This Sunday was my 2 week anniversary of moving to Vietnam and I celebrated it by spending a quiet afternoon near the Saigon River with a copy of my Lord of the Rings. The cool breeze caressing my face and the presence of many couples-in-love reminded me of the Marina beach in Chennai! 😉 So of course it has entered into my list of favorite places in Ho Chi Minh City. When you move to a different country, there is always a culture shock. For me, it was immense when I moved to Europe but not so much here in Vietnam.
Yet there are a few interesting habits of the Vietnamese folks which caught my eye, and I wanted to record it before it became a not-so-eventful part of my life here. So here it goes..
- After-lunch power nap
Don’t we all struggle to keep our eyes open in class or at work after lunch? If you are in Vietnam, consider yourself the luckiest on earth since you actually get to doze!! YES, Isn’t it amazing? In my office, my Vietnamese colleagues are well equipped and it’s not at all uncommon to see them enjoying a sweet nap at lunch hour. They strongly believe that this 20 -30 minute power nap helps them be more efficient for the rest of the day. So even in schools and colleges you have a dedicated sleeping slot after lunch!! How amazing is that 😀
2. Swearing-free motorbike rides
Having grown up in India, I am well accustomed to seeing heavy traffic on the roads. And to me, the blaring horns, bawling and cursing drivers are a part of the road experience. What I am not used to seeing is, the frown-free faces here! There is absolutely no swearing on the road!!!
With such large number of two-wheelers on the road, to not hear any shouting or cursing is incredible. I am definitely impressed by their patience and peace-loving nature!
3. 9 days of celebrations for New Year
Tet or the Vietnamese New Year is one of the most important festivals here and all companies in Vietnam are obliged to give their employees 9 days of holidays for Tet. So lucky that I started my internship in January 😀 The city has been gearing up for Tet from the time I arrived with beautiful decorations everywhere! Here is a sample:
This means I get to travel to Cambodia ( Tet is a family celebration and things slow down in Vietnam, so not much to do here ) and visit the marvelous ancient temples in the UNESCO world heritage site “Angkor Wat”. So stay tuned for my next posts!