Ding Bao Bao took a long acrid drag on his cigarette. It was one of the last from the carton of Double Happiness that he had brought down from Shanghai. He felt utterly dejected.
An accomplished architect he was. With years of experience! And countless new developments under his belt! And accolades! Lots of accolades.

In China, that is.

Here in Hanoi, it was different.

He had wanted to break into international building development markets but he was quickly coming to the realization that Vietnam maybe wasn’t the right place to be a Chinese architect.

The other night, for example, Tranh from the office joked, ‘what do you call a building that falls over before it’s even built?’ And everyone guffawed in unison, ‘a Chinese building!’.

And then there were the construction workers who teased him, asking if they should build the new shopping plaza so that it collapses sooner rather than later to save everyone from the stress of waiting.

No respect! No respect at all.

He was gutted. None of his buildings had fallen over. Not yet, anyway. He was pretty careful.

He stubbed out his cigarette and braced himself to go back into the office.

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