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Vietnam My Great Escape

222 pages2 hours


My name is Tina Bui, I was born and raised in Vietnam. I came to Australia more than 38 years ago after escaping three days before the fall of Saigon, which ended the Vietnam War. To be born and raised in the war torn country of Vietnam, life was not an easy one. We cannot build our future because we do not know if we still live tomorrow. Rocket can hit our house anytime during the night, the next day or next week. No one knows when it will happen. Luckily, the rocket did not hit our family home otherwise I would not have been here to write this book.
I am the 4th child in a family of eight children. I have suffered since the day I was born. Food was the main problem for a large family of 11 including my grandmother with no job, no money, no government support.
At the age of 7, I had to look after my five younger brothers and sisters, fed them, bathed them, and took them to school while operating a small business with ten staffs.
I had to finish all these in half a day, the other half of the day I had to attend school. Vietnam in the 50's didn't have tap water. I had to pick up water from the public well carry it home for my family to use. Sometimes I had to carry water for the neighbours to earn extra cents to buy food. To pick up and carry water from the well to home was not hard. But to empty two buckets of water (20 liters each) to the water tank was a horrible job. The height of the water tank is almost double my height; I had to stack one bucket on top of the other and use all my energy to empty it to the water tank.
I had worked too much and too hard, I could not grow taller. When I escaped Vietnam, I bought 7 of my traditional dresses. When I try them on now, they only fit half of my body even I am only size 8-10.
Life in Vietnam during the war was terrible, no words can explain it. I have moved from one business to another not-stop just to be able to supply my family with food.
Finally, I managed to help my family to escape Vietnam to Australia. A new chapter of my life is beginning. When I arrived in Australia, it only took me 5 days to get job. Every morning I had to ride the bike to the train station, locked it there then catch the train to work. I have worked for the sheep skin export company in Melbourne, CBD. When I came for the interview for this company, the manager asked me if I can do mathematics like addition, subtraction, multiplication without using a calculator. The manager was very surprised and said that he has not interviewed anyone who can do mathematics like I do. I got the job. Back in Vietnam I never used a calculator.
Working for someone was not my preferred career. After 5 years of working for my boss, I resigned. I've always dreamed to have business in Real Estate. I bought my first home after only nine months of stay in Australia. I have obtained all necessary experience relating the property investment like Negative Gearing, Capital gain tax, Self-manage super fund etc. Armed with all unique experiences, I started my property investment immediately. I bought investment property almost every two years. Eventually, I got in to real estate career in 1983 and operated my own business in 1985. I have detailed all twist and turn on how I became a real estate agent and how I owned the real estate office in my book.
In the middle of 2008, I sold my real estate business - I started my semi-retirement and worked from home. I only work when I feel like. I have a steady and growing income so I can live luxurious life for the rest of my day without worries.

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