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Moving on to new straw men and issues we cannot resolve
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mark_in_saigon



Joined: 20 Sep 2009
Posts: 765

PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2014 3:23 am    Post subject: Moving on to new straw men and issues we cannot resolve Reply with quote

Not sure who compared whom to backpackers, but whoever it was, I apologize. Backpackers are peepul too (uhh, right?). Just down there last nite, they were mostly upright and were displaying some humanity (mostly). My biggest beef with the backpackers is not them taking jobs, more power to them in that regard. My only real complaint is they (and I really should be more specific, cause they are certainly not all the same profile) are turning the people against us with their behavior. I have heard many stories from nice girls about how these guys come and assume every girl is for sale. Having met these folks, seems to me this is really about guys who have spent a lot of time in Thailand (or maybe the Phils). My number one VN source tells me about how we used to be thought of as nice, innocent, not understanding the country, now we are considered rude, arrogant and exploitative. Our perfect moment was not going to last forever, and I think the backpacker phenomenon is certainly doing its part to end it.

At the same time, we certainly must agree that the natives are moving in the same direction of greater decadence. While students can still seem mostly nice and well behaved (especially young adults), on the street, in real life, it can be pretty dreadful.

I am gonna copy this over to a new thread, as I can see the regulars have a bit of time on their hands, and want to chew the fat about something, and I think we have beat this other subject to death (we have, haven't we?). Hopefully, we can move on to some other interesting topics. We have:

Get going on backpackers some more, great straw man for us.

New news on the Filipino teachers who were brought over, that program appears to be a bust.

Tet bonuses continue to be a disappearing phenomenon.

Food safety is reported as being atrocious.

Report in a surprising increase in English levels in VN generally.

Coolest weather in 30 years in parts of the region. Thailand had some freezes I think.

New enforcement of the WP's never came down.

Visas seem obtainable without end (and without leaving), new twist is the residency thing, which is overcome with an extra fee.

Add your favorite topic.
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mark_in_saigon



Joined: 20 Sep 2009
Posts: 765

PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2014 4:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Some Uncle Ho currency will take you far as you know Mark. I had to laugh about the Fillipino teachers, not laugh at them but laugh at the government big wig who lined his or hers pocket from that fiasco.It was doomed from the start, seems the powers that be just keep making monumental blunders. Lets not talk about the banking system which seems to be getting worse by the year.


Yeah, that whole thing was insane from the start. Recall they said that paying 2 grand a month for them was a good decision, because Brits cost 5 grand, or some very crazy figures they stated. Seriously, the average westerner does not get 2 grand over here, and the average Filipino makes maybe 3 or 4 hundred in his own country, maybe less. Some of these numbers we see (which supposedly they make decisions based on) are just incomprehensible. Somehow, they must have had a plan that was way over our heads.
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mark_in_saigon



Joined: 20 Sep 2009
Posts: 765

PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2014 6:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is an interesting number in today’s news: According to the HCMC Real Estate Association (HoREA), around 80,000 Korean, 10,000 Japanese and 6,000 Filipinos, the three biggest foreign communities in the city, are now living in HCMC.

Interesting that the Chinese are not on that list. I see lots of Chinese in my part of town, but they may be considered VN, who knows? Used to be lots of them, then during their most recent war, lots of them left, but still, plenty of them stayed and swapped over to calling themselves VN. Seems they are easier to pick out than the Koreans or Filipinos, at least they seem that way to me. They sure got big fast, like the VN are starting to do now.

Wonder how many of those Filipinos are teaching English? I thought the number was pretty low, but the raw number of them here appears to be greater than any of our groups. Would love to see a thread here on Dave's that was populated by Filipinos teaching English here, see what comments they had to make. Pretty rare to see one identify him/herself as a Filipino here on the site.

Also interesting that there is not an American/British/Australian/what have you contingent on that list. Guess they are not adding our guys up into a single group, but surely we must have at least 10 thousand or so combined, right?

I am assuming that this means folks living here, not just passing thru, which it is pretty hard to nail down the difference sometimes.

When people think or speak of “foreigners” here, I usually am thinking westerners, but clearly, the biggest numbers of foreigners are Asians. They just do not LOOK foreign here. I was stopped by an Asian guy one night recently asking directions. He approached me because he assumed I could speak English, as he did not speak VN, and so he was lost. Rather unusual event for me, to be telling an Asian where he is. He looked like everyone else to me.

Occasionally I will have a VN who has lived in the west come up and talk to me, like he/she has an affinity for the westerners and wants to hobnob. Often that same person will treat my VN partner with disdain, like s/he only wants to talk to the westerner. They hate it when I ask my partner to clarify something in VN because they are not very understandable. One yesterday spoke German and Italian, but when my Spanish was not close enough for her, she was not very happy to talk in VN thru my partner. Italian, German or nothing.

Well, if any of you guys have some free time over the holiday, let’s hear from you. We so often get on one thread and beat the fire out of some guy, he may be a bot lost, but it is like a nuclear bomb when one well placed shot should be enough. Let’s get some of these general gripes up, lord knows I have my share.
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Anh Dep



Joined: 16 Mar 2013
Posts: 53
Location: Bangkok Thailand

PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2014 9:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gee where do I start, maybe the things that irk me the most.

Being served at a shop and a local starts barking what they want and are served while I wait.

Having an arm reach in front of me and put they goods down in front of mine.

People driving up the wrong way and wont yield, wanting you to move out of the way and into the line of traffic.

The total disregard for traffic laws.

Nose picking by the waiter or waitress as you enter a place to eat.

The rubbish strewn everywhere and the attitude given when asked to picked it up, especially at the front of my house.

Small things yes, but still very annoying.I try every day when I ride to not let them piss me off, it just doesnt seem to be working. After living here for many years I thought I would be used to it,but Im not.
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montblanc20



Joined: 21 Jul 2013
Posts: 53

PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2014 1:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe I wouldn't say it annoys me, but I wonder how long the VN will let foreigners drive here. How long will they put up with foreigners speeding around and making a mockery of their laws? I often hear nguoi tay when I ride next to two people who are on one bike. There was already supposedly a crackdown, but nothing happened. The country needs the money that comes from foreigners riding around.
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Anh Dep



Joined: 16 Mar 2013
Posts: 53
Location: Bangkok Thailand

PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2014 3:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Foreigners making a mockery of the law would be about 10,000 locals to one foreigner.Its the locals that need to be rained it, or maybe Im not seeing the world through rose coloured glasses.
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montblanc20



Joined: 21 Jul 2013
Posts: 53

PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2014 4:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Foreigner thinks: "Oh they're stupid, poor, corrupt, and don't know how to run their country (I mean just look at it), so eff that". I'm not saying that's how you feel. But there is a neocolonialist attitude that some people have (and don't realize that they have it). I have a feeling that this is what mark in saigon's source is talking about.

When I say mockery of the law, I mean the actual legality of driving. I get that VN are all over the place and speeding. And I get that transport in VN isn't like it is in Western countries and that the laws for obtaining a licence aren't clear and easy. We know that most foreigners, including me, don't have licences. And the ones that do often get them through ways that aren't legit. I guess what I mean is that I hope foreigners drive as discreetly as possible and don't run people over. It's the idea of respecting the country that you're in.

I don't know. Whenever I see foreigners thinking they're badasses riding around and especially Russians, it kind of annoys me.


Last edited by montblanc20 on Fri Jan 24, 2014 4:57 pm; edited 1 time in total
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mark_in_saigon



Joined: 20 Sep 2009
Posts: 765

PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2014 4:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hmmm. Cannot speak for the Russians, or anyone else, but I do know that in the states I am not a crazy driver. Over here, the constant pushing you out of the way if you give a thin opening to these guys promotes this way of driving. I see even the girls are starting to drive this way. In my opinion, this is just a natural result of the lack of any kind of standards for most everything (especially driving rules). It is not getting better as time goes on.

The VN people are capable of first rate performance. Give them a well managed system and they excel. We have a reverse situation here, put us in this system, it is pretty natural for us to adapt to the behavioral norms. I personally do not shove my ass in front of others at the checkout or on the streets, but I do get tired of being shoved, and so sometimes I do shove back.

If the authorities cared, they would start with the worst transgressors, which is not the foreigners. We are a bit cautious, as we do not want to end up in a VN jail.

Traffic was heavy tonight. I was coming down one of the bigger roads, just keeping up, suddenly 4 children run into the street, splitting the traffic. They were playing. The smallest was about 7, he comes running directly head on at and between a phalanx of motorbikes going a very good clip. I came pretty close to killing him, he was so small I could not see him til I almost ran over him. It would not shock me at all if someone a bit further back did. On the other hand, it would not shock me to know they do this all the time and no one notices. Children at play in VN.
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Oh My God



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 268

PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2014 5:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mark_in_saigon wrote:
Quote:
I see this kind of discussion to put this huge focus on what one individual is up to. OMG, you are going to mess up your life, warning warning, danger danger Will Robinson! Come on. Who cares? You have all seen the PNL area, right? We have thousands of guys floating in and out. When posting, I always try to remember that most of our audience here never responds, they do not sign up, they do not want to be taken to the woodshed, they just want some basic information as they troop zombielike from one bar to another, then back to their hotels, then out to these wonderful employers who give them a try. Most of them are in and out in 6 months or so. For most of these guys, any cert that looks legal is good enough, they are not going to be reaching the top level anytime soon.


So if I tell what I've achieved - I'm claiming to be some "Autodidact" instead of saying "if I did it, so can all of you"!?!?

Maybe I misunderstood what you meant when you said,
Quote:
as they troop zombielike from one bar to another, then back to their hotels,
sounds like a generalization of backpackers and it seemed like you were including me.
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montblanc20



Joined: 21 Jul 2013
Posts: 53

PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2014 6:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mark_in_saigon wrote:
Here is an interesting number in today’s news: According to the HCMC Real Estate Association (HoREA), around 80,000 Korean, 10,000 Japanese and 6,000 Filipinos, the three biggest foreign communities in the city, are now living in HCMC.

Interesting that the Chinese are not on that list. I see lots of Chinese in my part of town, but they may be considered VN, who knows? Used to be lots of them, then during their most recent war, lots of them left, but still, plenty of them stayed and swapped over to calling themselves VN. Seems they are easier to pick out than the Koreans or Filipinos, at least they seem that way to me. They sure got big fast, like the VN are starting to do now.

The Chinese Vietnamese are a minority and are VN, not foreigners. The Chinese have been Vietnamized, even if they have their own communities. Their name is translated to Vietnamese. They probably have Vietnamese in their family and are mixed. They're basically Vietnamese who can speak another language. Maybe they've been around since the early 1900s and earlier.

mark_in_saigon wrote:
When people think or speak of “foreigners” here, I usually am thinking westerners, but clearly, the biggest numbers of foreigners are Asians. They just do not LOOK foreign here. I was stopped by an Asian guy one night recently asking directions. He approached me because he assumed I could speak English, as he did not speak VN, and so he was lost. Rather unusual event for me, to be telling an Asian where he is. He looked like everyone else to me.

I guess all Asians look the same. Just joking. But I guess I get what you're saying. We should stop being pc and just say white people.
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kurtz



Joined: 12 Mar 2008
Posts: 393
Location: off the radar

PostPosted: Sat Jan 25, 2014 2:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There seems to be some people who are including backpackers in what should be discourse involving expats. Most backpackers are young, entitled, brainless idiots who feel like they are bulletproof and do whatever they want to.

What is more interesting for me is the way expats behave in a foreign country, and why they continue to live there.

Let me quote from an old blog I read which didn't go down too well with certain Cambodian expats who the blogs offending contents were aimed at:

The Expat Complex is a phenomenon that links personality traits to characteristics of countries people with matching characteristics feel attracted to and may eventually choose to relocate to. By taking the Expat Complex into consideration, you can easily identify personality characteristics of expatriates based on which country they choose to live in. If they feel more comfortable living in a country that’s inherently corrupt and lawless, you can count on it that they are as corrupt and lawless themselves.

I think you can apply the same idea to expats living in Vietnam or any other lawless place. Does anyone try and live their lives by their moral compass? Who has a dodgy motorbike license just so they can claim insurance in case of an accident, rather than because it's the right thing to do? How many people drive home drunk, work illegally and say how corrupt the government is, while choosing to remain in the country, thus being a hypocrite?
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mark_in_saigon



Joined: 20 Sep 2009
Posts: 765

PostPosted: Sat Jan 25, 2014 3:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
The Expat Complex is a phenomenon...


I like that summation, however, I don't think that covers all the bases, and for folks doing this work, I think it can be misleading. It could be rather accurate for many or most cases though.

In many profiles, we can be much better off financially here than at home. It is still hard to find a decent job in the states, yet over here a better teacher can find a job in a matter of days. Factor in costs, which can be a third or less than there. Factor in relationships (serious or commercial), again, incredibly low cost (though many of us give away the farm on that, another subject). There are still even some folks who are in these countries because they honestly want to make some kind of difference in their lives, or because they enjoy their work much more over here, they find it more meaningful.

Still, I think there is a lot of truth there, but also, I think that those that it most applies to are not so much enamored with lawlessness, but with the opportunity to pursue their particular vices at a low cost. Not sure that is the same thing as lawlessness, as not all these vices are illegal, and some of them are gradually becoming legal (finally).

I do not like the lack of standards for anything and everything. What is interesting to me though, this general chaos is the reason we have these opportunities for our unusual lives. If it was a well managed system, they would not need us and our special attraction to them would be largely gone. So I grit my teeth and accept it, knowing it is the reason I can be so happy here.
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Oh My God



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 268

PostPosted: Sat Jan 25, 2014 3:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kurtz wrote:
There seems to be some people who are including backpackers in what should be discourse involving expats. Most backpackers are young, entitled, brainless idiots who feel like they are bulletproof and do whatever they want to.

What is more interesting for me is the way expats behave in a foreign country, and why they continue to live there.


True but for me, I was referring to Backpackers has the larger group that came here on extended vacations and keep extending

Quote:
The Expat Complex is a phenomenon that links personality traits to characteristics of countries people with matching characteristics feel attracted to and may eventually choose to relocate to. By taking the Expat Complex into consideration, you can easily identify personality characteristics of expatriates based on which country they choose to live in. If they feel more comfortable living in a country that’s inherently corrupt and lawless, you can count on it that they are as corrupt and lawless themselves.


This no doubt, was written by an English Nobleman with his nose so high in the air that he is in danger of drowning during a rain storm! What a total load of nonsense! There's corruption and violence in every Country in the World. Morals are about the individual not some Expat Complex Laughing
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Oh My God



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 268

PostPosted: Sat Jan 25, 2014 3:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mark_in_saigon wrote:
I do not like the lack of standards for anything and everything. What is interesting to me though, this general chaos is the reason we have these opportunities for our unusual lives. If it was a well managed system, they would not need us and our special attraction to them would be largely gone. So I grit my teeth and accept it, knowing it is the reason I can be so happy here.


Couldn't have said it better! Wink
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ExpatLuke



Joined: 11 Feb 2012
Posts: 399

PostPosted: Sat Jan 25, 2014 6:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The traffic situation seems to be getting worse with each passing month. When I first arrived here I thought I would get used to the traffic and how people drive, but every month since I've started driving, I've felt more and more out of control. I used to drive faster than I should, but after seeing so many accidents and having my own near misses, I've slowed down a lot.

It's interesting montblanc mentioned foreigners getting blamed for the poor driving, and that is what will most likely happen. We will get the blam even though we're the ones who usually drive more safely. Social pressure against reckless driving and fatal accidents will reach such a point where the government decides to step in, and their solution and scapegoats will be us.

In a sense it's already happening. My girlfriend tells me that Westerners are largely viewed as dangerous and unsafe drivers around Danang and Hoi An. In Nha Trang foreigners cannot rent bikes. I'm sure hoards of drunk Russians have contributed to the Nha Trang rule, but it still boggles my mind how people consider people like me as an unsafe driver when I've never had an accident and don't drive drunk.
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