Tuesday, March 19, 2013

I threw my hands in the air and said show me something

So, stuff, about Vietnam....

  • Something/someone repeatedly urinates in BOTH of my building's elevators.
  • Men seem to tap a lot. I thought it was just my year 8 students who love tapping out a rhythm throughout class, but it turns out that  cashiers, building guards, receptionists all like to tap too.
  • If there's a fire in your building, you're going to die. Bars on the windows, no fire alarms, really badly located extinguishers, if any.
  • If you find a hair in your food you should just pick it out and continue eating. If you find a bug in your food...you should probably just pick that out too....unless it is your food.
  • Rats are there. Get over it....and don't leave your bag on the ground.
  • Infants on motorcycles aren't wearing helmets. Get over it.
  • People are staring at your beacon of a Western face, no, you cannot blend in. Get over it. Just smile, they'll smile back.
  • Karaoke - any time of day.
  • Choreographed dance routines to K-Pop are the height of awesomeness to teenagers.
  • People love to say 'hello' and giggle when the greeting is returned.
  • For young Vietnamese men, speaking to the Western girl as she walks past will earn you a high-five from your friends.
  • Motorbikes. Motorbikes everywhere. Footpath? No, it's a second motorcycle lane which you're walking in you stupid, stupid, footwalker (similiar to mouth-breather as an insult).
  • Chickens.
  • Soccer is the coolest.
  • No wait, K-Pop is the coolest.
  • The students think it's hilarious when the teacher says 'beach' because it sounds like ' bitch' (this is not just a Vietnamese thing)
  • Hot coffee? Weirdo.  
  • Sweaty boobs.
  • Sweaty boobs.
  • People always smile. Always smile. You're happy - Smile. You're upset - Smile. You're angry - Smile.
  • Sweaty boobs.
  • Love the French Quarter.
  • Yet to meet a straight Western male who lives here and does not have a Vietnamese partner. Stereotyping? Data collecting. So, Vietnamese men might like me? No, you are too outspoken! Stereotyping? I hope so.
  • Vietnamese women are gorgeous. Stereotyping?
  • Vietnamese teachers dress like the fanciest corporate bunch on Swanston St or like they're going to a nightclub. Heels, always.
  • Sweaty boobs.
  • Only child living abroad? YOU ARE HEARTLESS TO LEAVE YOUR PARENTS.
  • If there is an empty space in the neighbourhood.... Community Garden!
  • Harlem Shake. It's big.
  • 'Forever Alone' = most overused teenage phrase right now.
  • That Australian teacher is Forever Alone. HAHAHAHAHAHA. Ahem.
  • Run out of money on a half-built high rise? Meh, whatever, come back next decade and finish that shit.
  • Facebook. Works when Vietnam feels like letting you use it.
  • Power cuts - at least three times a week.
  • Packet of cherry tomatoes $5 in Melbourne $0.70 in Hanoi (only one example of massive price difference).
  • Only one mosquito bite last night? WIN!


  1. I've shared this with a couple of friends who did a similar teaching trip in Vietnam & my bf who visited while they were there. I think this is one of those things that only people who have visited will understand, but I still had a giggle :)

  2. Oh, L, a blog comment! This is like the old days ;)

  3. This is awesome! I spent 3 weeks in Hanoi and you got it right!