Monday, April 30, 2012

Interesting things about the Vietnamese

These are things I noticed during my four-day stay in Ho Chi Minh City. Feel free to disagree but personally, I find it interesting how the Vietnamese...

1.      ...are hardcore motorcyclists! People-watching became more interesting with the city's main form of transport. Almost everyone rides one: the young, the oldeven preggies! 

Motorcycles are a normal sight in Ho Chi Minh City. Don't avoid them. They avoid you. 

2.      ...refer to the toilet as "WC". I'm used to calling it “CR” or just “washroom”. The waiter gave me a funny look when I asked what it meant. 

"Water Closet"

3.    ...aren't in to junk food. I’m almost certain that I'm wrong but chips were nowhere to be found! The only "junk" food I saw in the grocery was instant noodles. Is this why plump people are a rarity?

Dried fruit chips seemed to be the commonest chips around.

4. to practice their English. It takes guts to approach a stranger (a tourist, at that) and talk about random nothings in a second language. The locals aren't the best in English but they acknowledge the need to learn and be good at it hence, the regular practice. Keep it up!

These college girls asked me what it takes to be famous! 

They interviewed me about the weather. It was so hot that day!

Our conversation lasted for more than an hour. It was cool how our group kept growing!

5. the park! The city is abundant with parks and these are conducive to learning, socializing and physical activity. I think the Vietnamese would rather be there than shopping. 

Some teachers would hold classes in the park at night!

6.    ....never seem to run out of hotels! In the city, people usually live in four to five-storey buildings with narrow openings that run deep inside. Most of these have many rooms, which the owners convert into a hotel. Talk about putting resources to good use!

Typical street with residential buildings / hotels around.

7.     ...aren’t into basketball. From my observation, they’re more in to volleyball, badminton or that feather hacky sack! 

The feather hacky sack seems to be a popular hobby for school boys.

8.       ...bury their departed in the backyard (or in the fields). This is more common outside the city, though. Cremation is said to the twice as expensive as a burial.

It's normal to have tombs in the yard.

9.      ...have sophisticated baggage counters! Maybe it was just at that particular mall. 

Look! Lockers!

10.    ...put themselves to good use. Sure, there are lots of people out of the streets. Notice, though, that all of them seem to have work: selling cooked meals, fruits, vegetables, or lottery tickets. Very commendable! 

Everyone seems to have work. No beggars in sight so far!

What other interesting things about the Vietnamese are worth pointing out?


  1. Have you noticed Vietnamese's love affair with vegetables? It's always on their menus! We were surprised to see green, leafy vegetables alongside with our chicken when we at their local KFC.

  2. Too bad I wasn't able to go to their KFC! Must do this the next time I'm there. But yeah! Vegetables galore! Healthiness!

  3. have you noticed the pack of rats in the park? =E

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