Shocked, disgusted and appalled, only some of the feelings I had.

There was an incident yesterday that keeps returning to my mind. Yesterday was my 20th birthday, and to celebrate a group of my girlfriends and I decided to head to Opera Bar for drinks and nibbles.

We caught the train in and walked from Circular Quay station. I must admit, my outfit choice was a little OTT – but why should it not be? It’s my birthday and pretty much the one time of the year where I get all dressed up. As we were walking, there were a few heads that turned our way from all sorts of people. Understandable, like I said OTT outfit.

Out of the corner of my eye I could see a man approaching me from the left. This man looked like he was the age of my father, he was a well dressed 50-something year old white male. He came up and said something to me, which I don’t remember the exact words. He proceeded to ask me why I was all dressed up, I told him it was my birthday and I was heading out for drinks with friends. He said “oh wow, congratulations on your birthday, here have a birthday kiss.”

He grabbed my hand and pulled me in for a kiss. I pushed away and turned my head, so he planted a kiss on my cheek, whispered in my ear “I love your breast” and walked away.

I was in shock, disgusted and appalled. My sister and friends were in shock that some man had approached me and kissed me. When I told them about what he whispered that caused anger.

It was one of the worst experience I’ve had, I’ve had incidences where I’d get a honk and whistle here and there, but never like that. I’m fed up at how people think”I love your breast” or anything else inappropriate is some sort of compliment. F-off.

Think about what you say or do before it happens, because let me ask you this. Would you like it if your sister, daughter or niece had the same experience?

When I grow up I want to be a Journalist

Growing up in a traditional Vietnamese family, becoming a journalist was never really an option.

When I was younger I wanted to be a policewoman, that was the first ever dream job of mine. As I grew up I decided policing wasn’t really my thing and that I wanted to be a teacher.

I stuck with the idea of teaching for a couple of years for many reasons – I wanted to make a difference in peoples lives, being a teacher you had great holidays/breaks and it seemed like a pretty chilled and cool job. But one of the main reasons was because my parents wanted me to be a teacher. Being a doctor or pharmacists was out of the question, so teaching was the next best thing to my parents.

One day I was sitting in front of the TV with my mum folding towels when TV show “Getaway” came on. I was folding a purple towel when I looked over to my mum and said “Mum, that’s what I want to do. I want to be on TV and travel for work.” Mum laughed and said something along the lines of “ha-ha if you can do that, I’ll be very happy for you”. Don’t get me wrong, my mum is very supportive of me, but during that time you never heard of an Asian journalist or presenter. Mum was being realistic.

I’m glad mum said that to me, because that was the trigger that drove me to do journalism. At first I just wanted to prove, not only my parents but the whole extend Nguyen family wrong – that Asians can be journos/presenters. Once my cousin told me I’d have better luck being a prostitute than being a journalist. But now, I love my life. I’m obsessed with News and love where I’m at.

I recently had to little cousins come up to me and say “When I grow up, I want to be a journalist just like you Chi Han.” That melted my heart. I’m so happy and excited that my younger cousins can dream big and think outside of the box and not have people constantly being negative about it.

My advice to you kids, dream big – that’s the only way you’ll ever be happy!

 

 

Fresh off the boat

I’m back – Tanned, refreshed and ready to get back into it.

For those who know me, I’ve been working/interning/studying constantly for the last year and haven’t really had a proper break. When I found out my family booked a two week cruise around the South Pacific I wasn’t impressed. I really didn’t want to go away, I wanted to stay back and continue what I was doing because I’m enjoying where my life is at.

But I’m glad we went away, it gave me time to think, reflect and relax – the tan was a total bonus.

I figured out that I’m really obsessed with working and extremely nosy. On the second day of the cruise, we had to turn back closer to land for a helicopter because of a ‘medical emergency’. I didn’t realise how nosy I was until my sister got really annoyed at me for asking so many people questions and was constantly distracted by what was happening. My sister actually got pissed off and didn’t talk to me for the rest of the day…oops.

But for the rest of the 12 night cruise I became more relaxed and really enjoyed myself. Had time to read and finish a book (I don’t remember the last time I picked up a book), caught up on a lot of sleeping, ate plenty of food (I put on 1.4kg) and did a lot of swimming.

A magical moment was when I was snorkelling in Lifou, New Caledonia, my sister and I went out a little further than everyone else and as we were swimming out of the corner of my eye I could see a turtle. My sister of course freaked out and screamed “omg there’s a turtle” alerting everyone else to the location. But a little later I went out on my own and found the turtle again, so magical just to swim along with it for 10 or so minutes. What a magical creature.

For the first time I got sea sick, it was on the second last day of the cruise as we were heading back home. Sydney was experiencing severe weather so the water was a little choppy. I must have eaten something that upset my tummy because at 1:30am I found myself sitting on the toilet seat sweating and feeling really uncomfortable. As I was sitting there the motion of the boat was not helping, I ended up vomiting at the same time as sitting on the toilet letting the other end clear out.

I highly recommend Royal Caribbean to anyone planning on cruising. We’ve traveled with them twice and they constantly offer great service, quality food, lots of facilities and actives and you really do have a wonderful time.

Happy cruising!

 

Sometimes things need to be incredibly bad before it’s all good

Time sure does fly by fast when you’re having fun. Last year went by incredibly quick. I feel like I’ve grown and matured into a young lady who finally figured out what she wants.

During my high school years I was extremely lazy with my studies. I always left my assignments to the last minute – and I mean very very last minute, I was more focused on having fun, my appearance and  boys, I know such a teenage girl thing to do.

I’ve known I’ve wanted to be a journalist since I was in year 9. Everyone used to say I had the personality for TV and the voice to get a crowds attention, so during that time I thought it would be easy and everything would just fall into place – god was I wrong.

When I got my HSC marks back, it seriously felt like my world was crumbling to pieces. I didn’t get the marks for my desired course, all my friends did incredibly well and I literally sat in my room trying to figure out what to do with my life.

I’m so glad I did horribly, it was a real wake up call. It pushed and motivated me to work hard for what I wanted and to work to my full potential – which really, I didn’t know what it was until recently.

The year after high school I sorted my life out. I really didn’t want my parents to be disappointed in me again – that took a lot of work. I aimed to practice  and improve my writing and complete courses that were relevant to what I wanted to do. I stopped worrying about what I looked like and what people thought of me – don’t get me wrong, first impressions are important, but what I mean here is I used to be so self conscious and kept thinking I was fat (which I’ve never been). I learnt to network and found my first internship.

When 2015 came along I was all set, once you get your foot in the door with one internship, the rest come so easily. Last year I interned at Seven News, Ten News, Studio 10, Macarthur Chronicle, 2GB in Canberra’s Press Gallery and C91.3FM radio station – currently interning for Fairfax/SMH. I’m more confident in myself and I learnt so much about myself.

When I was first published in the Daily Telegraph in June last year, I don’t think I’ve ever seen my parents so proud of me before. I’m not the stereotypical daughter that asian parents want. I’m the complete opposite actually, my sister on the other hand, she’s smart and the dream kid. So when I heard my parents bought two newspapers each, one to keep and the other to show to their friends at work, I cried. I don’t think I’ve ever been so proud of myself and so happy. Mum even framed my story.

I’ve learnt a lot in a year, and I’ve had so much fun discovering myself and how I work. I’ve met some amazing people and I’m just so grateful at how lucky I’ve been.

So, for all those trying to work out who they are, you’ve got time. It took me a good year to set my life up, and it’s so worth it.

It’s not really goodbye!

For the past six months I have been interning with Network TENs morning show, Studio 10 and on Friday it was time to say goodbye.

What an internship. The internship at Studio 10 isn’t really a journalism one. A lot of the work that interns do is more production type things, but I wasn’t going to knock back such a rewarding internship just because it wasn’t journalism related, cause in some ways it was as well.

I have learnt so much about myself during my time there. I’ve learnt I’m terrible with stress, but as time went on I learnt how to control and maintain my stress levels – which I’m very proud of. I was overwhelmed a lot of the time towards the end of my internship, I was given a lot more responsibilities and whenever the audience co-ordinator/my boss was away, I had to take over his role. It was very overwhelming the first time I had to do it. I didn’t realise how much work went into a 2 minute segment or how much money was spent in the show. The job stressed me out a lot, I was constantly tired, sleep deprived and as time went on, I lacked the motivation to get up at 4AM to head to the office. I used to be so excited about interning, but this job was really draining.

That week was a bit of a weird week for me, a lot had happened that made me make the decision to leave earlier than planned. Technically speaking there’s another two weeks till the last live show and I had planned to stay right till the end but things happened and on Thursday afternoon I approached my boss asking/telling him that Friday was going to be my last day.

I think the reason I stayed so long was because of the audience and the crew. I loved working with them so much, they made me feel so special and loved, always complimenting my outfits and encouraging me to achieve my best. The audience would give me life advice and treated me with so much respect.

I also felt like if I had left earlier I’d be letting my boss down. He has done so much for me over the last six months, given me so many opportunities to prove myself not just to him and my superiors but also prove to me that I can do things. But when I approached him on Thursday afternoon he was fine with my decision and was happy to hear about the next step in my life.

That afternoon was the first time I felt happy, like real happy in the last six months. The internship had really drained me and taken a lot of energy. I seriously felt a sense of relief when I left the building. Don’t get me wrong, the internship was amazing, I learnt so much, experienced amazing things, met amazing people and got so many opportunities from it, but I think six months anywhere as an intern is draining.

On Friday it was like my first day, I woke up at 4AM so excited to come in, I wasn’t tired, I was full of energy leading the audience for the last time and just had so much fun. It was a great way to end the internship.

I have met so many wonderful people who I plan to keep in contact with, because really…it’s not goodbye. From this internship I met someone who has given me an opportunity in the digital news department at as their intern, so technically speaking I’m just moving departments which means I can still see everyone and I think it’s made my decision to leave a lot easier.

Looking forward to the next step in my life!

You’re so fat now

My name is Han Nguyen, I am 19 years old, 167cm tall, weigh 57kg and was called fat twice in the space of a few days.

Here’s the back story to my life, when I was 15 I weighed 45kg and was all skin and bone. At the time I had a hyper thyroid which made me lose weight extremely fast, I was constantly tired and would pass out on occasions. People used to say ‘omg you’re so lucky you’re so skinny’ or ‘I’m so jealous you can eat what you want and not get fat’. I must admit, I was very happy with the compliments and loved the idea of being so skinny.

I was close to being anorexic.

Not many people know this about me, but when I started taking my medication I gained weight, I had put on 10kg within a week. I was so self-conscious about what everyone thought of me and how much weight I had put on. I used to starve myself because I wanted to lose weight and go back to being 45kg. I was terrified of seeing someone who I hadn’t seen in ages because I didn’t want them to point out I was ‘fat’. I changed my hair style, hoping that people would take notice of my hair cut rather than my weight gain. I wasn’t happy with my life, not because of my weight gain, but because of all the fat shaming.

I have maintained the 55-60kg weight range for the past four and a half years. It has taken me this long to be confident in who I am.

To all those who keep saying I’m fat and pointing out I’ve gained weight, yeah I have gained weight. It’s for the better. But I’m not fat, I’m healthy and extremely happy with my life. I’m in the healthy weight range and am so over all the negativity.

So why don’t you f&%$ off and find something better to do with your life, cause I’m very happy with mine and don’t have time for your shit.

Ending it with a bang

What a way to end a very wonderful week and a bit.

This morning my commute to work was a little different. Last week COS wanted me to find a commuter that we could do a case study on about the new bus timetable. My task from there was to travel to work with my talent, Sheree. I met Sheree at her house with cameraman Rolfe and from there we walked to her bus stop and waited with her. Our package angle was ‘commuter chaos’ and ‘disruptions’, so I had chosen Sheree as my talent because of what she was expecting from the new changes and boy did that not disappoint. Three buses drove by and didn’t stop because they were full, when she finally got on she was running late from work, that was including leaving home a little early. Normally it would take her 20-30 minutes to travel to work, it ended up taking over an hour. When I returned with the package to the COS she was very happy and impressed with what I had.

To be honest, it wasn’t as much chaos as what we were all predicting, but the package was really good. So my package was pretty much the only ‘upset commuter’ we had. Overall, it was a really fun experience to follow a talent that I sourced, got to field producer what images I wanted and just act like a real journo.

Back at the newsroom I was approached my the producer who i worked with for the weather yesterday, I was sent out to do the weather package again today. Back in Penrith! Boy was it hot. We filmed the best and worse place to work on a hot day like today. Our hot place was Memphis BBQ Pit where cameraman Rod and I filmed the ladies working in the sweltering hot kitchen and also I interrupted a customers meal and asked if he could help out and eat really hot wings. He was great and did, it was seriously such a great addition to the package. The ladies had such a great time with us they smothered us with food! It was so lovely of them, I had cheesy fries for the first time, so yummy.

From there we made out way to two different cold place to shoot – but that didn’t work out. So I had to contact a few places to find out if we cold film, thankfully the Cow and Moon in Newtown were happy to help us. But because Rod and I were in the West we couldn’t go, so we asked COS to send out another crew. We then made our way to Baulkham Hills pool area to get some overlays of kids swimming as well as so voxpops.

While we were at the pools COS called us to tell us to make our way to Carlingford because we were one of the closet crews there. This was around 3:30PM. To my surprise, they let an intern go out to a crash site. Two elderly ladies were trapped in their car after it crashed in to a two story house – literally ended my day on a bang.

While we were there we were tasked to monitor the CareFlight Chopper, just incase it airlifted one of the patients, but it didn’t. I for the first time got to see a helicopter up close and see it take off. What an experience that was, so loud and almost like heavy and windy. So grateful!

We made out way back to the crash site and did the presser with the NSWF and Police and I also met Mike Duffy the journalist packaging the story. We had to travel to Westmead to feed back all of our footage back to Martin Place. From Westmead I caught a taxi with Mike and he gave me some very useful tips and advice. He’s actually so great and lovely and willing to teach and explain things.

I didn’t get back to the office till about 7PM when pretty much everyone had gone home. I managed to speak to COS and said bye to a few journos and producers.

But what an amazing week and a bit. I’ve learnt so much, experienced things i’ve never experienced before, went to places I’ve never been, met amazing people who were willing to help and take the time to reach me and all at the same time have fun.

My confidence in what I can do has improved and I’m just very thankful. Hopefully i’ll be back there soon!