Shampoo & Conditioner

As a proportion of savings, I’ve never seen someone spend more money than your aunt. Considering that neither she nor your cousin’s father still don’t have a job, it’s disappointing. It would have been mind-boggling had this occurred before being exposed to Vietnam.

Recently, your aunt asked your mother to buy her shampoo and conditioner. That thought alone gives me a headache. Her request is unreasonable, especially given all of her selfish actions. Your mother, fortunately, pushed back and told her to buy it herself.

Little does your aunt know that your mother can see her bank transactions. Your aunt, in the presence of a bank representative, signed off on it but, nonetheless, probably didn’t understand. Except for a time or two, your mother has been wise enough not to remind her about it even when she’s emotionally charged. We don’t know what she’s buying unless she tells your mother but, based on her track record, much of it is probably unnecessary.

For example:

  • She bought a bottle of vitamins for your grandmother based on someone’s claim that they would improve her heart health and are made in the USA. At your mother’s request, I examined the bottle and quickly determined that it wasn’t a product of the USA. Putting a suspect label on a bottle with a white person and the text “Made in USA” doesn’t cut it. We’re not sure how long she was taking those vitamins but told her to stop immediately.
  • She buys most things on Facebook rather than at a store. Just last month, your aunt bought your grandmother’s Ensure dietary powder from someone on Facebook. As of 2023, it seems like half of the population of Vietnam tries to sell products and/or services on Facebook. Not on Facebook Marketplace, but through their feed. Putting aside the Communist Party of Vietnam, this is enabled by Messenger, inexpensive on-demand delivery services, and/or near real-time bank transfers. Your mother has admitted that most people who buy goods on Facebook are likely dumber than her because, otherwise, they’d buy it from a store either at or around the same price point and with a much higher likelihood of being both authentic and newer.
  • Your aunt tried to get your mother to rent a nicer apartment for her and your cousin’s father than the one your mother had secured. She tried hard to persuade your mother into spending more money. Again, neither your aunt nor your cousin’s father contributed to any rent or utility payment except for part of the final utility bill, which your aunt was forced to cover by your mother. Your mother also lost the security deposit since they didn’t meet their end of the bargain. The idiots sat around doing nothing for more than a month.
  • She’s spent many tens of millions of đồng (probably more) on fad cosmetics sold on Facebook for her Y-zone.
  • With regard to your cousin, she paid for her to get the same comprehensive full bloodwork panel twice. Your aunt, within days, took her to another hospital and mindlessly followed the doctor’s orders. Given medical records are available electronically, either the doctor conned her or failed to review them. It’s a toss-up. But your aunt should have been aware of what was happening to her child.
  • About two weeks before your cousin was delivered, she went to see a man outside of a hospital who she believed was an obstetrician at Bệnh viện Từ Dũ because he said so for a prenatal check-up. He told her that he’d handle her delivery. A stranger at another hospital told her of that man while she was waiting for a routine pre-natal check-up previously. Unsurprisingly, he was nowhere to be found when she was giving birth. We suspect she was prey. We’ve personally witnessed (and been a victim of) an opportunist but in a much different context. Con-artists in Vietnam will wait around all day to try to take advantage of an ill-informed person. Any money is good money to many Vietnamese people in Vietnam. Even legitimate doctors see patients outside of where they practice to pocket money due to their paltry salary.

Your aunt is an adult. She’s two years younger than me. Your mother has tried hard to knock some sense into her for years, but without any luck. She just doesn’t care. There isn’t much else we can do to help her make better decisions or insulate her from bad ones. Hopefully, for your cousin’s sake, she won’t hit rock bottom. We don’t think she will let us adopt her.

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