- Home Credit Vietnam Finance named “Best Consumer Finance Company”
- Abbott rated among top 10 best places to work in Vietnam
- Home Credit Vietnam receives “Trust and Use” award
- HEINEKEN Vietnam honored among the Top 10 best places to work in Vietnam
- Foreigners with three-month visas may be allowed to buy homes in Vietnam
Stay here long enough and you slip into the Vietnamese rubber time which runs slower than the rest of the earth and getting things done involves the patience of the Buddha and the ability to think in multi-dimensions.
Then you cross back into the rest of the world. Suddenly you are thrust back into a world of speed, efficiency and expense. Online tickets, computerized customs and airport bottled water scams.
I needed to visit my mum in Australia as she’s going through a difficult time after two strokes and the trauma of giving up living independently to move into a nursing home. Flying into Australia felt strange, a foreign country to me now after seven years of life in Hoi An in central Vietnam.
Visually, Australia is one big advertising board and lovely coconut palm trees are hidden by Nike and Apple. I know people everywhere like to buy flashy things to feel comfortable, cool and classy but I thought why can’t the West just settle for a big house, giant SUV and huge flat screen TV like the Vietnamese?
It gets weirder… don’t step on the grass: so what’s grass for? You can smoke outside but you can’t eat food in the same place if it’s a hotel or cafe – you have to move to the other area to eat but not smoke. I prefer the Vietnamese way – eat, drink, smoke and text at the same time.
Sydney, where my mum lives, has dozens of parks but you have to pick up your dog’s poo and read the signs to know where you are allowed to ride a bike, a skateboard or run. It’s no surprise that they are often empty. I should be a park cleaner in my next life – I’d have nothing to do.
Australia must have so much money now. A hamburger is 10 dollars. Cigarettes are 15 dollars and you can’t afford a taxi unless you win the lottery. People use credit cards to pay for beer. banh mi (Vietnamese bread) and 5,000 dong orange juice!
Around my mum’s nursing home there are hundreds of beautiful homes in empty streets where you don’t see a lot of people except on weekends. Families hide in their backyards to have BBQs and fun because it’s not good to sit at the front of your house and watch the world go by while your kids play next to the street.
Yep – the rest of the world is fantastic. I’ll visit it more often sometime. Yet it’s great to be home in Hoi An sitting in my kitchen looking out at the paper moon trees swapping in the midday breeze. My two dogs are napping at my feet and I’ve got a cold (90 cent) Larue on the table.
Today I’ll do some swimming and some cartoon drawing work in the evening at my garden table, stare up at the stars and remember that there is no place like home.