Two new countries bring a whole new set of observations on the way of life in S.E Asia.
So far between Laos and Vietnam I’ve noticed:
1. Most towns must have one sign maker who is rolling in it. Every guesthouse has the exact same font and style of sign. This man is one lazy, yet extremely rich guy.
2. The amount of effort put into the napkin industry is impressive. I’ve not seen displays like it in other cafes, bars or restaurants anywhere else. Majorly impressed people.
3. There’s a gap in the market for people wanting to set up their own business. Travellers will pay through the nose for someone to pack up their exploding backpacks. I mean when everything is lying around the room at 3am when you decide to pack for that bus which leaves in four hours, the last thing you want to do is gather all your crap.
4. Kids waving and hi5-ing you on the road shouting ‘Sabaydee’ is the cutest way of saying Hello I’ve come across so far. Generally children here are way more friendly than ones at home … they love to shout over and say hi, whereas at home most of them would be giving you dagger eyes saying ‘What you friggin lookin at?’ haha
5. Coming across a supermarket style shop is a big treat. Who would have thought wondering the aisles and going to the food section would be so exciting. Tis very hard to find a shop here that sells munchies or drinks ie. minimarts or 7/11s so finding a mega supermarket is a big wow wow.
6. Western toilets are a treat to be cherished. Especially those with toilet roll.
7. Vietnamese motorbike drivers are very friendly. One in particular Hanoi Bob who called me his baby everyday and gave me a special handshake when we left the city. They are my favourite people of S.E Asia so far.
8. People in Vietnam seems to paint the front of their houses in beautiful pinks, greens, blues etc but neglect even plastering or painting the sides at all. Looks very weird.
9. Crossing the road in Hanoi is a daily death wish. It’s extremely scary when you first get to the city but you just follow the locals lead and walk out whenever, wherever, without giving a care and hope they will swerve around you.
10. Everything in Vietnam is Asian proportioned. Even the stools the locals sit on in the street cafes. Think of a kids play stool and lower it by about 30 cm. These things barely come off the ground. Hilarious to see.