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From other boards, what do you never get used to here?
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mark_in_saigon



Joined: 20 Sep 2009
Posts: 746

PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2012 11:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
But if they see a Vietnamese girl with a tay, she often gets rude comments.


As noted above, the western women don't like it either, including the one above who speaks for all women in the world.

For some strange reason, I do not feel at all bothered to see western women in the company of Asian men, maybe my sensibilities are just not advanced enough, but I really think that it would just be nice if they could find happiness, maybe then they could pay more attention to their own satisfaction and focus less on feeling bad about others who have found happiness.

As far as the VN not liking it, seems that they are far more likely to mention it in the north, in the south it is a lot more rare for them to comment. But a lot of that is also just their personalities, they will certainly get in the middle of your deal at the drop of a hat in the north, not to fight you, but certainly are not shy about the Spanish Inquisition. Even the women selling things will give her the third degree, often they are just interested, not so much being rude.
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LettersAthruZ



Joined: 25 Apr 2010
Posts: 452
Location: North Viet Nam

PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2012 1:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

inhanoi wrote:
Yes, that's more in the spirit of the original post. And so true, it drives me batty trying to get the internet bill paid before they cut it off.


I have FPT at my house and they are NOTORIOUS for ONE visit by the bicycle lady and, if you ain't home, then you'd best get your arse down to the FPT office within the next 48 hours because, otherwise, your beloved web is GONE!
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snollygoster



Joined: 04 Jun 2009
Posts: 478

PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 1:57 am    Post subject: Caste Reply with quote

One thing I can never get used to is the "invisible "caste" system in Vietnam.
I am married to a Viet, younger than me, and we have a mixed race child. Now that DOES bring a few stares.

However, the thing that disturbs me is that my wife is not high born, and Viets -even those in management-tell me my promotion prospects would be better if I was to divorce my wife and marry one from a "more acceptable" family.
Of course I stick by my choices in this matter, and my wife, whilst acknowledging this prejudice exists, takes little notice.

Coming from a place where such divisions do not exist, I find this hard to swallow, but it explains why I am the cleaner, not the director.
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mark_in_saigon



Joined: 20 Sep 2009
Posts: 746

PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 2:31 am    Post subject: Very interesting Reply with quote

Quote:
However, the thing that disturbs me is that my wife is not high born, and Viets -even those in management-tell me my promotion prospects would be better if I was to divorce my wife and marry one from a "more acceptable" family.


That is quite interesting. I do wonder how they know what kind of family she is from. I mean, if you were in her original area, I guess that would make sense, but even then, mostly these are huge cities (assuming you are in HN or HCMC), and it would seem they would instead just judge her on her vocabulary and skin color. Of course, they are so nosy, maybe they just ask her and your wife has no recourse but to answer truthfully.

I certainly agree that the company we keep (or marry) is noted by these people, like a lot of other things we may not think should matter.

The more I am here, the more I think that the best we can do is understand we are just trading time for money, very large quantities of money, especially when one factors in the cost structure here. While we may want to change the world, it is their world, and the solutions are not that hard to see. We must recognize that the system as it is benefits them (some of them) and they LIKE it this way, and want to KEEP it this way. Our mission is to just teach English, accept it for what it is, and enjoy life. So, in a lot of cases, it may be best to just be the cleaner and marry or hang with whoever works out best for you. Trying to move up the ladder here is not really a recipe for improving things, and unless you are desperate for the marginal increase in pay, will often result in less happiness.
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deadlift



Joined: 08 Jun 2010
Posts: 251

PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 3:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm pretty easygoing and can wave off a lot of annoyances with "it's cultural", rightly or wrongly.

But I can never get used to certain acts of sheer idiocy on the roads. In particular, coming up to an intersection, staying next to the right hand curb, then trying to turn left once you've already traveled into the intersection. Usually without any indicating and barely a look behind. Doing so puts your life at risk and snarls up traffic for a hundred other people.
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Porlestone



Joined: 24 Aug 2005
Posts: 95
Location: Asia

PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 5:11 am    Post subject: Re: Very interesting Reply with quote

mark_in_saigon wrote:

That is quite interesting. I do wonder how they know what kind of family she is from. ... Of course, they are so nosy...


I think you pretty much answered it. They can "just tell." This lists one of the things I won't get used to -- the caste system mentioned above, and the way that almost everyone around knows so much about most everyone else.
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DNK



Joined: 22 Jan 2007
Posts: 236
Location: the South

PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 3:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not sure how much of this is true in the South - I take it a lot of the complaints over society (tradition, caste system, etc) are more true in the North than South. Certainly, they exist still, but I'm not sure to what extent here. Ignorant Westerner, I guess... though it's confused my gf as well, as she would be aware of caste issues or whatever.

That said, she has gotten a lot of flak in public for being with me, though it's a bit subdued, especially as she tends to dress quite appropriately. That said, I made the mistake of taking here to Dam Sen water park once... I won't be repeating that again.
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I'm With Stupid



Joined: 03 Sep 2010
Posts: 342

PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 6:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

voltaire wrote:
Responding to some other posters on this thread: I think you know without my telling you that the people of every nation think their country is the greatest country on Earth.


Oh, on the contrary, I find that the better the country, the less the locals seem to think of it. Several times I've tried to praise a Scandinavian country to a local, only to be told how it's not that good. Perhaps these people live in the best places because they complain the most?


Last edited by I'm With Stupid on Mon Jul 02, 2012 6:51 pm; edited 1 time in total
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I'm With Stupid



Joined: 03 Sep 2010
Posts: 342

PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 6:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I could write an essay just on things to do with traffic, but just off the top of my head:

- children without helmets.
- sitting on the right hand side of the road waiting for the traffic lights to change, and only then cutting across everyone to turn left.
- going through a red light when there's 5 seconds to go.
- the beeping. OH GOD the BEEPING!
- how even if people can't fix something, they won't bother to tell you and will have a good go anyway.
- the obsession with Singapore.
- how you can get anything delivered.
- those funerals/memorial services with the brass band.
- those occasional massive slanging matches between street vendors.
- the sheer number of staff everywhere.
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8balldeluxe



Joined: 03 Jun 2009
Posts: 64
Location: vietnam

PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2012 5:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can never get used to sitting down for some food and a person sticking a pile of lottery tickets in my face while I am trying to eat. Or beggars who beg to someone when they are eating for that matter. People who think it is Ok to harass someone who is eating have not learned basic rules of animal world respect and politeness.
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DNK



Joined: 22 Jan 2007
Posts: 236
Location: the South

PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 10:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, but there's a very easy way around that tout-eating problem...
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inhanoi



Joined: 22 Oct 2011
Posts: 165

PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 5:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, the very easy way around it is to ignore it. Put yourself in the place of the person who's begging, or selling junk like lottery tickets. Have some sympathy.

"I'm trying to eat." Give me a break.

If it bothers you so much, spend an extra dollar and eat in places with doors.


Last edited by inhanoi on Fri Jul 06, 2012 3:04 am; edited 1 time in total
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Porlestone



Joined: 24 Aug 2005
Posts: 95
Location: Asia

PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 6:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

8ball, peace of mind while you eat? How dare you. The Vietnamese are so unbelievably friendly and incredibly nice, and are simply approaching for nothing more than greeting you. Their only aim is to spread incredulous joy, extending their truly wonderful spirit. In the meantime, they're also just asking, with a slight hand, if you might not want to reciprocate the joyous karma -- only skip the words, money will be fine. The Vietnamese are unimaginably lovely in all they do, and it's us foreigners that are wrong. If we should dare say (gasp) that a local is in the wrong, then it's our fault for having been there.
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1st Sgt Welsh



Joined: 13 Dec 2010
Posts: 493
Location: Saigon, Vietnam

PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 3:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

inhanoi wrote:

Yes, the very easy way around it is to ignore it. Put yourself in the place of the person who's begging, or selling junk like lottery tickets. Have some sympathy.

"I'm trying to eat." Give me a break.

If it bothers you so much, spend an extra dollar and eat in places with doors.


So we should adjust our habits and reduce our selection of places in which to frequent just so we can avoid the unwelcome and uninvited attentions of annoying touts? If that seems reasonable to you inhanoi then I guess you are entitled to your opinion.

From my point of view, I'm sorry but if you are reading, on the phone, in the middle of a meal, on a date or in a conversation with a friend and some stranger/s interrupts you with a "You buy something" while showing you some assorted junk (naturally at highly inflated prices), then that's rude. Pure and simple. If they just walked in and you did something to show some interest (even if it is just by glancing at their wares) then I guess that's a different matter. Furthermore, getting uninvited attention is not something that happens occasionally - it happens all the time, especially where I live (District 1). It's much worse down here then it is in Hanoi - trust me on that.

What makes it worse is that the owners of the restaurants, cafes etc don't like it any more than their customers do. However, the touts pay protection money to the mob and if a business owner has the impertiance to actually make an attempt to stop touts harassing their customers then there is a good chance their windows will be smashed. I'm not making this up!

But I guess that's hardly surprising considering that many of them have a side business in dealing drugs. A few also solicit prostitution. I've written about my feelings on touts before on this forum and, to be honest, I don't feel I have to "have some sympathy" for them. That's not because of what they are, it's because of what they do and, like I wrote before on another thread, I did actually "have some sympathy" for them until I got to know them better. There is no such thing as a right to earn a dishonest living. I'm not saying this is all of them but there is certainly enough rude, drug-dealing, pimping, rip-off merchant touts who should not be high on anyone's list of people worthy of respect. Indeed, IMHO, they enjoy a far greater degree of tolerance here than they deserve.
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DNK



Joined: 22 Jan 2007
Posts: 236
Location: the South

PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 4:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are certainly some places that get away with keeping touts out, even without doors. Seems like anywhere with actual doors prevents them from wandering in, which makes me wonder what's keeping certain well-traveled "teacher beloved" establishments from putting some doors up or doing whatever it is those other places do...


Is it that the businesses can't contend with the protection money or that the businesses are getting a decent slice of the action also?


I'm sure there are other options for employment for them, even if they don't pay as well.


Anyway, it just makes my life easier to only go to the places without touts and avoid the ones with them most of the time. Usually the choice is as difficult as walking a few meters over to the next place.

Oh, and a pox on anyone who ever hands them so much as 1 dong. If you're into charity, well, find a real one.
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