There are Expats here….. A lot!

trimmed kumquat trees

Some random photos and…..

Power was out all day and into the early evening. It truly makes for a difficult day to do business. I did accomplish one thing though. I can now run television from my computer onto the lobby big screen with sound. Cool!! Now I just have to find some good internet TV signals, and I can have any sports from around the world play live.

Mai and I are on the verge of determining what our legal status will be both in Vietnam and in Canada. My employer was nice enough to extend my leave of absence until my future is certain. I will head back to Canada in 3 weeks or so and then on our return, our fate will be sealed so to speak. We have secured a

A fish farm

 dual citizenship status for Mai and she is now legally entitled to work here. I have resided here for the required 6 months and now may also be able to work, but that is still unclear. Up until now, Mai and I have simple been “helpers” in the hotel… nudge nudge wink wink.

Let me tell you a bit about some of the Expats in Vietnam, and there are many. Most of them live in a very small world in the tourist areas in various cities and towns. There are some, perhaps 5 or 10 percent that live in other areas, but most stick to areas where they can be understood in their native tongue. Most of them are very nice people. Some have retired and are living

graves umong the rice paddies

here because of the low cost of living, others are here perhaps hiding or disillusioned with their life back home. There are many reasons, and it seems that the topic of why someone is here is not discussed much. I think I like that. It gives a person who made mistakes to start over. Isn’t that what I am doing? Giving everything up and starting over? I am sure for the Expats here it is the same. I have encountered a lot of very nice people here. I know nothing about their past or the circumstance of them being here, but I am beginning to think it takes a certain type of personality to make a lifestyle change as large as we have, and because of it, we share

A small farm

 certain traits that make it easy for us to become friends. We do not even know last names. It might be a John from Minnesota, or a Dave from Oz. There is also the fact that we are a minority and like at home, minority groups seem to stick together. There are Expats that own bars and restaurants, dive shops, specialty shops, and even a couple who have hotels. Anyway….. There is a sad fact about most of the Expats here. At one time or anther, they get used or abused in order for someone to get at their money. In many circumstances, they have no idea until long after the fact that they were taken for a ride. After a while, they start to consider themselves experts on things Vietnamese, and will recount sad or angry tales of what Vietnam is all about. Some even begin to mistrust anything to do with the Vietnamese. That is so sad and unnessesary. They start to feed off of each

Ferries on the Mekong

other and take rumor or stories as fact. I guess I cannot blame them for falling into this trap, I understand how it can happen. For example: All expats here have to have their Visa’s renewed on a regular basis. The expats talk amongst themselves and become outraged at the prices they are being charged by different companies to get extensions. 90 dollars for 3 months one will say… What??? I could only get a 30 day visa and It cost 50 dollars would state another. This leads to them mistrusting the Vietnamese and fueling the fire already lit by other stories. Well damnit guys!! The businesses were only trying to make a profit. If you would just take the time to go to the immigration office with an interpreter, you can easily renew it yourself for a much smaller cost. I am told over and over by these expats that things are impossible or what I am doing will be hard or expensive, and every time I prove them wrong. I feel a bit sorry for them. They are all very nice people, but they all have very bad Vietnam days because they have never really tried to fit in. Instead they try

A work boat

 to use others to do for them and the result can be different than desired. There are many situations that I hear causing some Expats to resent doing business or relying on the Vietnamese people…… but when I ask why they stay??? There is no answer. They love it here and will not leave, so they should deal with it and carry on. I is part of my intention while I am here to try to help these expats understand why things happen to them and how to not get taken advantage of. Some of them have lived here for many years and still do not seem to understand how Vietnam works. Vietnam can be a wonderful place to live and if a person takes a bit of time to understand how things really are, and not just rely on heresy from others, living here would be so much easier for them.

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Owee

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

2 thoughts on “There are Expats here….. A lot!

  1. I’ve seen that attitude with some expats in Viet nam. I really don’t understand it, if you have so many problems living there ….move! I find the difficulties I’ve encountered minimal and mostly due to cultural differences and language. I WON’T TURN INTO ONE OF THEM!

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