Ineffable Sensation of Insecurity

Just stepped down from the stage after giving some Powerpoint Presentations and a live demonstration of 3D ultrasound here in Hanoi.

Unfortunately the baby in the last lady was lying in a totally inaccessible position and there was nothing I could do to get a pretty picture, not even anything interesting like this one of a hand resting on the fetus's knees I took a few weeks ago on a gravid friend...

(Ana Alicia was born on Monday - mom, dad and bubs doing fine!)

The mother today was a little concerned that maybe the reason for me not being able to show her pictures like this was because there was something wrong with her baby... She didn't seem 100% convinced that I was being truthful with her. It sort of left a bad taste in my mouth and made me few feel somewhat low, even thought otherwise the launch was a great success. Not quite on the scale as other great successes here in Vietnam, like whipping the arse of the entire USA armed forces over a 10 year period, but still good... It guess 150 doctors or so went home at least having seen our product and having had their fill of strong coffee and large twinkie-like cakes - I kid you not!

My product presentations went well I guess - about the 15th time I have given them. In the tricky parts, when not showing pretty ooh-ah pictures like the one above, I attempted to explain intricacies of piezoelectric and sound physics in layman's terms: an English speaking layman that is. I'm assuming that these terms can be translated into a Vietnamese layman's terms with equal effect! Even though I am lecturing to Medical Practitioners, supposedly smart people you'd think, I have to dumb it down compared to lecturing to say, Australian sonographers. A good one-third of the audience were still awake by the end of the first talk. I take that as something of a personal victory.

I did my gruff yet affable persona, sounded confident (half the battle won) and got lots of congratulations from the Japanese representatives and enthusiastic handshakes from the local Professors who wanted a copy of my slides to filch for their own talks of course.

But somehow I got the feeling that because of the poor images from the last lady, they were just mouthing positive comments while secretly feeling disappointed or betrayed. Doing the "positive reinforcement of mediocrity" (Pete's expression) thing.

That I had stuffed up in some elemental way which they weren't prepared to reveal for reasons unfathomable... A basic law I had got wrong... Something embarrassing or stupid they aren't going to tell me about. Maybe my fly is undone -- nope. Maybe the collar of shirt has curled up -- yep it has but I don't really think that's the issue. Was there some salient point I have failed to emphasize with the approved marketing spin? Some key technology I have missed the point on, costing them hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost sales, all because I slurred through a key issue? The Japanese huddle, talking Japanese to each other. The Vietnamese huddle, talking Vietnamese.

Maybe it's something to do with my future employability, seeing as how my contract negotiations ARE coming up... I sit apart and start typing this.

Of course all this ridiculous because none of the guests actually speak English - what I actually said was irrelevant - my talk was being translated slide by slide as I gave it by a Dr Hoia (pronounced H'Way) who seemed to be doing it OK. I have the feeling that she was just reading the text on each slide, despite my attempts to articulate and explain. If she stuffed up, how could I tell? How could the Japanese who don't speak Vietnamese either?

But still, just this odd feeling I have, like the pregnant lady had with me, that somehow something is not being said.

And like her, I am probably imagining it.



Posted by: expat@large on Feb 23, 06 | 12:31 am | Profile


hey man, im sure u did very well in vietnam on ur presentation. it would help if the little critter in the MOM would have co operated though! LOL
i am going to vietnam for the first time in march with a group of 10 of my salsa class. where do u recomend 3 star hotel and at least one cool place to take them for drinks??? dinner and drinks?? thanks for your help, i enjoy ur blog....btw, i saw u at Bali Bar one time but didn't want to bother you.....cheers, david martinez/usa/singapore

Posted by: david martinez on Feb 23, 06 | 9:54 am

Bali Bar? Must have been pissed, don't even know where it is...

As for the U/S, there need to be a button on the machine that turns the baby over - I've always said...

Can't really recommend where to go as I don't know where I've been - the local people are taking us everywhere.

Only ever stayed a the Hilton previously, in the old part of town.

Very interesting (legit, again) massage place last night though: herbal sauna, herbal bath in an oaken barrel(!), then a herbal jacuzzi bath, followed by a VERY vigorous acupressure/shitzu/bash-you-up massage. The masseuse was laughing all the time as I grunted, cried, pleaded and screamed in agony... Will try and get the name of the place for you. An experience to say the least. Very cheap, towels are a bit dodgy on the cleanliness aspect, but otherwise the best in Hanoi the locals say.

Posted by: expat@large on Feb 23, 06 | 4:32 pm


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