The Happiest Refugee
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
The bestselling, laugh-out-loud, reach for your hanky story of one of Australia's best-loved comedians.
Anh Do nearly didn't make it to Australia. His entire family came close to losing their lives on the sea as they escaped from war-torn Vietnam in an overcrowded boat. But nothing - not murderous pirates, nor the imminent threat of death by hunger, disease or dehydration as they drifted for days - could quench their desire to make a better life in a country where freedom existed.
Life in Australia was hard, an endless succession of back-breaking work, crowded rooms, ruthless landlords and make-do everything. But there was a loving extended family, and always friends and play and something to laugh about for Anh, his brother Khoa and their sister Tram. Things got harder when their father left home when Anh was thirteen - they felt his loss very deeply and their mother struggled to support the family on her own.
His mother's sacrifice was an inspiration to Anh and he worked hard during his teenage years to help her make ends meet, also managing to graduate high school and then university. Another inspiration was the comedian Anh met when he was about to sign on for a 60-hour a week corporate job. Anh asked how many hours he worked. 'Four,' the answer came back, and that was it. He was going to be a comedian!
The Happiest Refugee tells the incredible, uplifting and inspiring life story of one of our favourite personalities. Tragedy, humour, heartache and unswerving determination - a big life with big dreams. Anh's story will move and amuse all who read it.
Melissa Doyle, Sunrise ‘The way Do approaches his story is witty, charming and heartwarming . . . just when you think you’re about to die from laughter, he wrenches your heartstrings so hard that within an instant you’re on the brink of crying.’ Bookseller+Publisher ‘It’s like a Vietnamese Angela’s Ashes.’ Simon Beaumont, 6PR Radio ‘A truly lovely memoir . . . great pathos and humour, and a straight-talking style.’ The Daily Telegraph ‘The most surprising and inspiring read I have had in
punched me all the way back to Vietnam. Sammy, of course, was completely unscathed. I couldn’t believe I’d lost. My dad’s ‘You can do anything’ had settled in my little brain to such a degree that I was totally convinced I was going to win. Instead, my first fight left me with a split lip, a bruised jaw and a battered self-belief. I went home that afternoon and lied: ‘I ran into a guy when we were playing bullrush.’ That night, as Mum was tucking me into bed, she inspected my cuts. ‘Does it
Where’s Anh?’ I was somewhere in the outfield, probably watching the bees hop from daisy to daisy. ‘Anh, come in for a bowl?’ It was half a command, half a question; the coach half hoping I would say no. ‘C’mon, have a go,’ Phil called out. ‘I don’t want to,’ I replied. ‘This guy’s smashing everyone, so it doesn’t matter. You can’t stuff up,’ Phil said. It turned out I could. I couldn’t get the ball to stay on the pitch and bowled a whole bunch of wides. The kid batting was getting
and trekked for a while, but it got dark and pretty soon we just had to make camp where we were and meet up with the others in the morning. My backpack and all my gear were in the other car. Lucky my mate Steve had a two-man tent. As night arrived it was getting colder and colder and it dawned on me I didn’t have a sleeping bag. So Steve lent me all his warm clothes. I put on as many layers as I could, but I was still freezing—the kind of cold you feel deep in your bones; it makes your teeth
All these years, Barnesy had been singing about my uncle and I didn’t even know because no one could understand Barnesy! Then Eric, the funniest of the old guys, said, ‘Isn’t that interesting, Anh, that one of Australia’s favourite songs is about a little Vietnamese town called Khe Sanh. If you ever want to be a rock star, go back to Vietnam and bring out a song called ‘Albury Wodonga’!’ For me one of the greatest charms of doing stand-up around Australia is meeting the characters. I sat and