Of course, some of you even dared to think naughtier thoughts along the lines of a hard R-rated flick or even an occasional NC-17 moment.
Nonetheless, most of us are content to leave those fantasies just as they are, purely unadulterated flights of the imagination that we have no intention of ever carrying out (besides the occasional “I love you” screams to her from the back row section of whichever club she was performing at). Then there are those that laid out a strategic plan, a carefully thought out step-by-step plan that would impress those MBA professors from your favorite online B-school. What follows is my story.
Perhaps it was fate that brought me to Emerald Club that night just two years ago (club name changed for obvious litigious reasons). It was a fashion show of some sort and she was a surprise guest singer from Viet Nam who was touring the States to promote her latest CD. I had no idea that she’d be there, or even knew who she was for that matter. She was beautiful, young, and has a raspy voice to match her sultry looks. Having scored a free VIP seat front stage, I quickly pulled out my smart phone and started to record her performance as soon she showed up on stage. She sang a few songs from her new CD and then some “before ‘75” classics for the old geezers. She looked like she could have been a classic Jazz singer in the 1920s and she had a commanding stage presence like no others that I have seen. In fact, looking back, I would venture to say that I was somewhat “thôi miên” by her that night.
During break, I hurried to get in line to buy her CDs and also to have a souvenir picture taken with her (again with my smart phone). She was even hotter up close and she offered me a free poster to go with her two CDs that she was selling for $20 a pop. Unfortunately, due to the long line of admirers the extent of our conversation was “Anh tên gì?” only so she could autograph the poster for me. Nevertheless, she had me at “Anh…”
That night, I did my proper due diligence on her. I went online and searched for all things related to my new idol and found her website after googling her name in conjunction with “official website.” I later found out that her website is run by her fans, which consists mostly of young Viet girls who all had a crush on her (yep, you got it….girl-on-girl crush). They all address her as “sis” and they professed their love for her on her site almost every hour of the day. I discovered then that some of those girls do get to hang out with her on a regular basis. You would not believe the innuendos that those seemingly innocent young girls blog about. There was a time when she took a group of her fans to an ice cream parlor and later on, the girls that did not get to go were commenting about how wonderful it would have been if they could have eaten her ice cream with the rest of the girls…Yikes! Talk about visual!
With the ice cream story still fresh in my mind, my plan went into action. I started to befriend her fans with occasional comments about how gorgeous the singer was and that I could not get enough of her music. “Iu sis wa” became a regular theme in my blog postings. I was singing their song, so does speak. To climb up the fan hierarchy, I started to post some exclusive shots of hers that that club had posted to show that I was a good contributing citizen of their web community. I might have even written a few love poems during moments of weakness. I was blending in, and they were welcoming me with open arms.
All of this effort did not go unnoticed, because within days, I received what I was looking for, a private message from one of the fan club organizers, asking me if I wanted to meet the singer. This gal named N. knew quite a bit about the singer and claimed that she and the singer are close friends. I suspected that I had struck gold but stayed cool and took my time to get to know N. a little better, given the cruel uncertainty of the web community. N. confided in me that the singer had noticed my postings and they had talked about me! This was too easy, I thought. It could easily have been a cruel hoax that those young girls had concocted at one of their all-girl pajama parties (ok, that was my imagination at work). So I asked if I could possibly talk to the singer one of these days. To my surprise, N. said no problem, and that she’ll set it up once the singer comes back to VN. Smooth sailing, no red flags so far.
To impress N. and of course, my new idol, I offered to treat the fan club to a night of karaoke and dinner at their upcoming fan club gathering. They quickly accepted my offer. It was a good investment, as it turned out. One fine day, I got a ring from N. asking me to call her the next morning (night in Vietnam) so that I could talk to the singer. N.explained that she’d be visiting the singer at her home that night and that she has decided that it was time for me to talk to my idol. I was ecstatic and started jotting down some notes about what I would say to her. At around 10 am the next day, I nervously placed the call and got through to N., she said that she was at the singer’s home but our beloved singer was taking a shower so I would have to call back half an hour later. As N. instructed, I called back exactly 30 minutes afterward and someone else picked up the phone, this time, it was the singer herself.
She told me in some of our early conversations that she had been reading my blog comments and she had thought that it was sweet of me to treat her fans to dinner. She also said that she read my poems and although they did not rhyme, she still liked them.
She was now singing my song. My plan was on track, I had achieved my short-term objective of talking to her. Things were looking up. We quickly became friends through our daily phone calls and emails. It wasn’t long before I eventually asked her out on a date, to complete the implementation stage of my plan.
We finally met when she came to the States for a summer tour a few weeks later. We spent a lot of time together during the two months that she was here and we fell in love. I met her family via her daily webcam chat with her parents and they liked me, and I liked them. I began to accompany her to shows all over the States. She was a great performer and she knew how to work the crowd into a frenzy every time she took the stage. I was proud to be seen with her backstage and words quickly spread among other singers that I was now her new boyfriend.
However, there are rules that you have to abide by when you get to this stage of the plan. First and foremost, as her boyfriend, when I’m around other stars, under no circumstances should I act star-struck. That meant no asking for autographs from Chú Ngạn or Kỳ Duyên, and never ask for another singer’s phone number (well, in front of her that is). As a rule, singers do not give out their phone numbers to people outside of their inner circles. But once you’re in (as I was), you can basically get any star’s number.
Surprisingly, she was okay with me taking souvenir pictures with some of the other stars as long as she was in those pictures. Another strict rule that she had that seemed to be universal among other singers as well is that there is no kissing when she’s all made up to go on stage. At that point, gentlemen’s clubs’ rules apply, stare all you want, but no touching is allowed. I also learned that holding her hand around other stars is only ok when she feels like it but holding her Louis Vuitton purse is mandatory, especially when we are backstage.
We continued seeing each other for about four more months after her tour ended. As promised, I went back to VN for a 2-week trip to visit her and to meet her family in person. However, the long distance relationship was too difficult for us to endure as we both wanted our loved ones to be close by. At the time, she wasn’t ready to move to the States and I was not enthused about the prospect of finding a job in my field in Vietnam so that I can live and work there. Thus, we decided to part as friends and to this day, we still call to wish each other well wishes during each other’s birthdays and during the holidays.
In all, I was glad to have known her and be a small part of her life. Through her, I’ve also met and became friends with some wonderful people in the Viet entertainment business. I found out that they are not much different than us; they live in regular homes and they buy groceries and cook meals just like we do. There is one exception however, in cult-like devotion, they all have secretly pledged allegiance to the latest L.V. purses and ultra expensive designer sunglasses from Italy.
Duy Hân works as a senior analyst in the advertising department of a large financial organization. He is a graduate of the University of Maryland and is finishing up his MBA this June. He lives in the Washington DC area and has a beagle named Alaska that likes to take long walks on the beach. He can be reached at AskDuyHan@gmail.com
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