A year in Vietnam

Hello everyone,

it’s been about a month since I haven’t written or even touched Roadbeer. A collection of events and mindsets has contributed to this laziness/detachment on my part, but I don’t see it as a bad thing.

When I first set out on writing this blog I had a few goals. The first one was to motivate me to start writing again. The second one was to have this place be a sort of gathering for travellers would-be and has-been. The third one was to have a place for my friends to share their art easily – I’d host their pictures for them. The fourth goal was to have something new every day for a full year.

Turns out it’s harder than I thought to interview people by e-mail and capture their essence. And with the busy lifestlyle that everyone is living, coupled with a 12-hour time difference, it soon became clear that interviews over Skype would be nigh impossible to book.

And so, after just two short months, my fourth goal was becoming impossible to meet. It kind of took a toll on my motivation.

Then (and this is good) I had a LOT of visitors in November. At least 3 people came and crashed on my floor, on top of all the friends of friends I met up with on busy, loud and dirty Bui Vien street for a beer and a chat.

Now it seems that the season for visits is over for a little while. I’m finally getting on top of lesson planning so I don’t need every waking hour out of a classroom to prepare for the next hour in the classroom, which finally leaves me with some breathing room – and I felt like being my old, lazy self for a bit.

Now. The title of this post is the fact that I have been in Vietnam for a year now. “Time goes by so fast!” your auntie would say, sporting a comfortable and slightly out-of-fashion sweater she got at Sears a few seasons ago, sitting on the couch in the living room, hands crossed on her knee, while waiting for her cup of tea to cool enough for her to drink. “Yup, time sure does fly” her husband would say, the words spiced up by a slight laughter. They’d stare at you, dust particles falling in their eyes as you realise they’re thinking about days gone by when you were… you know… around.

I’ve been living in Vietnam now for a little over a year. First as a backpacker, then as a student, followed by becoming a teacher. I’ve learned a lot about this country and a little about myself, but mostly about life as an ex-pat.

I’ve seen a million hilarious moments, some terrifying ones, and I’d like to share a few of them with you, if you would. So grab a coffee, look around to make sure no co-workers are around (the ones that would judge you for slacking anyways) and pick your favourite reading voice, because Welcome to Vietnam!


Day 1 – Lao Cai northern town

As I get off the train that took us from the border of China and a little deeper into Vietnam, I look around and try to see any flagrant differences between Vietnam and China. Claudio and I are both easy-going dudes, and both hungry, so with our 12-kg bags we set out looking for lunch (or was it breakfast or dinner? Probably all 3). The houses are different, the people seem a little bit friendlier, the cars drive faster. There’s still a lot of honking, but no one is spitting in the streets.

We walk a whole block packed with restaurants trying to fish tourists out of the streets but nothing seems really attractive – until we are greeted by this vixen, this siren of the service industry.

She was a tall Vietnamese woman in her late 20’s or early 30’s, with a nice face, great smile, long black hair done in a ponytail that would reach down to her ass. But what got our attention – basic men that we are – was her great, formidable, gravity-defying tits. She knew full well what they were worth, having them wrapped up in a skin-tight dark blue t-shirt, her arms crossed behind her back to maximize their value. She even jumped delicately with her black heels and skinny jeans, just to really sell it in, and it worked.

We grabbed a seat outside, checked the menu, and both looked at each other – we knew what we really wanted to order. We picked our meal and tried to joke with her a little bit and she seemed honestly curious about where were we from and why we were here, and at the perfect moment she left us alone to enjoy our meal. I felt something strange inside of me: it was the seed of what would soon bloom into a tree of fascination for Vietnamese women.

Our meal over, we both sat and enjoyed a beer while not really talking about anything or focusing on anywhere. Then something caught my eye, some action behind Claudio. On the dusty pavement, two dogs were going at it like they had to prove their worth to be accepted on Noah’s Ark. All the Vietnamese women around starting screaming in shock and laughter and decided to go in their house, out of embarrassment, dragging the clueless children with them. An older lady of about 70-80, dressed in that sort of floral-pattern pajama they all start to wear when they turn 60, took a special interest and walked over, judging them like a farmer would judge if a cow is giving enough milk, while chewing on a toothpick.

The little grey dude seemed finished by the convulsions and the look of utter happiness on his mug, and tried to pull out. He let out a scream of pain. He was stuck! I’ve seen this happen before (not that I watch a lot of dogs fucking). The female didn’t know and tried to walk away but this only resulted on more pain from the male, so he bit her neck and got her to stop moving. They now had to wait.

I think it’s nature’s mechanism of making sure the sperm is all well and good deep in there for better chances of procreation.

Some walker-bys saw the two dogs spooning and laughed, pointed, and seemed to ask what the hell happened, why are these two mutts like that? Then I noticed our siren standing behind me. She was trying to explain the scene. With her small hands, she delicately did an “O” with her right hand (our gesture for IT’S OKAY) and gently deposited the tip of her left index in that hole.

“What are you talking about?” I innocently asked. Her expression was priceless. There was terror there, as if she had never seen me before and I had just caught her stark naked. “I… We… The hotel is full! I’m telling them the hotel is full!”

“Are you sure? I think you’re talking about what the dogs were doing!”

“No! The hotel, no rooms!” And all of a sudden, as if the moment was too much to bear, she turned around and ran away as best she could in her skinny jeans and black heels, and disappeared from our sight – but not before I could see a smile on her face.

I laughed, picked up my beer, and decided that I liked Vietnam.



This text was written listening to Dynatron

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s