Twenty two signs you are becoming Vietnamese

Have you embraced the local culture and not noticed?

On a Hanoi bus

Shades, face mask and bus pass – check

I am not a big fan of list-ifying (is that even a word?) but my mind turned to this question after a chance remark by a friend.

So here we go in no particular order:

  1. You go to the local bia hoi with empty Coke bottles and get them filled to take away to a party.

  2. You can’t keep your eyes open after lunch.

  3. You have a bus pass.

  4. If three is not correct, you have a motobike and at least one scar to prove it.

  5. You have thought about rolling up your t-shirt to expose your mid-riff like Vietnamese guys do in summer.

  6. You regard traffic cops with deep suspicion.

  7. You love karaoke and will happily duet on Vietnamese love ballads.

  8. You have as many, if not more, Vietnamese friends as expats.

  9. You now prefer chop sticks to a knife and fork.

  10. You can’t think of anything – apart from family and friends – that you miss from your home country.

  11. Dog meat stalls barely register on your radar.

  12. You have your own street barber.

  13. Your default setting is becoming meeting for coffee rather beer

  14. You know that plans to meet friends are fluid and dynamic and subject to last minute change.

  15. You know that 7pm probably means much closer to 7.30pm, possibly even 8pm.

  16. Neither 14 or 15 phase you.

  17. You own a puffa jacket in case it gets a bit chilly.

  18. Your concept of cold has altered radically – it now stands around 18 degrees.

  19. Being stared at doesn’t bother you any more.

  20. Your picture now features prominently on the Facebook pages of countless Vietnamese strangers. Half your own timeline is in Vietnamese.

  21. You have had a piss in the street while completely sober.

  22. You have picked your nose in public.

Twenty two is an untidy number. There must be at least three other tell tale signs that you are assimilating. Let’s hear your suggestions.

  • Update – 23. You fall asleep on the bus.

4 thoughts on “Twenty two signs you are becoming Vietnamese

  1. A few other suggestions I have been asked to add:
    Crossing the road without fear
    Realising the only way to attract attention is by yelling ‘Em oi!’
    Wearing a single plastic hair roller in your fringe


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