This morning I was in the center of District 5 (Cholon) to replace the seat cover on my motorbike (Smokey used it as a scratching pad). As I was waiting, the owner of the shop started speaking with me. He kept asking many questions and I just could not recognize the words. They were very strange Vietnamese words. Finally he walked away after I responded “Khong Hieu” to him.
About 10 minutes later, his son started speaking to me in English. He asked how old I was and I answered back in Vietnamese. He then turned to his father and spoke a different language. I then realized that the owner was not speaking to me in Vietnamese at all. The son later told me that he spoke Chinese to me.
What a relief, maybe my Vietnamese is not really that bad after all. The question is, though, why did the owner speak to me in Chinese?
A very interesting day in Saigon…