Canadian expat publishes 2nd book in Vietnamese

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Joe Ruelle, a Canadian who has been living in Vietnam for a decade now, has published "Nguoc Chieu Vun Vut" (Zigzagging in Traffic), his second book in Vietnamese, a local newspaper reported.

Ruelle, 33, has studied Vietnamese, hosted a weekly television show, appeared in comedy skits and maintained a newspaper column in Vietnamese, according to the report by the Nguoi Lao Dong (Laborer).

Famous Vietnamese movie director Le Hoang says he is a foreigner who "writes better (in Vietnamese) than Vietnamese."

The latest book is a collection of more than 60 articles he wrote, most of which were published in newspapers and magazines, in the last four years.

Ruelle has edited the book himself.

He told a newspaper that the difference between his second book and first was the same as that between a 12-year-old and six-year-old.

The first was about love stories while the second is about the thoughts of a person of marriageable age who prefers to remain single.

Among the stories in the latter are those on an expat's angst during Lunar New Year, the life of single women, and positive culture shocks -- like when an expat, who is scared of banh chung, the square sticky rice cake, is confronted by a Vietnamese family that wants to share its culture with him by sharing a cake.

He says culture shocks are sometimes a good way to get to know other cultures.

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