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Negative things about Vietnam
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mk87



Joined: 01 Apr 2013
Posts: 55

PostPosted: Fri Dec 20, 2013 4:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Laughing at that being a reason not to learn Vietnamese.

Anyway generally you are right. I mean the idea that in Vietnam a physical conflict is unavoidable is silly. Vietnamese people don't like to fight, they pretty much seem to avoid it at any costs - if they do fight they don't mess about, hence the weapons. Just ignore it - so what if some Vietnamese guy calls you dirty? I would have thought as teachers we could all agree that force is not the best way to educate people.
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I'm With Stupid



Joined: 03 Sep 2010
Posts: 342

PostPosted: Fri Dec 20, 2013 6:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, I've never known anyone down in Saigon to get criticism for being with a Vietnamese woman. When I was in South Thailand, two women that we were sitting with got rude comments though. From the bar staff, no less.

I know someone who got started on by a group of men in the Mekong after they'd been in a nightclub, including the security staff. From his account it sounded like they basically wanted to show that they could beat up a foreigner. Obviously still too cowardly to attempt it in anything other than a big group though. But compared to back home, I'm far more relaxed around drunk people here. No-one going to start a fight with you for "looking at them funny" in Vietnam.
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I'm With Stupid



Joined: 03 Sep 2010
Posts: 342

PostPosted: Fri Dec 20, 2013 6:46 am    Post subject: Re: fights? Reply with quote

cb400 wrote:
VN men are so jealous and insecure they cannot hold it in most of the time and act pretty surprised when getting punch in the face after calling our girlfriends/wives whores.

How do they usually respond to be insulted back in Vietnamese?
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just noel



Joined: 17 Jul 2006
Posts: 164

PostPosted: Sat Dec 21, 2013 6:10 am    Post subject: Re: fights? Reply with quote

I'm With Stupid wrote:
cb400 wrote:
VN men are so jealous and insecure they cannot hold it in most of the time and act pretty surprised when getting punch in the face after calling our girlfriends/wives whores.

How do they usually respond to be insulted back in Vietnamese?


Local men (often uneducated, poor, and impolite on the street) that call our wives "whores" and other insults are in Saigon. I do not recall ever hearing wives married to westerners called "*beep*" or insulted in Hanoi. Not saying it doesn't happen, but it seems to happen in Saigon.

If I respond back with an insult (for example, "ban la mot lon") they never have done anything.

It seems these guys talk, but do not want confrontation.
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mk87



Joined: 01 Apr 2013
Posts: 55

PostPosted: Sat Dec 21, 2013 8:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow... anecdotal evidence is always a winner. I've never heard anyone called a *beep* in saigon, so it musnt happen.

Also, punching someone because they called your wife a *beep* is pretty stupid really. As you said, uneducated and poor - the people who most deserve physical justice
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1st Sgt Welsh



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

PostPosted: Sat Dec 21, 2013 8:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mk87 wrote:


Also, punching someone because they called your wife a *beep* is pretty stupid really. As you said, uneducated and poor - the people who most deserve physical justice


Maybe it is stupid, but, then again, so is most violence and, IMHO, it's a better reason than most based on the fights I've seen. Personally if some bloke said that and the husband decided to give them a good smack, in all honesty, [providing they weren't, for example, some mentally ill hobo], I would have zero sympathy and I'd say they had it coming.
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mk87



Joined: 01 Apr 2013
Posts: 55

PostPosted: Sat Dec 21, 2013 9:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Really? Instead of just thinking "oh that guy is a *beep*" and then getting on with your life. If you want to follow that logic I dont really think you can complain when they guy turns up with his friends or some form of weapon.

He's not just going to say "Oh fair play old chap...I see you stood up for your woman, lets go and have a tra da and forget the whole incident"

As I said I come from an area where violence isnt unusual when you are growing up, so its not something I'm scared of it but niether is it something that I think is a good idea, if you dont want to carry on problems. Vietnam is not like where I am from, people don't go out at the weekend and have a fight as entertainment, so IMO if you start a fight here you have to expect what is coming to you.
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1st Sgt Welsh



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

PostPosted: Sat Dec 21, 2013 10:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi mk87,

In my view, the one who made the comment started the fight. If you are trying to go about your business and some anti-social douche bag, for whatever bizarre reason, makes a point of going out their way to insult your family then, as far as I'm concerned, they provoked it. Even the law in Western countries accepts this. If you are charged with battery, and you can make the case that the degree of provocation was such that a reasonable person would have reacted the way that you did then you'll walk. I think that's fair. That doesn't give you the right, of course, to beat someone within an inch of their life because they disagreed with you about the weather, but, calling your nearest-and-dearest a *beep* for no reason is a very different matter and, if you decided to punch another guy for that, then I honestly don't have a problem with it. In my view, I would consider it justified and understandable, but, that's not the same as saying it would always be sensible.

Indeed, if some husbands decided that it wasn't worth it and, in your words, got on with their life then I'd be OK with that too. I honestly don't know what I'd do in those circumstances as it has never happened to me, but, if and when it does, I'll have to make a judgement and I'm old enough and experienced enough to know that no good will come out of losing a fight, especially here. You mentioned weapons and I've spoken about that on this forum before:

http://forums.eslcafe.com/job/viewtopic.php?t=103480

I guess it comes down to where can you morally draw the line and raise your hands? On this question, everyone is going to have different moral thresholds and that's fine, but I think 'reasonableness' should be key. Crudely insulting your wife, in my view, crosses that line. A stranger walking up to and spitting in your face would cross that line. Some creep stalking your wife, girlfriend or daughter crosses that line and so does a lot of other things. Some jackass trying to cut-in at the queue at the Citimart, in my view, wouldn't. However, IMHO, the onus should be on the anti-social douche bag not to act like such an anti-social douche bag instead of expecting everyday people to practice high degrees of tolerance when experiencing their unwarranted abuse.
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RustyShackleford



Joined: 13 May 2013
Posts: 86

PostPosted: Sat Dec 21, 2013 11:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm with Luke on this. Incidentally violence is something that shouldn't concern e average person here. That said, I have been involved only in two incidents: the first one involved another foreigner pulling a knife to my neck and threatening to kill me (the matter is resolved now and I will provide no further identifying details to not libel their name on a public forum). Another was when I directly prevented an angry Vietnamese man from whacking two women with a tire chain. He got quite angry at me as I started to film him with a crowd watching but I kept my distance and I made it out without a scratch.
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ExpatLuke



Joined: 11 Feb 2012
Posts: 322

PostPosted: Sat Dec 21, 2013 4:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

On the topic of Vietnamese men starting fights...

One thing you have to realize about the Vietnamese is that they are a very fiery and passionate people. They aren't your stereotypical, meek, quiet, and reserved Asians. The Vietnam/American war should be enough evidence of that. A tiny county standing up to the might of the strongest nation in the world at the time and fighting them to the point were victory would have cost too much to continue is amazing... Like Afghanistan against the Russia's Red Army. Hell, just look at the typical Vietnamese housewife. If she's not screaming at her husband or children, she isn't happy. Smile

I say all this with the utmost fondness for the Vietnamese people. I really appreciate all the quirks of the culture I'm a guest in. And I like the fact that as a foreigner I can experience the best of both worlds while not being under the same expectations as a local.

All that said, my Western mentality has gotten me in trouble on a few occasions. I've heard comments from both teenagers and fully grown men that have rubbed me the wrong way, and nearly caused fights on more than one occasion. I've never heard someone say something about my girlfriend, and if I did, I honestly don't know how I'd react. But overall, I try to keep my cool.

If you get in a fight here, there's no sense of honor in the 1 on 1 fight you'd find in the west. If one guy with his group of friends insults you, and you get in his face, you can bet the whole group will gang up on you. Which is why these comments usually only occur when there's groups of bored young men drinking together.

It doesn't just happen with foreigners either. If heard multiple instances of a group of friends getting too rowdy at a street stall and insulting another smaller group... the smaller group then leaves and comes back with more friends and a brawl breaks out. People seem to get extremely carried away in these situations too, and stabbings do occur.

The best thing to do if someone insults you or someone you're with is to just ignore it. I know that's easier said than done.. Just today some dumbass taxi driver got pissed because I was driving too slowly in front of him, even though I was in the slow lane, and I flipped him off as he yelled at me. I should have just let it go.

Stay safe out there people. Just remember that these people who insult you usually do it out of ignorance. Most of them probably haven't had half the opportunities you've had in your lift, just because of the country you were born in to. We aren't better than them, but in many cases we are more fortunate than they are. It kinda helps you keep things together, when you look at it in perspective.
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cb400



Joined: 27 Sep 2010
Posts: 168
Location: Hanoi

PostPosted: Sat Dec 21, 2013 4:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ExpastLuke: a smart and thoughtful post.

However I have to (politely) disagree with you about letting things go because of the situation we are born into. Insulting others to make yourself feel better is insecurity and just ignorance, rich/poor, Asian/western.

But as a whole, you are right...let it go...the motto for success in VN

Very Happy
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skarper



Joined: 12 Oct 2006
Posts: 249

PostPosted: Sat Dec 21, 2013 5:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It doesn't matter one iota what we think is right or who started it. We are not in the elementary school playground any more.

If you get into a fight and it escalates (as it often will) either you will get hurt badly or you will hurt them badly. No matter who started it you and what you 'think' the law in your own country will say you will come out a massive loser.

Do you think you'd stand any chance in court here? And how do you fancy a spell in hospital after someone nasty Vietnamese 'man' and his 8 pals jump up and down on your head?

Don't fight. Walk away. It is never worth it except in self defence and then minimum violence and walk away.
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1st Sgt Welsh



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

PostPosted: Sun Dec 22, 2013 4:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

skarper wrote:
It doesn't matter one iota what we think is right or who started it. We are not in the elementary school playground any more.


No, we are not in elementary school. We are on an Internet forum. mk47 made the statement that, in the example discussed, that he thought the person who reacts to their wife being called a *beep* provoked the fight. That's mk47's view and that's fine. However, I disagree.

skarper wrote:
If you get into a fight and it escalates (as it often will) either you will get hurt badly or you will hurt them badly. No matter who started it you and what you 'think' the law in your own country will say you will come out a massive loser.

Do you think you'd stand any chance in court here? And how do you fancy a spell in hospital after someone nasty Vietnamese 'man' and his 8 pals jump up and down on your head?

Don't fight. Walk away. It is never worth it except in self defence and then minimum violence and walk away.


People may differ on whether using provocation as a defense or mitigating factor is justifiable, but it's pretty well-established. I earlier used an example, where a stranger walks up and spits in your face for no reason. That actually happened, (not to me), on the street where I was living in London. To be honest, if A spat in B's face and B smacked A once for it and, if I was a jury member, I wouldn't vote to convict B. Would you? Personally, I doubt whether most Western cops, under those circumstances, would even bother to charge B if they established that's what happened.

In regards to how the legal system will treat a foreigner, I touched on that briefly in the thread that I provided in my above post when I stated that you can't expect much help from the cops and the locals. I also mentioned in that thread that fighting here should be avoided and I gave reasons for that (pretty much the same reasons as you've just expressed). In my above post, I also clearly expressed my view that there is a big difference between having an "understandable" and "justifiable" reaction to provocation and whether or not something was "sensible".

Like I said, in my view, it comes down to judgement [which pertains to the circumstances and possible consequences] and reasonableness [the degree to which force should be used, if at all]. You stated that people should not fight and just "walk away" and that "it is never worth it except in self defence and then minimum violence and walk away." If that's the judgement that you would make then fair play to you. God knows, in the vast, vast majority of cases, I would agree. I'm not one for trouble and it's been almost two decades since many last fight and, hopefully, it can stay that way. In my experience, if you are someone who looks for trouble then you can find it no matter where you are. However, if I, or someone else, experiences unwarranted and excessive abuse from some douche bag on the street then I may make the judgement to physically respond and I think that's fair enough.


Last edited by 1st Sgt Welsh on Sun Dec 22, 2013 4:51 am; edited 1 time in total
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mk87



Joined: 01 Apr 2013
Posts: 55

PostPosted: Sun Dec 22, 2013 4:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

1st Sgt Welsh wrote:
skarper wrote:
It doesn't matter one iota what we think is right or who started it. We are not in the elementary school playground any more.


No, we are not in elementary school. We are on an Internet forum. mk47 made the statement that, in the example discussed, that he thought the person who reacts to their wife being called a *beep* provoked the fight. That's mk47's view and that's fine. However, I disagree.


Wait wait wait... I never said that - you know there is a big difference between provoking and starting a fight? Provoking a fight is asking somebody to hit you, or squaring up to someone etc... Starting a fight is hitting someone. In neither case does your wife being called a *beep* necessarily mean either of those things.

My point was exatly that its a stupid game to get involved in in the first place. Just like you said, its not sensible. That was my original point, with the added caveat of suggesting that moaning that VNese guys dont play fair is all a bit silly. What do you really expect them to do, let the bigger guy beat them up? (Thats not aimed at 1stSgt by the way...its a general question)
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1st Sgt Welsh



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

PostPosted: Sun Dec 22, 2013 5:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mk87 wrote:
1st Sgt Welsh wrote:
skarper wrote:
It doesn't matter one iota what we think is right or who started it. We are not in the elementary school playground any more.


No, we are not in elementary school. We are on an Internet forum. mk47 made the statement that, in the example discussed, that he thought the person who reacts to their wife being called a *beep* provoked the fight. That's mk47's view and that's fine. However, I disagree.


Wait wait wait... I never said that - you know there is a big difference between provoking and starting a fight? Provoking a fight is asking somebody to hit you, or squaring up to someone etc... Starting a fight is hitting someone. In neither case does your wife being called a *beep* necessarily mean either of those things.

My point was exatly that its a stupid game to get involved in in the first place. Just like you said, its not sensible. That was my original point, with the added caveat of suggesting that moaning that VNese guys dont play fair is all a bit silly. What do you really expect them to do, let the bigger guy beat them up? (Thats not aimed at 1stSgt by the way...its a general question)


Sorry mk87. I think I misunderstood where you were coming from. Nonetheless, I think we probably still disagree. I'd personally use the terms "provoking" and "starting" a fight interchangeably. That would just be my common usage, but I'm not sure if that is technically correct. Anyway, it's my day off so I'm not too keen to debate relatively minor points of lexical usage Wink.

In regards to fighting being "stupid", of course it is. At least in the vast majority of cases. However, tolerating unwarranted and excessive abuse isn't cool either. In regards to "moaning that VNese guys don't play fair", I don't think anyone is doing that. We are just discussing the way things are and, although there are some differences in opinion, I don't think anyone is that far apart on this. Fighting here, or anywhere for that matter, can easily become a serious affair and therefore it should be avoided. On that, at least, we all seem to agree.

In regards to most Western males being bigger and stronger than most Vietnamese, as a matter of simple common sense, I'd suggest that this should discourage Vietnamese from picking fights with Westerners in the first place. I would guess that it often does and I've met more than a few obnoxious Westerners strutting their stuff in Vietnam. Indeed, in most Vietnamese/Western physical exchanges, my money would be on the Westerner as the one who started it. On the whole, I don't think the Vietnamese are a particularly physically aggressive bunch and I'm much less concerned about fighting in Saigon or Hanoi, despite its tendency to get insanely out-of-hand, than many large Western cities that I've been to.
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