In my experience there are three types of expat in Vietnam. Those who – let’s call them relativists – think the whole country is wonderful and the people lovable and honest, and that even the bad things can’t be criticised as it’s their culture and we have no right to find fault with it.
Visitors to Vietnam’s cities often have the same two complaints: the appalling traffic and the lack of nightlife choices. Vietnam wants tourists for their spending power, but doesn’t exactly go out of its way to make life comfortable for them while they’re here.
So it's in the backpacker area. So, it's a place myself and a whole host of other people are likely to avoid. So, it's another bar. But I can tell you, my first two visits to the Spotted Cow have been a pleasant change.
Just when you think you’ve gotten to know a city, it goes and surprises you. Like most overseas residents living in Saigon, my disillusionment with the music scene had steadily grown to such an extent over the year that I was ready to throw in the towel and consign my life long passion to distant memories collected during my time in England.
Ho Chi Minh City's expat community has always been good for raising funds in the name of a cause. From orphanages through to development foundations, the likes of Loreto Vietnam and Saigon Children's Charity (SCC), many organisations and NGOs have benefited from its help.
So you’ve been in Vietnam for years but still only know a few useful phrases and how to order your favourite dish. And yet for all your will, talent, research and experience, there’s still a bunch of Vietnamese people giggling or laughing at the other end of your Vietnamese. Let’s all admit that there’s always room for improvement. Even Vietnamese people don’t know the entire ocean of idioms, metaphors, innuendoes, slang words and vocabulary that exist in their language. Not to worry — although I’m no “sư phụ” (master) of the language, I’ve got some tricks up my sleeve to keep your Vietnamese fresh. For my inaugural piece, we’ll work on a basic common term that most locals use at least ten to 100 times a day — rồi.
In this godforsaken yet endearing town everyone suffers from something — 60-year-old men suffer from the delusion that their 20-year-old wives love them for their bodies, Africans eternally suffer under racism, overweight white chicks suffer from not getting any, and the sexpats are probably suffering from herpes.