Tag Archives: Saigon

Super-Sonic Saigon

25 Jan
A tiny portion of traffic in Sai Gon

A tiny portion of traffic in Sai Gon

Remember the structured traffic chaos I described in Cambodia? Multiply this by ten, and you get an idea about the traffic in Sai Gon. Or should I say Ho Chi Minh city? Many of the places in Vietnam have several names: dating back from the ‘old days’, from the French colonial period or from the communist (current) era – just to make understanding & traveling easier ;-) Add to that a few accents (meaning, completely different pronunciation and meaning) to every vowel, and you’re completely lost. But Sai Gon definitely had its charm, all done up in the New Year looks, and holding onto a hunk shooting through traffic on the back of a motorbike…

Are there enough accents ?

Are there enough accents ?

Traffic… I thought I’d seen it all in Phnom Penh, but Saigon beats it by large. The large bulk of traffic are not cars, not buses, but motorbikes and mopeds. It’s like dropping a handful of marbles in your bathtub, they all jump frenetically into different directions, bumping into each other, but still arriving where they should be. Continue reading

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Very Vietnamese New Year

24 Jan
Offerings for the ancestors... and us afterwards...

Offerings for the ancestors... and us afterwards...

I had read so much about the Vietnamese new year that I was very curious to actually see it happen – and I was even more excited to be part of it in my boyfriend’s family. Having said this, this was certainly not the reason for getting back with my ex (that would be veeery cheap!). I made pretty sure that I’d prefer to stay at the hotel if it would be inappropriate to be at his place for Tet (Vietnamese new year) or at his family’s ‘tout court’.

Our ‘getting-back-together’ timing was not the best of all, as we only got back together the day before the new year. I had seen that it is traditional to give each other big presents for the new year, so I certainly didn’t want to be the pauper and come empty handed. Continue reading

Adopted by a Vietnamese Family

23 Jan
The church around the corner from 'our' place

The church around the corner from 'our' place

Sorry to have been off-line for a good week or two (as if you noticed ;-) but I had some family matters to ‘take care of’. I had only arrived a few days in Sai Gon and the ‘inevitable’ happened: I met with my Vietnamese ex from Berlin (we knew we would be in Vietnam at the same time) – originally just for a friendly drink – but then for lunch with his family – and as I was there for dinner as well – his mother said: ‘why don’t you stay in our house?’… A very simple and candid question – with more complicated and far-reaching consequences. (VIPs read more here)

That was quite an unexpected evolution of my situation: from being a lone (and at that moment lonely) traveler I was promoted to a sort of son-in-law. Wow. Continue reading

Protected: Again, again and again…

22 Jan

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