Saigon Dailies: Music to my Ears


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.

1000 Star Hotel

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 ph” (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 — ri.

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.

Every day I ride my motorbike around the city tempting death and somehow manage to make it out alive with slightly higher blood pressure and clogged lungs. Mobile phone-talking one-handed motorbikers, miscellaneous carts contents ranging from food to trash to pigs, cars of all sizes driving like motorbikes, buses, naive tourists and your random stray dog are just a few of the street hazards – they’re all reasons to cuss. Most of the time, I catch myself before I blurt out something stupid that will get me stabbed, but luckily a column is a safe place to get those expletives out so I can get some, “Serenity Now” (Seinfeld fans will get this reference).

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