Monday, April 6, 2009

Observations on Vietnam

Seeing as I've been in Cambodia for three weeks or so. I think its about time I published my thoughts on Vietnam.

1) Do not fuck with Vietnam.

They will kick your ass, end of story. They have a successful track record of kicking anyones ass that came to start trouble. For example the French, The Chinese and Americans. Nha Trang at 3am is not fun.

2) Check you change.
They will short change you, oh yes they will! But in fairness mainly in the touristy spots.

3) They drive like total mentalists.
Its utterly terrifying. The rules mean nothing to no one. My bus driver joked on the way to the Chu Chi tunnels that he'd never ever had a crash. He hit two people off mopeds on the way back. Plus after he hit them he opened the door and bollocked them out of it.

4) They enjoy giving you a couple of slaps

This is in principle a playful thing. If they find you attractive they give you a punch in the arm or a slap across the head or indeed a poke in the ribs. Its real playground stuff and once you get into it its quite funny.

5) "You so Handsome"

The local ladies generally say this to most white dudes. Obviously I have no issue with this and find it a wonderfully charming aspect of Vietnamese culture. They are really blunt and will just say personal things to you in the most random way. For example I had just shaved and came back down to the guest house foyer to use the net and was promptly told by the girl at reception that I look much better now and how she didn't like my stubble. She then stuck her finger in the dimple in my chin and called her friends over to have a look. Same thing while trying to change after a massage. I asked the lady to leave while I changed and she just said no and stood there watching.

6) You can't do anything with out a tour.

Forget it, you'll need a tour to get anywhere.

7) One of the family.

When they like you, they really look after you. The place we stayed at in Nha Trang was great and after we had checked out they let us hang around in there own living area and use their shower. I even chatted to their daughter living in Germany for about twenty minutes over the interweb. While Vietnam can be a bit of a drag I have to really rate this aspect of my trip.

1 comment:

  1. aoife o'sullivanApril 13, 2009 at 5:59 PM

    Hey Darragh! Found your blog through facebook, amazing photos, you're bringing back the memories of our own travels - ah Cambodia, what an amazing spot (go easy on the happy pizzas!!!).

    Take care & safe travels

    Aoife & Alan xx