More Thanh Words

"My name is Thanh and I'm a Blogger". Now that I have admitted to that, I can say that I'm a stereotypical "geeky" Engineer who enjoys sci-fi books and movies and into all things technological. I also love music and have a passion for FOOD. I'm a social person and like to talk to people. I hate people who are fake or overly aggressive. If you're also into some serious discussion, with a pinch of sarcasm and a dash of real emotion, then please read on.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

A Not So Short Autobiography

From the suggestion of Choo Choo from The Oriental Express, I've decided to write a post telling a bit more about myself. I thought I had written more about myself in my first post but I read that back and it really didn't say much.

So as you might already know, my name is Thanh. Thanh is a very common Vietnamese name for guys and girls. I think I know 5 other people that are named Thanh. In fact, I was in the same grade 4 class with another guy named Thanh and when the teacher yelled out "Thanh", there was always confusion between us as to who she was calling.

I was given the name Thanh because when I arrived in Australia, my parents needed an English name for me. So they used my Chinese name, ah Seng (in my native Chinese tongue of Te Chu), which means success and translated that into a Vietnamese word, since that is where I was born. Hence I have since been known as Thanh.

So as I mentioned, I was born in Vietnam in the town of Cholon. That part of Vietnam is where a lot of the Chinese people live and is like a mini Chinatown. I have one younger sister who was also born in Vietnam. Our family migrated to Australia when I was 6 to flee the oppression of the communist Vietnamese Government.

I first arrived in Australia and lived in the state of Victoria in a suburb called Avondale Heights. My fondest memories of those times was living with my aunty and uncle and my 3 cousins. The 5 children used to get up to lots of fun. I also remember going to school and not understanding a word of anything the teacher was saying. Anyway I adapted pretty quickly and with my love of television, picked up English very soon.

After living a bit over a year in Victoria, our family moved to the state of New South Wales and lived in the suburb of Cabramatta, a suburb not known for its neatly kept lawns and picket fences. It was more known for crime and drug dealers. But we didn't have much money and rent there was cheap. Also the fact that most of the town were Asians helped to make things easier as our whole family didn't really speak much English.

Life resumed normally in Cabramatta for a couple of years. In the mean time my language skills had improved greatly and in fact I got Top Student in the year level in grade 2 and 3, not bad seeing I didn't speak a word of English until recently. Half way through grade 4, our family packed up again and moved back to Victoria where I have been living since.

We moved into the suburb of Springvale and moved houses but still stayed in the same suburb. I went through primary school at Springvale West Primary and did well academically. I won the Science award at the end of Grade 6 graduation. I think you are starting to see a theme here, I'm a bit of a geek.

So now we are at High School. I attended Westall Secondary College, not because of its prestigous reputation but rather its close proximity to my house. I am a believer that its not the school that determines how well you do, its the person attending the school. I went through high school once again doing well. I made lots of great friends then, many of which are still good friends that I keep in touch with. At the end of high school, I got a result in the top 5% of the state and choose to do a double degree of Electrical Engineering and Science at Monash University.

University was everything that I expected and more. During uni was when I started to learn more about society and different types of people. I breezed through the first two years of uni just relying on being able to learn things quickly. Third year I had to put a bit more effort in. The fourth and fifth years were extremely hard. I was losing steam quickly and just made it over the line. It didn't help that by fifth year, all my friends had already finished their single degrees and were out in the real world making and spending money.

Once again, I made lots of friends at uni and they are still very good friends. I think that by that stage in life, you start to understand yourself more and the friends that you do pick are those that you have things in common with or traits that you admire.

Finally that takes us to currently. I've been out of uni for two years now and have only worked in the one company, Dummy Company (not real name of company). I had part time jobs during uni such as waitering, factory work and online supermarket shop assistant (I wheeled a shopping trolley around and actually did people's online shopping orders) but Dummy Company is my first "real" career job. I really like my job at the moment and I especially like my work mates, many of whom have featured in this blog. In fact, you can see their ugly faces here.

I have learnt so much in the first two year of work in the "real world" that I don't know where to start, but I'll give it a try. Work has shown me how society functions. Things are no longer the innocent situation of school. Out in the real world, there aren't lecturers to show you the right way to do something. You make your own mistakes and learn from them. There aren't tutors to remind you of assignments you need to hand in, you have to keep track of your own business or get left behind. Work has also shown me the slightly uglier side of human nature and taught me that you have to keep your guard up occasionally and pick and choose carefully who you can trust. Its been a very rapid learning curve and I'm lucky to have many friends at work, and I do use the word friend as thats what I think of them (I'm not sure what they think of me), to help guide me along. Some have been very helpful and given me wise words that I listen to and make a point of remembering.

Socially, I like to get out a lot and just meet up with friends and catch up, watch a movie and eat some dinner. I'm not the party animal type, I prefer good conversations with friends. I go out for dinner and drinks most weekend. As you may know, I really love food, good quality food. I'm constantly looking out for new and different types of foods to try. As I have said to many people, my ultimate job would be to work as a food critic. However as that is not going to be happening soon, I'm also happy to be an Engineer.

I also love watching and playing sport. I like to watch Tennis (go Federer), Australian Rules Football (AFL, go the Hawks), Cricket, Soccer, Rugby, Basketball etc. In fact I love to watch nearly all sports, even golf on a really hot lazy day. I also play a bit of tennis socially and am part of an indoor soccer team known as the All Hacks. I recently notched up my 100th game for the team, not a bad feat I reckon.

So thats my life story so far. Currently, a large part of my life is also devoted to blogging. I love to blog and read other people's blog. Blogging gives me an opportunity to voice my opinions on anything and also a way to deal with stress and issues in my life. Writing problems down works very well for me and just makes the problem seem smaller. So I'm hoping to write a lot more in the future and hopefully a few people will read it. :-)


Blogger afrobev said...

Nice idea the autobiography blog. Good to find out the inner workings of Thanh and disover a little bit about you that I didn't already know. A couple of friends (who are non-bloggers) have told me that they think it's a very brave thing to put yourself out there and blog to the point where you are being completely honest about yourself and your life.

I subscribe to this theory personally and I think we probably are quite brave to be so candid and blunt about things but I think that's probably the reason we do it anyway.

Perhaps we are searching for answers or just trying to find ourselves, I don't know but I think we are both as committed to this thing as each other. That's what makes reading your blog so good because I think you have the same blogging ethic as me...we are kind of like sister blogs. But I prefer brother blogs.

4/29/2006 4:21 AM  
Blogger The Oriental Express said...

Thanh, I would like to put your link to my blog. However, I am technically behind time. Even Brother Daniel San had to help me post his link to my blog. If you can email me at, I will give you my code and password to help you post the blog for me.

Terima kasih (Thank you...kamsiah)

Choo Choo

4/29/2006 4:59 AM  
Blogger thanh7580 said...

I guess it is a brave thing to put yourself out there. But thats the only way you can connect with people. If you aren't honest, people will also not be honest back.

Personally for me, this blogging has helped me to learn more about myself. Putting words down in writing and re-reading it and getting feedback has helped to think about many things about myself.

Yeah we can be brother would be an honour.

4/29/2006 12:54 PM  
Anonymous The Age editor said...

Mr Thanh Do,

I would like to include this article in our next column if you may allow us.

You see.... here at The Age, we have a shortage of toilet paper for our staff.

2/18/2008 10:55 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home