Reflections and stories on six months of life, culture, food and friendship in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Noi tieng 15 Phut

I'm well into my 15 phut of fame now.

A few weeks ago I arrived at work and noticed an excited little email from my Mom about an article in the travel section of The Globe & Mail (for my international readers, that's Canada's national paper). She had spotted an article entitled "Discovering Hanoi's Secret Alleys" (Nov. 22, 2006, p.T5) and thought to herself "Oh, Mark will find this interesting", and proceeded to cut it out. Then she noticed who wrote it. And who took the accompanying picture...

During the APEC buzz I had decided to adapt an old blog entry and submit it to the travel section thinking that it might help put a face on the city everyone was blathering on about in the most formulaic sort of way. I didn't know it had been accepted until it was already splashed across the country. (Unfortunately they don't publish the "Travelblog" column in their online edition so I can't link to it. Write me if you want a copy.)

My debut in the Vietnamese media had actually come several weeks earlier, when several of my publicly posted photos were picked up by the online edition of VTC News to provide some illustrations for a translated NYT story on Vietnam's acceptance to the WTO. (Rest assured that I was asked permission first. It didn't happen entirely out of the blue.) It seems my photos were used to illustrate themes such as the development, povery and the youth of the country. I hope it goes without saying that the second photo in the story is NOT mine. A more recent VTC story on the WTO used another of my photos.

And now it appears that tomorrow YFile, my university's internal online daily, will be running a story about my work last year in Hanoi! (Here it is.)

Despite all this attention, at least someone is trying their best to keep me from my Warholian moment. How else to explain the persistent mispellings of my name in the VTC photo credits. A few of my doppelgangers are getting all the credit.

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