Life after Tet in Vietnam

Another day, another airplane emergency door opened.  Life in Vietnam must be getting back to normal. The traffic is getting deadlier, soon the loudspeakers will stop playing patriotic songs, local news will return to normal (‘Mrs Vien had a baby boy and there’ll be a power cut on Tuesday’) and the price of banh mi for tourists will return to something less than Western prices. I can’t wait. The placidly quiet Hoi An sidewalks are filling up with motorbikes forcing unwitting international tourists into roadside mud puddles and experiencing unnecessary confrontations with stray dogs, unattended children and plastic chairs.   The air is warming up, banana shirts are selling well again and there’s still some sand left on Cua Dai Beach. Yep, life is good. By all accounts, we’ll really be open again for business around March 2 as the holidaymakers jam every road into the northern and southern metropolises. Better watch out for those coconut seller trucks obstructing the right-hand lane and grandma crossing six lanes of opposing traffic while pushing an entire street restaurant on three wheels. Still, if you’re a smart expat, you’ve stayed at home or better yet, gone shopping in Hong Kong or Kuala Lumpur, so mentally you’re on top of your game. Sometimes we don’t know how good we’ve got it in Vietnam. As the American political IQ plunges faster than the world’s stock markets, we can be thankful that we don’t have any school-related gun crimes in Vietnam. Outside karaoke bars and nightclubs,… [Read full story]


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