Do You Think Vietnamese Are Rude?

As for own opinion, some Vietnamese are rude but not all of them. However, different people will experience different thing. I found this guy blog and his experiences staying in Vietnam for short time. Although he wrote it 3 years ago, but for those who living in Vietnam now might can feel the difference between then and now.

For a week, I booked a private room in a family-run hostel in Ho Chi Minh’s District 1. I’d come home at midnight to find the WiFi not working. Being a nightly worker, this killed my productivity. After a few days and talking to fellow guests having the same issue, I asked the staff what was up. I was told that they shut down the router because “the router had to sleep”. I was stunned. I told them I was sure the router was okay with staying up late too and I’d keep it company. After much verbal struggles and threatening to check out, they’d agree to keep it on but I had to explicitly run down and request every single family member to put it on again. And then it was 3AM and I’d lose connection until 7AM.

This seemed to be the modus operandi of Vietnamese. When I was sitting in a crowded coffee place with friends, suddenly people came in to replace ALL chairs with different colored ones. They demanded everyone to stand up and in the packed place they started moving all the chairs around. A normal person would wait until closing time and do it then. But what is normal in Vietnam?

What is normal is that every toilet in Vietnam has footprints on it. I am aware many SE Asian cultures still use squat toilets, but when you encounter a seated toilet it’s expected you don’t actually stand on it, right? It was another thing that symbolized the utter non-awareness of other people they seemed to have.

Thinking about this, it seemed obvious that I was suffering from a culture clash between me and them. Since it wouldn’t be possible that everybody I met would actually be this rude, it must have been the way I perceived them, right? Their way of communication and body language might have just been different. And since my perspective was western, that’s probably what I was experiencing. Six months in Thailand was easy, partly because they’re so buddhist and partly because it’s a country so overrun with westerners that it has adopted many western values regarding communication and behavior. So westerners like Thais. The Vietnamese contact with western values on the other hand, was in the form of guns and napalm bombs. I understand. The cultural anthropologist in me wanted to believe this hypothesis. But was this it?

If you want to read more from his blog, copy and paste the link below:

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