Wednesday July 12, 2017

(VOVWORLD) - I hope this Letter Box finds you in good health and spirits. As always, we’re happy to be here with all of you on the Letter Box segment to read listeners’ letters.

B: From Malaysia, Timm Breyel emailed us to say that he listened to us on July 7 at 23:30 UTC. Reception on 9.840 khz was exceptionally good. He rated SINPO at 54545 – excellent audio clarity and strength with slight QRM when fading occasionally occurred, he said.

A: Timm wrote: “As always it’s a pleasure to catch your cultural programs. I have learned much about Vietnam over the years from listening to your broadcasts on a wide range of topics, including the ethnicity, handicrafts, and cuisine of your country.”

B: Thank you very much, Timm, for listening to VOV’s broadcast over the years and sending us regular feedback. We hope some days you will visit Vietnam to see with your own eyes all the things we’ve talked about on our programs.

A: From Australia, Michael Cunningham emailed us his feedback on July 9 program on 9840 khz. He used a Tecsun PL 660 with a long wire antenna. “I listened to an interesting feature on historic coffee shops in Hanoi. These are named after the owners and are a respite and place of calmness away from the city traffic. One of these shops has displayed artists works since the 50's. A Seattle woman was interviewed on the subject.  Also coffee with egg yolk which some Germans were trying out for the first time! A song called "Hanoi mua ky uc" finished the program.”

B: Michael continued: “Here in Brisbane, in the suburbs of Darra and Inala, we can purchase many varieties of Vietnamese coffee, vacuum packed and ready to make at home. I make my coffee in a Vietnamese pot that I got here in Brisbane. Very nice with condensed milk to start the day.”

Wednesday July 12, 2017 - ảnh 1 Michael's Vietnamese coffee pot

A: You got the right style of Vietnamese drip coffee. Listeners, you can see Michael’s Vietnamese coffee pot when this edition of the Letter Box is posted on our website. If you’re in Vietnam, go out to any Vietnamese street coffee stall and you'll find aluminium drip filters and cups of black coffee underneath. The Vietnamese like their coffee nice and slow, and setting up the filter and choosing the right time to drink is an art in itself.

B: Yeah, it’s an art so we need time to wait for every drop and enjoy it slowly. I only have time for drip coffee at the weekend. Vietnam is the world's second largest exporter of coffee, and the main bean is Robusta, not the Arabica of Brazil. Robusta has almost twice as much caffeine, making it a bit more bitter. It’s also has 60% less lipids or fat and sugar than Arabica, so the taste is sharp and strong.

Wednesday July 12, 2017 - ảnh 2A coffee shop prepares drip-coffee

A: Unlike Arabica, which is mellow and easy-drinking, Robusta is often compared to burnt tires and rubbery in taste with a thick lingering taste and higher acidity. While this might turn away a devoted Starbucks fan, for many Vietnamese, including me, the strength of Robusta is the only way to go.

B: The strength of local coffee style has forced Vietnamese Starbucks stores to adapt. I’m not a coffee addict but I love to have a cup of coffee with condensed milk or a coffee-yogurt shake in the morning. 

Wednesday July 12, 2017 - ảnh 3 Egg-coffee

A: I’m reading an email from Najim Uddin, President of the International DX Radio Listeners Club. He wrote: “Greetings to all of you from the International DX Radio Listeners Club Members. We found your program very interesting and informative. We regularly listen to your wonderful program and visit your web pages. We must say that you are doing such a nice job in keeping us all informed about the various events taking place in the world. Whenever we need to know about Vietnam and its various related things, VOV is the best choice and the nicest way to do so.”

B: Thank you very much, Najim Uddin, for your kind words. We hope more members of your club who listen to our programs will write to us. We’re very interested in the many activities that your Club has sponsored, like the “Healthy hand wash” for school children, intended to reduce the spread of diseases by unclean hands.

A: We hope you’ll share with us some photos of that campaign. We’ll help promote it on our website. Here are some letters and emails from Japanese listeners – Hayato Furukawa of Nagasaki, Yoshikazu Suzuki of Gunma, Toshiya Nishimura of Hiroshima-ken, and Koichi Ikeda, who lives in Trinidad&Tobago.

B: They reported good reception on the frequency of 12020 khz and gave a SIO rating of 444. Mr. Ikeda has been living in Trinidad&Tobago for more than 2 years. He said when he was in Japan he used to listen to VOV English after VOV Japanese on 12020 khz. Now in Trinidad&Tobago he cannot receive VOV Japanese, but he does listen to VOV English via the Cypress Creek relay. Reception there is actually better than in Japan. VOV keeps him up to date on news about Vietnam.

A: Thank you very much, Ikeda, for tuning in to our program and following developments in Vietnam. We hope you’ll receive our QSL card soon. We got a letter dated June 22 from Nishimura. He called our program “in general satisfactory” and said “it’s good to hear subjects about Vietnam every day.” Shortwave is a good medium for acquiring information, Mr. Nishimura said.

B: I’m sure that many of our listeners agree with you, as evidenced by the fact that we regularly gain new shortwave listeners of all different ages and occupations.

A: I’m reading a letter from Mr. Suzuki who said he listened to VOV for the first time on July 16, 1963. That surprises me. I’ll check our listeners’ archive. We’ll send you a souvenir to mark 40 years of listening to VOV.

B: This week we also acknowledge letters from Paul Walker and Richard Nowak of the US, Sonali Yadav, Ram Babu Kumar and Ratan Kumar Paul of India, Shivendu Paul, President of the Metali Listeners’ Club of India, and Sutomo Huang of Indonesia. We’ll send you certification cards to verify your reports.

A: Let us remind you of our address: English Section, Overseas Service, Voice of Vietnam, 45 Ba Trieu Street, Hanoi, Vietnam. Our email address is Thank you for listening. Please join us again next Wednesday for another Letter Box edition. Goodbye.