- Noodle – the forth meal in a day
After a day of playing, nothing is better than a bowl of hot noodle at mid-night. Noodle is put in a white pottery bowl which is decorated with some small flowers. A pair of chopsticks will be the ticket for you to enter the heaven. You can add some sauces to the noodle or not, but bean sprouts should be served with.
Visitors can enjoy the noodle together with a free cup ice tea by themselves on the small plastic chairs next to an aluminum table. All the tiredness or the drunk of the last meal seem to ease quickly. I wish I can cook that noodle to sell to students when I come back to America.
- Every people want to take photo with you
When I was in Vietnam, I joined a cover music group called Alternative Medicine. We played well, but not excellent. However, the local treated us as if we were so famous. Some young girls came to take photos with us. Sometimes I had to give them my Facebook address. I had never been asked for signature before, but I did here in Vietnam as I’m the unique white man in a group.
- When I bought cloths in a market, a strange woman was surprised by my height
I have many handmade clothes at the price of 150.000 VND made in Vietnam. Some of them are nice occasionally, and some of them were still being used last week. The thing is that, in Vietnam, I can dress the clothes made for myself at the price of lower than $10, received products after 3 weeks.
- It’s easy to earn money
A company needed to hire an actress as a western girl with white skin and blond hair. I received $800 to play a role in an advertisement which is similar to Survivor show of Finland in which I pretended to wash a shirt. I was the actress with highest pay in Vietnam that day.
I used to do voice acting and work as a model in Vietnam. My roommate works as the representative voice for a bank in Vietnam. Another of my friends is paid to pretend to represent a real estate company. Some other friends are often play roles in some films or ads.
- Just by driving, you will have a brown skin and the wind and dust beauty without paying any fees.
If you used to drive a bike or motorbike in Vietnam, you will understand what I am talking about. In Vietnam, where the major transport is motorbike, you will become a part of the world surrounding by sitting on a motorbike. The services on the streets are made to support travelers.
You can stop to buy a cup of smoothie on the roadside. You know a cloth printing shop due to a time passing it. The noodle is so fragrant that you have to stop to quickly enjoy a bowl.
- Culture of coffee and smoothie
In the Europe, at 2 pm, you don’t stop working to enjoy a cup of latte, beer or Italian cream, you’re belonging to the minor group. It is the same in Vietnam but the above things are replaced by coffee or smoothie.
Thinking of smoothie makes me desirous. Came back to the US, I dream of a country that I used to live where I can have a cup of fresh fruit smoothie with $1, only by passing the road. My favorite taste is strawberry or mango mixed with banana, melon or coconut. If you want to try on something new, you can ask for some butter or mangosteen.
- Viet market
You will never forget the first market in Vietnam that you’ve visited. When I first stepped into Tan Dinh market in District 1, HCM city, I thought that I was wandering into a document film of National Geographic channel.
I stood to see some middle-age- Vietnamese women buying meats, vegetables or other necessities for their meals in several days. At first, I found myself as a spy. Later on, I went to the market more often and that feeling was replaced by the excitement.
Vietnamese markets give me the interest from the exchanges, the curiosity and other things that cannot be found in supermarkets like Wal-Mart.
- Different in value
In Vietnam, a 4$ French bread is equal to 3 bowls of Hue beef noodle.
If you are the same to me, you will not like to look at the live fish being baked, the huge chunks of ribbon the stall until they are sold out. Chicken legs, Balut and some other dishes remind you that they are still fresh.
Thus, I often choose vegetarian food. I called it sacrifice, but in fact, in Vietnam, Vegetarian is a luxury experience. you will find it true if you enjoy a vegetarian meal in a pretty good vegetarian restaurant.
You shall be interested in the dish of pumpkin curry, freshly baked bread and tofu processed in various ways that you cannot realize its original taste. You will also give the same comment to burger Boca (a kind of burger for vegetarians) or turkey made from tofu.
- Beer is unbelievably cheap
A cup of beer cots several cents. You can call some cups continuously and the bill is just about 100.000 VND
- Wearing sunglasses all year round
In Ho Chi Minh city, it is hot all seasons in the year. In the first 6 months there, I was sweating profusely. When I have got use to the weather, I then love it.
- Singing karaoke is really cool
In fact, I am not a very sociable person. In Vietnam, I can sing rock music freely in a room full of people that I knew while drinking apple juice and having potato chips. I saw myself as a queen.
- Hospitality and resourcefulness of the locals
It is not a complete list about Vietnam unless Vietnamese are mentioned. They are typical for the idiom of “where there’s a will, there’s a way”. They can always find a solution, even though it may not be safest and most appropriate one.
Don’t worry if you get lost in a distanced place, the locals will allow you to stay with them temporarily. If you want a table and home delivery, they will finish it in the next day and deliver to you by motorbike. If you want to pass a lake on your motorbike put in a boat, you will be contented.
- Doing exercise in parks
There are not many trees on streets in Vietnam, so parks are often the gathering places of the people. In the morning, all the exercise devices in the parks are occupied. These devices are made of metal, modeled on the machine in gyms. They are useful and quite interest, despite not perfect.
- Become millionaire
At the time I wrote this article, $1 equal to 22.000 VND. In other words, I can exchange my $50 sheet and become a millionaire.
- The house with door of 2.7m high
Almost houses in Vietnam include some features as follow: spiral staircase, high ceiling, roof is easy to climb to and balconies are side by side.
I remember so much the curtain spreading from the ceiling to the floor, a place on the roof to bake meat and the reinforced balcony where I sat, sipping a cup of red wine. If only I could come back to Vietnam immediately.