WANT TO DATE VIETNAMESE GIRLS, BUT DON'T KNOW WHAT THEY ARE LIKE (E.G. CAN YOU TRUST THEM?) Do you want to meet Vietnamese girls, but you don't know where to find them (e.g. do you have to actually go to Vietnam, or are there easier alternatives?) I don't know if I have all the answers to your questions, I am not and have never been a ladies' man, but I do have some experiences to share. This is a story which started, as many romances do, quite by accident, at the start of 2007. It ended, like many relationships, unexpectedly, about four years later in 2011. At one point we were engaged to get married... kind of. I was wearing an engagement ring... at least when we were together. I was ready to give up my freedom, and settle down as a family man in the teeming streets and clamorous apartment blocks of Ho Chi Minh City. In another life, an alternate reality, I am possibly living there now. But, as fate would have it, things didn't work out in this dimension. No sour grapes on my side... everything has its season, and not everything is supposed to last.
But I don't think that is the truth, and I don't think Vietnamese do sophisticated particularly well, especially when it comes to feigning their emotions and their intentions. Leave that to the Nigerians! No, Vietnamese girls are not too sophisticated, but they are upfront, they are direct, and they are honest. Perhaps that comes from their background, the long years of seclusion from the rest of the world, shelter from the cynicism of the west. Thai girls may be cynical, but I don't find Vietnamese girls to be so. On the other hand, they won't hold back from telling you how they feel. I once had a Vietnamese girl call my cell number after reading this website, and ask me point blank: "You like Vi'tnam girl? You want marry Vi'tnam girl?" It was the first time I have ever been proposed to by a stranger. One thing for sure is that Vietnamese girls are interested in foreign men, and they are looking for marriage rather than something more casual. They are not out just to play, not like the Thai girls; they are not really out to deceive either (like the girl I met in Bangkok the last time I was there, the one who calls herself Phar 2 Juicy, in a chaotic Khao San Road nightclub!) They make for good girlfriends, and good lovers. That is my experience, at least.
After a pretty long bout of poverty which kept me stuck in Tokyo for a number of years, at the end of 2006 I got a hot new job singing on the telephone in Shinjuku, and my paypacket surged. I knew my time had finally arrived to stretch my wings, and become transAsian (or transWorld). My new plan was to continue working in Japan, but with my easy new money, jaunt off regularly to places I like like Thailand, India, Greenland if I could make it ($1000 Tokyo to the club scene of London, $300 London to the bar scene of Reykjavik, $1000 Reykjavik to the anarchy of Nuuk, Greenland.) This was my plan, but plans have a gorgeous habit of mutating when they hit the hard bedrock of reality. My plan was to spend two months a year outside of Japan, which I had become tired of (sort of).
I did at least get one monthlong trip through, in March 2007 -- actually it was 3 weeks back home in Australia, with four days in Ho Chi Minh City. Flying Vietnam Airlines, and I wasn't bright enough to accrue any points. I was excited about my Vietnam stopover because it was one of the first Asian countries I ever visited, and I made two tours there. I remember I had quite a crush on the place back in the mid 1990s, even though my holidays there had invariably turned to disaster (paralysed with culture shock and hiding in my room like a timid mouse the first time, trapped with a babe who considered me a creep the second.) But Vietnam had come a long way since the mid 1990s, and I had matured too. This time around, I was going to do Vietnam like a man, rather than a cowering rodent.
As is my wont these days, I did plenty of research before the trip. One sunny Sunday morning, I read a story on the Internet, a very old (by Net standards) story written by this guy called
Ted Guhl, about his experience with Vietnam girls. It had a strange resonance with me. Little did I know at the time, that I would soon be living the story, or at least a story parallel to it. Parallel but not touching. But unlike Ted, I decided not to be a pussy, but pursue the opportunity offered to the end, just to see what happens. And I decided that this page, and the threads which sprout from it, would be the story which recorded it.
Ted wrote: "During my first moments in Saigon I half expected to see something shocking, surreal, a time-warped American tank, or columns of Viet Cong marching down the street. Instead I saw a rather poor, pleasant looking city of wide boulevards, hundreds of bicycles, motor scooters, cyclos, and a few cars and trucks. The people, dressed in a wide variety of clothing from lovely Ao Dais to Western business suits, appeared lively and attractive.
"Leaving the taxi, three white jacketed doormen quickly whisked my bag and me into the lobby of the Saigon International, a small French-era hotel. Within minutes I was registered, assured that the required notification with the authorities would be handled by the management, and escorted with smiling efficiency to my modern air-conditioned room on the third floor. There was no elevator; however the stairs were wide with large windows on each landing, like those of an elegant European house.
"I unpacked, cleaned up a bit, and went for a walk. Upon leaving the hotel I was approached by a cyclo driver.
"'Hello. Where you come from?'
"'Where you going?'
"'I give you tour? Go to war museum. Go shopping."
"'No, thank you, I just want to walk around.'
"'Maybe good restaurant? Show many temple.'
"'No, thanks. Maybe later.'
"'OK. No problem. I am here.'
It turned out that the War Museum was at the first corner, but I missed the sign and kept walking. Despite some interesting examples of colonial architecture, the area seemed amazingly uniform. Each block had a few stores and at least one street vendor...
"Late afternoon found me still wandering the streets, I knew I was hungry and would have to eat soon if I wanted to keep my energy up but I could not make up my mind where. I wanted to try some of the local food from a small cafe or street cart but could not remember, beyond some rather strongly worded warnings about unwashed fruit and unboiled water, what the guidebooks had said about this. Finally I ended up eating some fast food chicken from a place called California Fried Chicken. It was dreadful and served me right for being so fearful.
"Feeling dislocated, I returned to the Rex Hotel, where my driver found me immediately and gestured for me to get into the cyclo. "You want go eat?" he asked.
"'I eat already,' I replied, as we headed down the street away from the plaza.
"'Want go to nightclub?'
"I said nothing for a moment, trying to decide if a beer or two would feel right, or if I should return to the hotel. Part of my mind was warning me that I should watch out where I let myself be taken in this indecisive and somewhat uneasy mood.
"'You want meet girl?'
"'No. Maybe a beer.'
"Okay. I know good place. Cheap." And off we went, east on Le Loi Boulevard and south down Deng Khoi Street again..."
COLD CALLING, AND GETTING APPROACHED BY VIETNAMESE GIRLS
IN MY SO OH SO LIMITED EXPERIENCE, VIETNAMESE ARE CERTAINLY NOT BACKWARD ABOUT COMING FORWARD, TO ABUSE AN OLD CLICHE.
I have been approached by Vietnamese girls in Vietnam itself, approached by Vietnamese girls on the Internet, and even cold called by at least one particular persistant girl, who found my number at the bottom of this very webpage. Most people would consider listing your cellphone number on the Internet a dumb idea, but I believe in openness and transparency, and besides, what's the worst that can happen -- someone might bug you on the phone? Ever heard of call screening? I hardly ever pick up the phone anyway, when it is coming from an unknown number. One of the few times I did pick up an unknown call, I was at that aforementioned singing job in Tokyo, up in the clouds, when this girl with a south-east Asian girl came on and said hello. I thought it was the girl I had met in Vietnam at the start of this adventure, but her accent sounded different. I asked her why she was calling me. "Do you like Vietnam girl?" she asked, but it sounded like: D'you like Vitnam girl? "Do you want marry Vitnam girl?"
"Sorry I have got to work," I said, which was true -- my shift was about to begin. But I was kind of a bit astounded, by the lengths some Vietnamese girls will go to, to find a foreign boyfriend or husband. I mean, did she think I was just going to agree to marry her right there on the phone, without even seeing a picture? Did she think I was that easy? Anyway, it was kind of cute of her to try!
In his classic tale of hot tropical love which never had the chance to bud, Ted Guhl wrote (Situation background -- He is still getting carted around by the cyclo driver who befriended him at the start of the story, having made that fundamental tourist mistake, of ever giving those vultures the time of day): "Half way back to my hotel, a motor bike pulled up alongside and slowed to match our pace. On it were two attractive young women, perhaps in their twenties. The driver had a charming smile, full of playful energy. The rider, who looked a bit younger, was willowy, with dark hair and deep, searching eyes.
"'Hello,' the driver shouted, 'where you come from?'
"'USA', I shouted back.
"'America. You want massage? Make love, good?'
"Speechless, I smiled, looked away, then looked back. I shrugged.
"'Where you going?'
"'We give good massage, good make love, yes?'
"Rallying, I replied, 'You young girls, I'm old man.'
"'Make love us, you feel like young man.'
"They were laughing and so was I.
"'Hotel no let you come in.' I said, trying to regain some control over the situation.
"'You come us, we take good care you,' the driver said. She really seemed to be enjoying this.
"'How much?' I asked, out of curiosity I hoped.
"Shit, I thought, what do I say now. What did I want? I was certainly enjoying this conversation. And suddenly the somewhat fragile feeling I had had all evening disappeared.
"'I give you ten dollars. Just massage.'
"Her smile disappeared. I could see that she was sizing up this new suggestion and that she didn't believe me.
"'Twenty dollars, massage, make love, two hours.'
"Suddenly, I didn't want this to end here.
"'Listen, I give fifteen dollars, but just massage, no make love.'
"I could see that this offer was tempting from a monetary point of view but that somehow it didn't feel right to her. I believe she thought I was being cheap. There was no smile. Suddenly the motor bike veered off and turned around and was gone. I sighed. Welcome to Saigon..."