Archive for April 2010
Here in Saigon, appearance is everything. A shithole can be mistaken for a nice little office if you look at it from the front. A closer look reveals that it is all for show.
Today, my friend mentioned an expat manager at a local club in Saigon was probably paid 3,4K a month. I told him that seemed like a lot. “Dude!” he exclaimed. “He is an expat!”
Instead of justifying his pay by how many tables were booked through him, how many positive feedbacks he received, how well he managed conflicts or staff, my friend defaulted to the expat excuse. Given that he himself is an expat, I really expected him to know better.
A few weeks ago, a Hanoian friend mentioned how a certain Canadian speaks with a hick accent in his native tongue, yet is so adored in Vietnam (he is given his own TV show) for the sole reason that he speaks Vietnamese (His show, expectedly, is lame and his book,in Vietnamese naturally, is horrendous). Hello! If you live in a country for more than a year you d be a dumb ass or an arrogant prick not to pick up the language. I hope the poor guy doesn’t let all this fleeting fame get over his head and realizes he is nothing more than an amusement in the curious eyes of the locals.
A few months ago, a female friend lamented how Saigon’s dating scene was miserable since it was full of LBH’s (Losers back home) who came to Saigon, used the expat leverage to get a cushy little corporate/English job and an adoring little local chick (who obviously doesn’t know any better) and thought they were hot stuff.
I have nothing against those expats. They take the easy route and that is human nature. I just have more respect for those who earn their keep, who were born at the bottom and clawed their way up. And along the way, if our paths ever cross, I will grab their bleeding hands with my own and guide them to the top, where we wipe our ass w/ pages from the Canadian’s book, drink a bottle of Cristal served by the club manager, and tell the female friend there is still hope.