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



Joined: 11 Apr 2011
Posts: 39

PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 3:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've met too many tourists that try to start a blue with a local because they don't know the value of the currency. Maybe you made a typo. But the number of 0's at the end of a note are a reality we have to deal with here. I just hope you pick your battles wisely.
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1st Sgt Welsh



Joined: 13 Dec 2010
Posts: 540
Location: Salalah, Oman

PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 7:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mushroom_season wrote:
I've met too many tourists that try to start a blue with a local because they don't know the value of the currency. Maybe you made a typo. But the number of 0's at the end of a note are a reality we have to deal with here. I just hope you pick your battles wisely.


Shocked

It's the exact opposite of reality! When it comes to money here, I often say '50' when I mean '50,000 VND', '100' when I mean '100,000 VND' etc and I hear other expats doing the same thing all the time. Why? Because it's easy and almost everything to do with dong is in the thousands or millions. Occasionally, you will see something priced with an extra 500 VND on it (i.e. about 2.5 cents), but that's pretty much it. When I first read kutz's post, I knew instantly he was talking about 20,000 VND as it couldn't have been anything else. Indeed, I find it difficult to believe that anyone who actually lives here would be confused by his post.
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kurtz



Joined: 12 Mar 2008
Posts: 400
Location: off the radar

PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 8:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mushroom_season wrote:
I've met too many tourists that try to start a blue with a local because they don't know the value of the currency. Maybe you made a typo. But the number of 0's at the end of a note are a reality we have to deal with here. I just hope you pick your battles wisely.


Are you playing with a full deck, mate? Glad to see the 'sarge has some common sense.
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DNK



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

PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 10:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You know, I originally read mushroom as making a quite subtle joke, but now I'm not so sure I didn't misread incompetence as subtlety Shocked
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mushroom_season



Joined: 11 Apr 2011
Posts: 39

PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 4:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes it was a subtle joke originally. But I guess I am sick of fighting over xu. Usually when I am about to get cheated of such trifles. I ask myself how much do I need the service or product. If I am desperate I will take it, lick my wounds and not visit the vender again. Better to save face, live to see another day than worry about such things. Reallise there are some honest venders out there. Those venders warrant my repeat purchases. I guess you my friends take matters differently. How you do so is up to you.
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8balldeluxe



Joined: 03 Jun 2009
Posts: 64
Location: vietnam

PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 4:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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.

I have put myself in their shoes Mr. inhanoi. And when I did I thought that no matter how poor I got I would never bother someone while they are eating, or buying gas with their wallet open. Just because they are poor does not mean they have a right to be unkind of disrespectful. That is why I only give to beggars who approach me while I am just standing there doing nothing. That is a sign they are truly needy. If they have the nerve to harass eaters, then they must be trained in that behavior. I doubt their sincerity, and frankly if they are going to be asinine about it then they don't deserve any help anyway. Don't tell me it is cultural but you may have noticed locals are somewhat afraid to send them away.They other poster explained why. But hey, if you live up in the capital then you must have dealt with beggars who are more persistent than in HCMC. I heard they stand at your table for 15 minutes and if you get mad at them they start a confrontation. Is that the reason you have found a way to rationalize having them in your food ?
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8balldeluxe



Joined: 03 Jun 2009
Posts: 64
Location: vietnam

PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 4:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can not ever get used to fellow expat teachers who want to debate about grammar in the teacher's room. For the reason that they usually never listen to your reply, and they believe grammar is the same as common phrases or usage. And they are really arguing about the "right way to say" something. And when it comes to real grammar rules they usually do not know how they work anyway. There is no such thing as a "linker" for example. It is a sentence adverbial or a conjunction.
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I'm With Stupid



Joined: 03 Sep 2010
Posts: 380

PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 8:15 pm    Post subject: Re: Foreigner Price Reply with quote

kurtz wrote:
My Vietnamese is quite appalling but I'd say you might get a fairer price if you can speak the lingo.


To be fair, you almost always get a fairer price if you simply bother to ask first. But it's not hard to forget. I spent a month travelling from North to South recently, and I've gotta say, the amount you get ripped off decreases massively the further South you go. I finished the journey extremely happy that I live down South. As for ripping off tourists, tell me one country that doesn't do that. I once had fish and chips next to the London Eye. They were crap and cost twice the price as normal for half as much.
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1st Sgt Welsh



Joined: 13 Dec 2010
Posts: 540
Location: Salalah, Oman

PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 1:08 am    Post subject: Re: Foreigner Price Reply with quote

8balldeluxe wrote:

But hey, if you live up in the capital then you must have dealt with beggars who are more persistent than in HCMC. I heard they stand at your table for 15 minutes and if you get mad at them they start a confrontation.


I never experienced that when I was living up in Hanoi and, to be honest, the beggars I've been exposed to here are comparatively mild compared to a lot of places I've been. Vietnam doesn't hold a candle to India, or parts of Africa, when it comes to being hassled by beggars! Geez, I think I've been approached by more beggars when I was living in London than either Hanoi or Saigon Confused.

I'm With Stupid wrote:

I spent a month travelling from North to South recently, and I've gotta say, the amount you get ripped off decreases massively the further South you go. I finished the journey extremely happy that I live down South.


Hear, hear!
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kurtz



Joined: 12 Mar 2008
Posts: 400
Location: off the radar

PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 1:15 am    Post subject: Re: Foreigner Price Reply with quote

I'm With Stupid wrote:
kurtz wrote:
My Vietnamese is quite appalling but I'd say you might get a fairer price if you can speak the lingo.


To be fair, you almost always get a fairer price if you simply bother to ask first. But it's not hard to forget. I spent a month travelling from North to South recently, and I've gotta say, the amount you get ripped off decreases massively the further South you go. I finished the journey extremely happy that I live down South. As for ripping off tourists, tell me one country that doesn't do that. I once had fish and chips next to the London Eye. They were crap and cost twice the price as normal for half as much.


Vietnam is of course not alone is overcharging tourists. I've heard that Viets from down south are overcharged in Hanoi too. Considering that this is the Vietnam branch of Dave's, I still think it's fair to talk about overcharging. The classic was when I was on a Halong Bay tour. We stopped at one of those trinket shops they herd you into, so I decided to have a coffee with the geezer sitting on the bus next to me. He was an English speaking Viet guy from Saigon. I thought I paid too much for the coffee and I asked him how much he paid and it was 50% less. The old bag knocking out the coffees was laughing "You white ha ha you pay more ha ha ha!"..........


Back on topic

a) Why someone tries to overtake you on the left when you have a left hand indicator on and you're halfway through making a left turn

b) The reaction when an accident happens; sorry, laughing is not a acceptable response to someone crashing their motorbike

c) Why the Viets will NEVER accept being wrong (yes, I know about the concept of face)

d) How seemingly tolerant the locals are when confronted by large numbers of foreigners who come to their country, earn ten times what they do to speak their own language, and who in most cases don't learn the language.
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bludevil96



Joined: 07 Aug 2006
Posts: 82

PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 8:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

just noel wrote:
The dishonesty, selfishness, and greed.


I was trying to get away from this in the U.S. Wasn't it these 3 things that caused the collapse of the world economy? Last I read, not one of the Harvard educated Wall St. executives come from Viet Nam.
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The Mad Hatter



Joined: 16 May 2010
Posts: 165

PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 11:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bludevil96 wrote:
just noel wrote:
The dishonesty, selfishness, and greed.


I was trying to get away from this in the U.S. Wasn't it these 3 things that caused the collapse of the world economy? Last I read, not one of the Harvard educated Wall St. executives come from Viet Nam.


Too true.

The financial experts are on another thread here putting the world to rights!

What you and I must understand is the complexities of the economy....... beyond the ken of the likes of you and I.

I love the Catholic approach: just do it; don't question!

The top men are all riding souped-up Honda cubs here.
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just noel



Joined: 17 Jul 2006
Posts: 164

PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 4:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bludevil96 wrote:
just noel wrote:
The dishonesty, selfishness, and greed.


I was trying to get away from this in the U.S. Wasn't it these 3 things that caused the collapse of the world economy? Last I read, not one of the Harvard educated Wall St. executives come from Viet Nam.


I never said dishonesty, selfishness, and greed does not exist in the US.
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ajc19810



Joined: 22 May 2008
Posts: 214

PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 9:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great topic.

I will never get used to;

1. Scooters being called motorbikes
2. People thinking an SH or Dylan is cool.
3. The ridiculously large Ralph Lauren logos on the shirts.
4. Being thought of as rich and handsome.
5. People who live near the beach and can't swim.
6. The esl books that are crammed with far too much info.
7. Teachers who over complicate learning a language.
8. The fact that I can come and go in this country as it pleases me.
9. MSG
10. The rush to get in an elevator.

One thing I have got used to which I though I never would is ice in beer. Love it and simply genius and Bi Da.
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bludevil96



Joined: 07 Aug 2006
Posts: 82

PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 3:47 am    Post subject: Re: Caste Reply with quote

snollygoster wrote:
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.


At my condo, there is a mixed race child in the pre-school. I think it was one of those one night stand kinda thing as I've never seen the father. But anyways, the kid has a nick name "khoai tay" meaning potato/french fries; cute adorable kid and everyone loves him - in a novelty kind of way. Vietnamese see mixed kids in a positive way, unlike the U.S., especially if you're blk/wht. As far as the invisible caste system you're referring to, it has to do with where you come from, unlike the Indian caste system which is almost entirely of money. South-wise, the city people tend to look down on those from the farming areas(especially from the north) for their lack of, shall we say, social refineries. The bad manners are blamed on this population. You can actually distinguish them by how they dress and talk, if you know the culture well enough. Any person suggesting that you should divorce your wife over this is an idiot. Marrying a "Tay" is marrying up regardless of how poor the chump is. The idea is that once he brings you back to his country, you can work and support your family, and they(V-women) will sacrifice love over this. Again, it's a southern thinking and I don't know much about the mentality of the north. Friends of mine who are married to women from the north got taken for rides financial wise. Getting back to the idiot who told you this, she/he is jealous of this fact. The culture itself hasn't mature enough to where it can penalizes a person for marrying someone who isn't rich, as most people here are still relatively poor. Getting a job or a promotion here depends on your knowledge of system manipulation and is different within the public and private sector; both of which could care less of whom you're married to. I would guess that this jerk has his/her own personal prejudices and agenda that doesn't reflect mainstream Vietnamese society as a whole.
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