December 4th, 2004 @ 2:10 AM Entertainment
As most of you know I’m no longer geographically in Tokyo but now living in HCMC, Vietnam. I must say I get homesick for Tokyo and the order in that society. Here there is no order and is complete chaos everday. I read your entries about things that annoy you and I even miss the annoyances! But here in Vietnam, I’ve met many Japanese people and can practice Japanese sometimes but they all speak English very well!
I do have a question however about the Japanese character and moving to another country. Someone important to me will not come because they are afraid of “poor countries,” and then I meet many Japanese here who are quite dynamic and have settled in very nicely here. As for Westerners, I’m afraid to say that Americans are not as good as the British or Australians at exploring the world. So how about the Japanese? I previously thought that they preferred Nihon to all other countries and could not adapt well here but am being proved wrong. However, the previously mentioned person who I often describe as “really Japanese” will not come and is firmly planted in Japan.
About vacation, I think Vietnam is quickly becoming a favorite spot for Japanese vacationers. On the salaries you make in Japan you will be a king here and can buy anything..literally. There was also just a Japan-Vietnam party a two weeks ago and drew a very large crowd. I saw two young girls trying to figure out the English menu outside the bar I was drinking at and asked them in Japanese to join us. They told me they were “still thinking,” but actually did come back and had a ball practicing their English with the group I was with. I must comment that it was quite cute watching them trying to understand English with a very strong Vietnamese accent. I find it very interesting that many Japanese here open up more than they ever could in Japan.
If you are planning a vacation from Japan I completely recommend Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon). The weather here is always sunny and as I said, your yen will go extremely far. I also enjoyed having people smile at me when I smiled at them. This I could not do in Tokyo and people would think I was a chikan if I smiled too much in Tokyo. But here a smile will get you anything.
My final observation is that I have yet to see Japanese people eating in a Vietnamese restaurant yet can always find them at the “Sushi Bar” (name of a sushi resto). Why is it that when Japanese travel they always go to the Japanese restaurants??!!