s08E01 Ben Nguyen

Niall Mackay00:15

Welcome to season eight of Vietnam podcast sharing the stories of people connected to Vietnam My name is Niall Mackay I've been living in Vietnam since 2016 and hosting this podcast since 2019 I wanted to know more about the people that lived in Vietnam both local and foreigners and share their stories My guest today was born and raised in Hanoi or left Vietnam at the age of 18 to study business and interior design in Japan and worked for companies such as Ikea is a creative director artists and dog that of crumpet and Potter we will share today what it was like leaving Vietnam at a young age and living in Japan What is like being a creative today What actually is an NFL And how he got his dog's Instagram to 140,000 followers My guest today is Ben knowing

Ben Nguyen01:18

everyone Hi

Niall Mackay01:20

thank you so much for joining us So first of all come on everyone loves dogs I love dogs Tell us all about trumpet and

Ben Nguyen01:29

Well thank you for having me I'm really happy to be alive I've I've never been on a podcast before Yeah podcast version well prompt is a Kogi she's five years old is the chow watch outs PI Ray in Vietnam she's just turned three We forgot her birthdays let really bad parents but yeah super fluffy super to super well behaved they they moved to from Japan to Vietnam with us two years ago and living the best life

Niall Mackay01:57

Now you brought them from Japan or your or the spoiled

Ben Nguyen02:05

I think to some extent yes Like who doesn't spoil their dogs

Niall Mackay02:11

That is a good point because we just come back from you know Fuqua and we we made the effort to take biscuit all the way to food co-op So we took a car overnight and we went by ferry instead of just getting a 45 minute flight you know it was like an 11 hour Johnny which is fine And then she gets to spend all the time on the beach and you cause you mentioned that comment they're like living the best life and it's just looking out and you're like you have a better life than most human beings

Ben Nguyen02:40

Yeah absolutely They actually like it or we just assume that they have the best life but they actually the beach

Niall Mackay02:47

no she loves it And then now that we're back she looks miserable She just sits on the couch like staring at as like I want to go to the beach Why are we sitting in this apartment now But so tell me then So I think we have an Instagram for biscuit Yeah we do go check it out If you're listening you want to follow biscuit It's biscuit and the back pig I think there's about 20 followers on there How did you get their Instagram account to 140,000 followers That means the dog influences

Ben Nguyen03:17

Well I mean we can say that but like honestly I I do not know like I started just creating an account and you know who does in one having to account for that All right And at that time I only had a prompt and we're just like sharing you know daily life pictures videos and just one night one page called nine gag If you if you know about it's just like one of the bigots you know social media At that time re posted a video of doing army crawl So she was like you know like because Colby is already social but she was doing the army crawl and we can really tell if she's like standing while she's like crawling So they reposted that and then it happened overnight I was already sleeping the more the next morning it was like blowing up and in my You know keeping getting notifications I I even

Niall Mackay04:11

And then my friend were here I was like

Ben Nguyen04:22


Niall Mackay04:22

Wow That's crazy It's amazing how that happens We had full map on the show before I don't know if you know him he's

Ben Nguyen04:30


Niall Mackay04:31

a vlogger Sorry And his story is similar you know So he was making his first or one of his first YouTube videos I don't know if you knew about it when you walked around Saigon with his pet chicken like quotation marks pet chicken And somebody took a picture of them and posted it and it went viral like that night So before he even made the video and published it he was already like this viral sensation It's crazy how that can happen so quickly

Ben Nguyen04:59

Yeah it's crazy Right So it's like We just leave out live and then just one day we'll we'll be over all over the internet and yeah now everyone loves him much

Niall Mackay05:09

So do you get offers for them to be like influencers like wear this stuff promote these products come to our opening event with your hugs

Ben Nguyen05:19

Well what seems like pet is still like a new thing in in Japan and in Vietnam So we don't really like monetize much off them but we we still get like you know like free games you know like sponsor products and stuff to help promote

Niall Mackay05:34

for the

Ben Nguyen05:35

More like that than just let you know like and we luckily we we we were lucky we got a like a TV commercial follow a brand in Vietnam because we we know our one of our friends is he a director And then prompt was on that

Niall Mackay05:51

That's awesome Is there such a thing as a dog agent The must be it must be in the U S at least

Ben Nguyen06:00

Yeah I'm sure there's still agencies here who you know like who would lay what do you call it A pious talent And I think that yeah competitive but I haven't got their luck yet but we'll we'll be there soon

Niall Mackay06:13

I've got to work on a biscuit This gets so lazy She doesn't bring in any money We have to feed us She doesn't do anything She sleeps all day I'm going to get to work going to get a stop making some

Ben Nguyen06:24

I mean that's the best life right Like actually from Patten and butter I still having to work

Niall Mackay06:30

Yeah That's awesome So let's tell me all about you're from Hanoi originally You're obviously inside gone talked about it several times on this podcast We've had people from Saigon and from Hanoi and it's something that we experienced a little bit just Uber and Tet We met lots of people from Hawaii I know that they are very different Do you want to can you maybe explain what that means to you in terms of being from Hanoi till you were 18 and living overseas then living in Saigon How did how do you see those differences

Ben Nguyen06:59

I actually I want to ask To you that like what different like what's the difference that you you finding between us Because for us it's just like you know like we what was the Vietnamese So we can tell each other by the accent and you know a little bit of mannerism but for you guys I'm actually curious like how do you like you can you tell them apart

Niall Mackay07:20

or so so I can tell them apart well I can a little bit like if I hear the accent but in terms of mannerisms or personality I can't tell the difference but when I'm with my Vietnamese friends then they tell me why I'm sharing like a secondhand opinion But but it'd been a it's been a repeated thing from different people that there's a big difference so that I want to know what your opinion is before I share what I've what I've been told But again it's all secondhand because I can actually understand what those nuances are

Ben Nguyen07:52

How to how to talk about this without being so discriminating If you know what I mean no it's just like I think we How does it it's it's kind of is this all my first time actually living in the south So it's just like you know every day learning new words actually for me like sometimes I I have no idea what they're talking about or just like like simple now To detail to talk about things the I don't understand And then actually I misunderstood and gave them a wrong thing So it's just like little things like that is like really fun to like live here but other than that I think to me the south and people like because of the accent they sound sweeter to me

Niall Mackay08:37

Okay well then they like they like sweets of food as well Don't they Right

Ben Nguyen08:42

Especially for the girls Like they they sound really cute Like like you know what I mean Like a really gentle really in cute way

Niall Mackay08:50

Oh right No no I don't I don't really know that one out Interesting That's a good rule

Ben Nguyen08:55


Niall Mackay08:55

One of the things that my friend had told me there was that you kinda mentioned like discriminatory So there's always the misconception that foreigners will always be ripped off you know given the foreigner price But she told me that when she went to Hanoi when she goes to Hanoi they will rip off southerners faster and more than they would rip off a foreigner

Ben Nguyen09:19

Well that not not

Niall Mackay09:21

No it's not

Ben Nguyen09:21

no it was not not true Like it it it does happen sometimes but do you know what like you know we it's just like you know I'm lucky or unlucky right It's just like you know we would get rid of all in Bangkok It's like that this is late because you all Toria so it it's meant to happen yeah exactly It's more like that It's not like oh because you're from the south so I'm gonna rip you off But Yeah it does happen And maybe because of the the 1, 1, 1, 1 vendor did it and then they think it's it works then they can tell the other vendor and then they keep doing it in a chain So it becomes like a coach to like rip off people maybe But I think that there was a lot of that in the past Not anymore to my knowledge

Niall Mackay10:16

So have you faced any discrimination in Saigon for being from the north

Ben Nguyen10:22

I actually know blocking for me but I don't think that will be a lot of discrimination here in the south in terms of that but in daily life I mean in person but on the internet you know like there will be really bad commands really rude people you know talking nasty things about you know people from other regions

Niall Mackay10:43

So you're saying it happens online but not in

Ben Nguyen10:46

It happens on like more than in in person

Niall Mackay10:50

That's pretty common Right Because people love to talk shit online and then they don't really they don't really mean it in real life Right So what tell me just briefly then So you've moved Tell me about growing up in Hanoi then before moving to Japan that's incredible Like 18 years old moving to Japan How did that

Ben Nguyen11:08

I think it's kind of like a common thing for people who's 18 and about to graduate high school to do in in Vietnam in general I was studying in a school and in a an English specialized So if you're in that class your your your your man to be going somewhere after high school And at that point in my my school was kind of like 50, 50, 50 would be going like wanting to go to the U S and the rest would be wanting to go somewhere else that you know like overseas to study I chose Singapore At that point but then unfortunately I failed that entrance test to yeah To the university is there So I had no choice but Enrolling in a uni in Hanoi which is a handle university at that point and then I had one semester there and then I found this university in Japan in the south in Ireland one of my friends in my class already went there and she was like it's absolutely amazing You're going to love it why don't you apply So I listened to her I applied I got the scholarship and I was

Niall Mackay12:22

That's awesome And so how is your Japanese

Ben Nguyen12:26

At that time like zero zero percentage Like we that's that's like I global not global international university So they also have like you know foreigners and they have 50% Japanese for foreigners I don't have any Japanese skill language skill then we would have to enroll in a English based like a syllabus And then at the at the same time we would have to take tapping his classes to help with our daily life And then for the first two years we we had to study the Japanese language from beginner level to

Niall Mackay13:04

advanced So you studied in English

Ben Nguyen13:09

And study Japanese at the same

Niall Mackay13:12

Huh Interesting So whereabouts did you travel in Japan That was one of the last countries that we went to before the lock phone before the before the pandemic was so glad it was like a last minute almost like a weekend trip away to Kyoto and Osaka And thank goodness we did Cause you know having left Vietnam now in

Ben Nguyen13:31

yeah I I had there so I I just get you know to travel pine a lot in the in Japan So although you know big cities and big destinations that not everyone has to see it Then I had visited And I ended up in Tokyo my later years And then I just came back from Tokyo two years ago

Niall Mackay13:52

Yeah So you've just come back recently to Vietnam Why why were you were in Japan So you obviously you studied interior design and business You work for companies like Ikea That's pretty cool So you designed furniture for Ikea

Ben Nguyen14:07

Well my my career path my my life story is quite unusual because it doesn't go like one straight line like this It's kind of like zig-zaggy so I studied business in the beginning because As any many other Asian parents they wouldn't let their children study art right For to them It's art

Niall Mackay14:29

Yeah We've had we've had this before on the show and personally as well yet

Ben Nguyen14:34

Yeah So they will like act doesn't make any money It's not going to help you get rich go study something like you know like business So I went to study business right And then my third year when I was still studying business and then I had one more year until graduation and I was like no I cannot picture myself wearing suits in a cubicle working in business finance Just say van I was like mom dad like I I know you didn't say yes before but my I mean my thought year now I know what I'm doing with my life I'm doing fine until now Can I go study design And then I think at that point because because of what I said and they they know that I can do no live on my own So they said yes And I was like okay now I can I actually I know how to do graphic design now So I maybe I should study something that the I don't know So I I had interest in interior for my life so I was like okay I'm going to find a school that has a interior design And then I found one in Tokyo and I went there and yeah the rest is history I'm graduating there I got a job at Ikea Japan so I was one of the designers that you know design the sample rooms If you ever been to Ikea you know like have one floor with just like rooms and rooms of you know different lifetimes both of them

Niall Mackay16:10

If one goes it does the other one go as well Yeah

Ben Nguyen16:15

Yeah So I was a really nice experience for me to like you know my my first step into the working environment in in Japan learned a lot you know culture shock as well and then after being there for three years I felt like Learned everything that I did And then there was every year what's kind of the same work So I was like okay I I was not actively looking for a different job but I had that thought Yeah And then I was like okay if something cool interesting comes up then owl be doing that and it's just like my my career path is quite A serious opioid lumpy event So when I was having that thought and one of my friends who just got a job at the Trump hotel which is Tokyo first five-star boutique hotel at that time 2017 she got a job there as a barista and then she was like Now you're saying that you you kind of want to change jobs Like do you want me to like pass on your CV to a Trump hotel And I was like yeah sure Why not at that time like Tronc hotel doesn't have any position that I think I would be interested in and then but they they decided to have a talk with me And then during the talk they also we both sat down They were like okay I don't know what you can do And we also don't know what we can give you on my side I also like okay I don't know what I can do for you guys And but we can talk this through and if we can find something in common then we can you know develop develop from there And then we were just chatting like it doesn't really go anywhere They asked me do you do social media And I like duh And then I was like oh well I do do this account for Chrome and Bateau And then at that point I think I had about 100,000 followers or something

Niall Mackay18:12


Ben Nguyen18:13

So they saw that and they were like okay you know what you're doing So yeah And then they were like okay we don't actually have any position for social media specialists But because we also the first boutique hotel in Tokyo we won two Become a benchmark for other hotels that come after to be like one of those hotels who really care about the visual and you know like the brand images Can you come and help us with social media and stuff I was like yeah

Niall Mackay18:48

that is amazing Well I love as well How you said you didn't monetize the like the crumpet butter Instagram but you got a career and a job out of it So that's amazing

Ben Nguyen18:58

Yes I can say that I monetize a little bit of it right

Niall Mackay19:02

Well I had an important question First of all though about Ikea was how many Swedish meatballs did you eat

Ben Nguyen19:09

Oh my God I'm limited like icon I mean if I get $1 for every bowl I ate that sounds really wrong coming out of my mouth now but I wish would be rating And I do miss it a lot Like

Niall Mackay19:27

but I

Ben Nguyen19:29

first thing I'm going to eat

Niall Mackay19:30

So just make it clear You miss Putin Swedish meatballs

but you did mention something about Ikea and but probably carries onto your career at trunk as well One question I wanted to ask about you know Japan is very famous for its work culture or maybe more appropriate is infamous for its work what culture and for me it makes me really sad because you know I really value work-life balance And when you When you hear these kind of not remote When you see these things you hear about them on TV the pressure that that there is in the in the workplace in Korea it makes me feel really sad because I don't think anyone should have to have to live like that

And I wonder well how was that for you Like you must've experienced that firsthand then is it do you just get used to it Is it manageable or is it a horrible stress and pressure The whole

Ben Nguyen20:26

but to be completely honest we're on the same page Cause I even though I was living in Japan but I never really had any experience in experiencing that you know horrible work-life balance because I was also international like they are Swedish company so they follow the international guidelines in terms of work-life balance So I I had to let finish on time I got me out at one time because I was staying after Trying to finish my work And so that was just like really you know like really nice first step for me to ease into the working environment in Japan And then I never really Experience how horrible like work life balance in Japan was And then moving to Toronto hotel they will also like cause they're in a hospitality industry and they want to become one of those you know international global image So they also do not really encourage people Overworking And my role was like kind of like marketing and social media management So I kind of had a lot of freedom too on my end like I can even go to work at 1:00 PM go home at 5:00 PM It doesn't matter as long as I deliver what I need to deliver So also very lucky of me So I never really experienced the Japanese corporate

Niall Mackay21:49

life think that is really lucky What was your experience of that culture Like even from a false with local you didn't experience it but what how did that eventually in reality or friends that you had Because I think of things I've read or seen about like you know businessmen have to stay out drinking all night just to And press their appeals or the boss And I think I've seen pictures of businessmen in suits sleeping on the sidewalk Ben going to work the next morning I mean is that like am I just seeing a couple of things on Reddit that's been blown out of proportion or is that a reality in Japan

Ben Nguyen22:23

That's actually reality Like even though I'm not in that environment but I I see it happening every day So I'm kind of like in that If you know what I mean just letting you know every like you know every time on the train there would be at least five drunk salary men And you know like they would be like looking horrible like really heading the life friends like my friends who worked for Japanese corporates that they actually feel stressed about drinking parties Like they don't want to do it but they have to do it for the Korea For the Yeah

Niall Mackay22:57

So how do you call them selling Is that what you call them

Ben Nguyen23:02

That's what people call them in Japan It's not a remote

Niall Mackay23:05

So how this was a kind of question I thought about before So how do those people form relationships Like you know partnerships how do they is that part of impressing a partner that you can do all of that How do they have time If they have children Like I just don't understand It just seems to me such an unsustainable lifestyle So Is it like how does it work basically

Ben Nguyen23:28

I mean sadly like major like a majority of them actually don't have any relationship Like they they They work the only relationship that they have is with their boss Like you know what I mean Like they they go to work they come home they go to work they come home basically that's the life So they don't really have any time to let even have the fun for

Niall Mackay23:51


Ben Nguyen23:52

Let alone you know finding

Niall Mackay23:53

so is there a point like do they do that just until a certain age Is that something you do in your twenties as a young executive or young professional At what point do you then could you can't do that forever Right So at what point did they move out of that Is that something you just have to go through to get ahead At what point do you get ahead

Ben Nguyen24:11

well I think early twenties when you just graduate and I you Properly have to do it And if you have a more open-minded mindset then you will I'd want some point Maybe if I'm 25 onwards you would find that lifestyle not healthy and you actually want to change it And you know just start to develop friendships go out more not staying up late Then I would say from 25 if people who have open-minded mindset they will they will find a way to change their lifestyle Other than that they will just stick to that you know non work life balance existence for the rest of their life That's just how sad the the industry in Japan

Niall Mackay24:55

training Yeah

Ben Nguyen24:57

So I would recommend going to Japan for for traveling living That is not as fun Like to be honest

Niall Mackay25:04

Well this is kind of why I'm asking because you know being an English teacher as well myself I would never want to work in Japan Although I've had some friends who have have enjoyed it there and they But similar with Korea and Japan this is the reason why many English teachers don't enjoy working there And then they love Vietnam because it's definitely much more of a a focus on the work-life balance But if you go back to Ikea it's quite funny that last week when we hosted a quiz one of one of the rounds was 12 different types of tables And you had to write down which type of table it was So I'm going to send you the quiz round after after we finished and you have to send me the answers by your face right now it looks like you don't even know 12 different types of table

Ben Nguyen25:50

No You mean like the names of the products or

Niall Mackay25:53

not like so this was one of the questions at the quiz was like do you mean like the Ikea names of it And I was like no no no not the I just like the type of table

Ben Nguyen26:03

Like in terms of shape and and

Niall Mackay26:06

So for example one of them would be dining table dining room table would be one example but how many types of tables do you think that you could name if you were at this quiz you would have got full marks

Ben Nguyen26:19

Ooh I hope so too because otherwise it's going to be so embarrassing

Niall Mackay26:23

I'm getting his dead I'm going to send it to you afterwards And then hopefully

Ben Nguyen26:26

I would love to give it a try Yes

Niall Mackay26:29

at the end of the podcast keep listening I'll recall how Ben did what his score was on the table

Ben Nguyen26:36

You probably need to edit it out though

Niall Mackay26:40

So you're a creative person obviously and it's amazing That's good It's so funny When you say about your parents when did you to do business It's one of these things is most stereotypes are based in reality you know Scottish people have a reputation for being alcoholics Well not all alcoholics but statistically we have a massive problem with alcohol in Scotland So the there is this truth to the stereotype Did that stereotype of the tiger parents of Asian parents really only wanting the kids to do accounting doctor lawyer engineer It's just so true isn't it

Ben Nguyen27:16

Yes I think it's also because due to the lack of media exposure for that generation I mean we are still like developing country You know when at that with that generation they actually did not have any exposure to those social media Right They we didn't even have that much of like TV content as you guys would in in the Western countries But it's always just like for them art and design in general it's like you know like drawing and painting

Niall Mackay27:45


Ben Nguyen27:45

I think that's what they think of arts and so because of that they will like how can you like make money off you know just like drawing is not going to take you anywhere Let's do something that like people actually need you for like business finance doctor you know those titles So I think it's just it's it's common Like we don't even take it a personal personally anymore It just you know one of the Asian cultures that that parents would be a type of parents who don't allow their kids to you know explore the world and do what they want

Niall Mackay28:18

Do you think that's changing for the next generation of students

Ben Nguyen28:22

absolutely live with with social media So developing right now they get exposed to more Things happening in the world They get to know more about like say an MTV like who thought of NFTs Right So now they know that you know artists can actually make a lot of money off you know one of their paintings you know one of a cartoon characters so it's was just like the more exposure that they get to do experience then it will be better for the next generation It will be less of Pressure

Niall Mackay28:55


Ben Nguyen28:56

to polo what their parents want them to follow In my opinion

Niall Mackay29:02

Well you brought us to a next point perfectly NFTs Okay So you are a NFT creator Is that correct Is that how I would

Ben Nguyen29:11

to be honest I still at this point I still don't 100% understand and empty that how how can I make money off it I do have it though but if you're interested in that if you interested in buying I will link it to you but yeah I'm still also like seeing what other artists do how the market is like actually changing then what people would be interested in buying as an FDR

Niall Mackay29:35

So let's let's go back a step before we're buying an NFT Let's figure out what the hell is it because I'm looking at it now It's just like blowing up It's just all over the place All I hear is about NFTs and look a couple of weeks ago I'm so knowledgeable about it I saw something about it You know it's a non fungible tool I'm not going to lie I thought it was a meetup world I thought fungible was a joke Well the thought it may be it's something to do with fungus I just thought the whole thing was a joke like a non fungible token And then I started reading about it and Googling and I'm like oh fungible is a word And then there's another word called non fungible So do you want to explain the difference between fungible and non fungible before I picture it

Ben Nguyen30:21

I actually don't so you I can actually share what you researched so far and let me know

Niall Mackay30:30

Okay So fungible is something that can be exchanged Hold on let me just quickly Google it again Just quickly Remind myself fungible So basically it was saying when I looked up at something like Bitcoin to your limited so Google says able to replace or be replaced by another identical item Mutually interchangeable All right Whereas non fungible means that it can be replaced by another item to what an NFT is This is where it blows my mind Right So you create a digital artwork right And and for some reason it's called an NFT The NFT part of it is you sell it to somebody Right And they own the original now because it's digital They own the original digital copy So that's theirs but the problem is well not the problem but the thing is because it's a digital thing Anyone can copy and paste it so it can be copied and pasted a million times but that person still owns the original And what it was compared to which I thought was a really good comparison was it's like owning the original of the Mona Lisa you own the original Mona Lisa There's still a million copies of the Malian Tito's with the Mona Lisa on it but you own the original but the problem is the Mona Lisa is a physical thing You own it You have obviously it's in a museum but it's just as an example Whereas an NFT is a digital thing Nobody can tell the difference between the original digital artwork that you've created and the copy of it And so I don't understand I don't know if anyone understands I'm sure someone does I don't understand how it has value And why is it blowing up right now Why is that All I see on the news all I hear about is NFTs NFTs Can you explain any more on what I've just described

Ben Nguyen32:24

Well I actually don't know when or it started with this whole new trend but you will absolutely ride with them or not Is I actually read that Thread about MonaLisa It's like explaining really SIM in a simple way how NFD works is that you know like you you you can you if you're on the original then no matter what how many copies that other people have it doesn't it doesn't have any value So for NFC it's it's the same and say I have this picture of a biscuits that I drew digitally Then you buy it from me as an NFT and then you So now even if I send that you know JPEG version of biscuit photo to 20 other people and then later on if that if it's get became famous and the value of the drawing that I made that I sold to Would be worth you know millions of downs and those 20 other other 20 people that they have the copy of a biscuit They want to sell it to try to get some money off it They cannot because they don't have any say when you buy the NMT for me you will get a specific code to it And that would be your kind of like my Autocrat like

Niall Mackay33:45

I know

Ben Nguyen33:45

real that this is the only one original artwork then no one can actually sell it at all

Niall Mackay33:51

So then would it come down to like you know trademarking or copyright or whatnot So if someone else made TTLs for example or was sailing posters with this picture on it you could be like Hey I didn't give you permission to copy this because I own this picture like is I don't know the legalities of it is that Yeah

Ben Nguyen34:11

you can have the right to Sue them and bring them to court for

Niall Mackay34:15

violating I feel like there's going to be a huge problem in Vietnam where everyone copies everything

Ben Nguyen34:23

But that in a second why do we actually care

Niall Mackay34:26

Yeah Right Well yeah True So the other question I had for you as well because I saw on your website it said all your work digitally Hand drawn Now that seems like a massive oxymoron to me How can it be digitally Hand-drawn

Ben Nguyen34:42

my disease or drawing let's say Korea started out I've always loved drawing but because of that I can not just let bring people and pans and you know like spread out like a whole desk of my my stationary on the plane to draw So then I was like okay I want to draw when it wherever I go like I want And then at that point apple just released the first iPad pro Comes with a pen And then I was like okay I'm going to switch to that So I can you know like draw them all because because of all the troublesome that I have to do with the traditional stationary then I I get lazy and I didn't really draw as much as I wanted so because of the iPad role I actually began to draw more and more and more and then I got better at it And then now I'm just like yeah I

Niall Mackay35:35

don't know how to anymore

Ben Nguyen35:36

to be honest

Niall Mackay35:38

man I'm such an old man I'm so old I mean all of this technology has been invented in my lifetime That's why I feel like I'm an old man Just asking the stupid question How did you digitally hand draw it And you're like well yeah because it just used an iPad pro and I'm like oh yeah I just can't even fathom in my main like how you digitally create that But I guess it's not that crazy Right The other question I had about NFTs Do they have to have the same kind of style Cause every NFT I've seen so far and even looking at youth they've all got the same kind of style Is that part of it or is that coincidence

Ben Nguyen36:13

at all you can actually sell As an an empty slate you know like one of the most expensive and empty artworks that's just Scott So recently was a series of photos that a guy had been taking for five years nonstop and then they he put it into a collage and then he sold it And now it's like I dunno how much like $65 million So you can actually sell anything as an empty you can actually sell this As an NMT and less speech If someone buys it

Niall Mackay36:43

Yeah sure absolutely See this is where I get I'm just I've no idea what you're talking about How do you sell this podcast as an NFT I don't get it like also the poor thing Like even with crypto currency I don't fully understand how that has value Right Other than we just assign it value So even with the NFTs so he sued this for 65 million Just because someone's like I want to pay 65 million for it or it's like is it because so if you create an NFT it's just because it's a work of art Someone's like oh my God that is so amazing I will pay you X amount or 2

Ben Nguyen37:20

understand now it's I think it's just like a piece of art that someone's really interested in owning and they have so much money on hands and then they just want to buy it

Niall Mackay37:29


Ben Nguyen37:29

my ex understanding now like I I don't know the the back of the mind of the person that poaches did so I couldn't really tell like what actually you know initiated the ideal buying that you know say a collage of selfies

Niall Mackay37:46

The other thing cause people keep talking about it being kind of like a speculative market or people are investing So what is it that suddenly people think that they have they put all this money into it and then it's going to increase in value I don't understand Anyway we're going to start because I'm never going to understand that when they don't want to know what we're going to do Thank you very much for joining me This is the first episode of season All that Seven Million Bikes I'm so excited excited Well it's no Seven Million baked or Vietnam podcast which has changed from a Saigon podcast We'll listen to all over the world We've already hit over 27,000 downloads We're rated as one of the top 10% podcasts in the world So it's pretty awesome Thank you so much And thank you so much to everyone who's listening We're going to finish as we do with every single episode with the series of questions and I change them for every single season So this is the first question of season eight and the first interview with Ben When if you could travel anywhere in Vietnam for a week where would you go and why

Ben Nguyen38:45

for one I would say though because everyone's been through a lot to be honest like I'm the only person or the only person who hasn't been to Donna and Exactly It's embarrassing right Because of that

Niall Mackay39:02

Action now

Ben Nguyen39:04

it's just like okay I might as well just go now So just don't stop judging me But when you she has a better life on me

Niall Mackay39:18

Oh my goodness All right That's a good

Ben Nguyen39:19

but when

Niall Mackay39:20

the last person in Vietnam to not go to the last

Ben Nguyen39:25

But when you