|Roundtable conference. with spirits|
|12:58' 17/02/2010 (GMT+7)|
VietNamNet Bridge - You need not be brainy, but you have to have a head for it, not to mention a face.
You also need lots of patience and yes, some courage.
The job is not listed in advertisements or recruitment notices of any kind, but if you are willing to do it, there are many employers who will give you the assignment.
Le Hoang Phuong, who earns a "reasonable" income from it, does not see it as a long-term vocation, but for now, it suits her purposes. All she has to do is sit quietly in a chair while other people get to work on her hair and face – students learning hairdressing and make-up, or professionals displaying to clients different models or styles, or a shade or product for the latter to choose from.
Phuong says her face is used as a blank paper for others to draw on and erase if they are not satisfied. Sometimes, though, her hair gets cut several times in succession till there is little left over for any more experiments.
Not as lucky as some of her peers who get good part time jobs earning very decent incomes, Ngo Thi Thanh Thao, a student of the HCM City University of Industry, was walking in the vicinity of the Women’s Cultural House when she met a woman who was learning the art of make up there. The lady decided to hire Thao for VND30,000 per hour so she could practice and hone her skills.
Thao said the job didn’t require a lot of time, about two hours a day. When she is busy at school, she can work on weekends.
Nguyen Ba Tuyen, also of the HCM City University of Industry, once came to a salon to have his hair cut. He was invited to work as a model for the staff in training. Tuyen said he got about VND25,000 per hour for sitting like a statue. However after one week he had no hair left and had to wait for more than a month to resume "working".
There are other occupational hazards apart from running out of hair. You can run out of face as well. Phuong said she developed skin allergies after the first few days on this job, and it took many days for her skin to become healthy again. She does not plan to do the job for a long time for fear her skin would get irreparably damaged.
There are more and more people looking to be hairdressers so the demand for heads on hire is high. Hair designer Lu Thanh Ha, who has several popular singers and models in HCM City as her clients, said they badly need the students (who hire out their heads and faces). Ha explained: If she spoilt a metre of silk, she could buy another to replace it, but she did not have that option with her clients’ hair.
Roundtable conference… with spirits
When you are at the dining table and are asked to pass the salt or some other condiment or dish, chances are you will either pass it on with your hand or, if you are sitting at one of those tables that has a revolving section on it, turn it towards the person in need.
However, if you are of a spiritual bent, you can ask the table to do it for you. If you have one of three such spiritual tables in Viet Nam, that is.
If you want to try your hand, or rather, your mind at it, visit Da Lat’s Dreaming Hill, where one of the tables is kept. The table has drawn thousands of curious visitors who have pitted their minds to do their bidding, but very few have the ESP (extra sensory perception) to succeed.
There are those who believe it is a scientific phenomenon (as yet unexplained) and others who say it belongs to "another world".
Before being brought to Da Lat and housed in a wooden cabin on the hill that is a museum of antique artifacts, the wooden table was used by a family in Binh Dinh Province’s An Nhon District.
The country has three such tables on record, one of them at a pagoda in Da Lat and the other with the family of 60 year-old Luu Xuan Uong in Nam Dinh Province’s Truc Ninh District. Uong, who sells furniture, said he bought the magic table from another person in An Hoa Commune. Uong often performs with the table for local people.
Associate Prof Nguyen Duy Hinh (who used to work at the Viet Nam Social Science Institute) and other scientists have done many experiments on the three tables but have drawn no definitive conclusions yet. The three tables are made of the same kind of wood, with slightly different dimensions.
Hinh, who researches paranormal phenomena and has written books on it, has conducted tests with many different people and got the same results. Irrespective of gender, age, occupation, marital status and intellectual capacity, some people can do it and some can’t. He has yet to figure out how those who can do it are able to do so
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