A Vietnam lesson 101

And a few random photo’s

flowerI am writing this in the late evening the day before I usually do my piece. I am now calm and collected, but earlier I was enraged!! Maybe tomorrow morning still so, but the beers maybe helped… Headache tomorrow? We will see. I wanted to write about the day and perhaps an informative topic, but the whole day was spoiled by a family matter that went out of hand.

I am normally a very calm and happy person with a lot of love and kindness to give,sweep but in the past, a long time ago, I was not a nice person. I used to get angry…. Very angry…. I have not been this angry for more than 25 years. The events over the last 16 hours have brought that old person to the surface, and I do not like it. I will not get into the details of what happened but I will say this……..

Vietnamese people are wonderful. Their sense of duty and honor is something I greatly respect. When a person gets married, you also marry the family in a way. You are absorbed into it and become part of them. It can often mean that your family suddenly will grow by 20 or 30 people. If you are lucky like me, a person will get accepted and treated as an lzard babyimportant addition to the number. But sometimes……. Just sometimes……If you are involved with Vietnamese people, whether married or just friends, you will find they see things and experience things from a very different viewpoint. Sometimes they will try to push you a certain way, maybe for good reasons in their minds, but bad in ours. If you give in to their way without any resistance, you can become easily pushed in the future. I have lived within the Asian culture for a long time and understand how things candog go. I have seen too many people who do not understand the language or some of the customs get swept away with events. Some of them become bitter and angry and end up in the tourist areas telling some version of how they were taken advantage of. Some of them just go with the flow and end up becoming walking ATM’s or do whatever a family wants because they think it is the right thing to do. I am sorry to say that when you are gasinvolved with so many people, the odds are that there may be a bad seed in the bunch. That can pressure a family to try and direct things in a way which the group decides. I WILL NOT BE PUSHED!!!!!  Not by a family member, not by a corrupt person, or not by a little temptress trying to get a buck. I know in the past I have said never get angry here but this is different.  This is a family issue that has to do a lot about FACE. I know I am respected and even feared by some people here. This episode of family bickering andlower1 deceit stops now!! If I have to continue dealing with this mess tomorrow… heads are going to roll.

Family and what they think is a very big thing in almost all of Asia. It does not matter if you are 5 or 15 or 55, family is all that matters. Think of it….   We have rsp’s or ira’s to ensure a good retirement for the future. For the Vietnamese they have only children lalopto support the parent in old age. There is no such thing here as a pension for most of the people. Much of the future and security of individual family members comes through support from the whole, so the bigger the family the better. Being deceitful or secretive to gain some kind of advantage can be a serious issue of honor within that family if caught. And this is what I am dealing with now. If a person wants to be treated with respect and dignity, it has to be earned and maintained, I do not care what culture it is. If anybody wants to push more than I will allow…..,  I will push back, and push back hard, and I have.

I wish to restate an important point. If you marry a Vietnamese, man or woman, you will almost always be married to the family. Respect them and enjoy them, but stay in control of your own life.

PS. No headache just a slowly simmering rage….. Watching…. Waiting…. to see the end game.

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Tour designer and Guide specializing in off the beaten track tours of Vietnam

3 thoughts on “A Vietnam lesson 101

  1. There’s always one in the bunch who wants to take advantage….I hear it all the time from my friends. Problem is they get forgiven so fast with no reprocussions because….”that is the way they are”……such BS!

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