My family can be warped sometimes...

Yeap - I have another 3000 word assignment that's due tomorrow that I'm happy not to do. I bought myself some dark chocolate, and man does it smell nice... That was such a huge anecdote.

Anyhow, Mark's been away so I've been doing quite a few things on my own, which has been nice but I'm missing Mark a lot. So in one of my ventures I went to Bankstown to visit the folks, as they like to see me at least once a week, which, I agree, is a nice thing.

So everytime I visit my mother, not only does she nag about how much weight I've put on (and I haven't really put on any more weight, but I have since last year), she gossips to me about stuff and stuff. This time, she's gossiping to me about family matters from Vietnam.

I don't think I can go into extreme detail, but there was one thing that irked me. Basically, let's just say there are two people involved in this story. I'll call one Cousin A and the other one Cousin B. Both are female, and both from Vietnam and related to our family some way or another. They are not close cousins, they're pretty distant.

Now Cousin A is fortunate enough to have an older brother here in Sydney, and has another brother coming from Vietnam. She's here to study commerce at UTS, but has to do learn English to a certain level before she's allowed entry. This has been the same for her brother. Anyways, Cousin A is quite fobbish. She had no dress sense (my mum showed her), and I don't recall talking to her in English that often (usually the ones who are keen to develop their English speak to me in English and I happily speak back in English to them), and in fact I don't recall talking to her much at all. Anyhow, my dad gave her the opportunity to work for him seeing as she's studying Commerce, and dad said she ain't the brightest one he's encountered. She apparently doesn't learn quickly and she doesn't have the greatest initiative. She only worked for a while, and then stopped.

Then Cousin B came along. She, in fact, is the immediate cousin to Cousin A, and Cousin A's family is quite rich, so Cousin A's family is helping out Cousin B, and got Cousin B in touch with my dad. Cousin B is also learning commerce at uni, and so dad took her under his wing, and apparently she is a lot brighter and hard working, and her english was a lot better. She seemed to grasp things pretty quickly and dad was impressed, and was thinking of sponsoring her as an employer to speed up her visa status. Then, due to conflicts back in Vietnam, Cousin B was forced to stop working for my dad, and she was made to go work in a pharmacy of a family friend (a field in which she's definitely not studying for) and to top it off, the pharmacy didn't offer her enough hours for her to work and earn enough money.

Cousin A and her brother were living with Cousin B in a sharehouse that is owned by my mother's friend. Apparently the share was around $160 a week or something, and Cousins A and B had to share one room. Because of the whole "our family is supporting yours" kinda thing, Cousin B was forced to pay $100 a week for her share, which was totally unfair and uneven. And apparently that included food, but for times when both Cousin A and her brother were out, she has to fork out money on top of that. Because of conflicts back in Vietnam (the same that I referred to earlier) Cousin A and her brother decided to move out of Bankstown and to Cabramatta, and asked Cousin B to come along, but she refused. She said she found it difficult to study with another person in her room, and seeing as Cousin A doesn't study at all (apparently she watches films on her laptop) Cousin B found her distracting. Cousin B then stayed back in Bankstown on her own, in her own room, for $60 a week including food. She found the pharmacy job a bit tiring and out of her way, and kept telling my mother's friend that she wanted to work at my dad's place. My mum's friend then told my mother, and mum said that she has to call herself and then mum will let her come back.

So Cousin B called last Sunday, and basically arranged to quit the pharmacy job and come back and work for my dad. Mum's happy with that because Dad needs all the help he can get because business is busy without anyone to assist him, and also mum wants to nurture those who work hard (as opposed to me... hehehee).

So, what did I realise out of this story? There are two kinds of international students: ones who buy their way through the system because they have the money and they can, and the ones who work really hard because they don't have the same opportunity back at home.

Cousin A comes from quite an affluent Vietnamese family. The fact that they can support 3 children in Australia means that they're earning a surplus of $30 000 for sure. Apparently Cousin A's grades aren't that great, and she spends most of her time at home just watching movies on her laptop. My mother seems to help her heaps, but she lacks initiative.

Cousin B however comes from a well off family, but not enough to support her 100%. They can pay for her education, but her living expenses are not as generous as Cousin A's. Hence the reason why Cousin B wanted to work for my dad - he was able to offer her more than 1 day a week, and it was closer to home and close to what she is studying, so therefore for her it is beneficial on more than one level. She is very career focused, and she has a strong work ethic, something that dad picked up on whilst she was working. The fact that she actually studies in her spare time instead of just watching movies and stuff is commendable. But the reason why she is told not to work for my dad was due to family politics back in Vietnam, and due to my grandmother being narrow minded and my dad's cousin being easily offended, Cousin B had to suffer.

So I don't mind if Cousin A doesn't get what she wants, she basically doesn't really work for it. But for Cousin B to suffer due to people being ignorant or sensitive, I think is unfair as she seems hard working and shows to be a promising individual.

It angers me how some people back in Vietnam have no idea how it is like in Australia. Yes, we probably do have it a lot better than most in Vietnam, but to say that we don't need to work to get to where we are and that everything is given to us on a silver platter, I think that's just plain naivety. My aunts from my mother's side had that problem, thinking that no one had to work hard for themselves. They did not realise that my dad went through a lot to get where he is. And what my grandma thinks is unfair is just due to the fact that she is ignorant of the laws and regulations that obviously don't exist in Vietnam.

Anyhow, it's late and I'm going around in circles, or my argument is convoluted. But yah, I am to curious to meet Cousin B, apparently she wanted to go see Annie Get Your Gun with my family, but because of feuding and disputes back in Vietnam, she was not allowed to have contact with our family. Now that she's working for dad again, hopefully I'll get to meet her. I have a feeling that she is the daughter that they wanted me to be - hardworking and following in the footsteps of my dad... I'm glad they have another outlet to fulfill their dreams, I'm sorry mummy and daddy that I can't do that for you. Unfortunately I was born here and I was given access to so much information that I was able to teach myself what I wanted and find out a lot of things for myself. Hurrah for independence (to some degree... :D).