Thursday, February 25, 2010
Ban Lam Gi translates to, "You do what?". In Vietnam, this is the question people ask one another to find out what someone's job is. However, when I hear this sentence it always makes me think of those Holiday Inn commercials in which people can do feats that are usually out of their comfort/training zone because they've had a good night's sleep.
Often in Vietnam (and the rest of the world) I think that people have this -- what should I call it -- well-rested self brilliance. Recently during a rough couple of days with my stomach, I started taking a strong antibiotic to kill any bacteria. A Vietnamese guy I know wanted me to drink alcohol with him and I said, "I don't want to drink. I'm taking medicine." The guy then asked to see the medicine so I showed it to him. He looked it over and said, "This medicine will make you tired. You should take another one." I wanted to ask him, "Ban Lam Gi?" but I already knew the answer -- he's an accountant. Shortly after giving me this medical advice he once again tried to get me to drink with him. Some doctor.
In my head "Ban Lam Gi" can be expanded to other things besides jobs. For example, when a guy literally reeking of cigarettes, starts to explain to me how to be healthier, I want to ask "Ban Lam Gi?!".
I have no doubt that some people think I'm a know-it-all too sometimes. In fact, I often feel like a know-it-all; I think that comes naturally with writing a blog for so long. So for now on if you think I have no idea what I'm talking about, please leave a comment, "Ban Lam Gi?".