Things that Expats find annoying about life in Saigon

Inspired by GaijinPot’s article, “Things that foreigners find annoying about life in Japan,” I decided to write a similar blog post about the annoying things about life in Vietnam.  Though my article’s title mentions about Expats, I know that many of the below will also apply to Vietnamese as well.

Of course, this is my personal list in no particular order:

  1. Seven days a week construction noise which seems to always follow me wherever I move.  The jackhammers and drills are the most annoying 7am alarm clocks.
  2. Buses, cars and/or motorbikes honking at me when the light changes even though they can clearly see that I am being blocked. If I was driving a tank, this would not be an issue…
  3. Cars honking at me for no apparent reason. I also honk at people for no apparent reason. 🙂
  4. Motorbikes that seem to always move to the right of the road before turning left.  Oddly enough, I have a tendency to do this now for “safety” reasons. 🙂
  5. Having a xe om ask me if I need a motorbike taxi after he just watched me park my motorbike. Troi oi!!!
  6. Expats complaining about how bad Vietnamese motorbike riders are after THEY, the Expat, ran into them. I knew a teacher that always accused Vietnamese having a disregard for their lives which is odd, he was the one using drugs while driving, not them.
  7. Asking for coca cola, being given a coconut. I am not that fat, am I? 🙂
  8. Being the first to get to the gas station pump and the last to get his motorbike filled.  Must be karma…
  9. Traffic policemen who speak English.  Got to pay the fine then.
  10. Electricity going out towards the end of a movie. Happened again last night.  Not sure who Tom Cruise’s character killed in the film yet…
Other annoyances:
  1. @pedrosaigon wanted me to add the roosters. They are let loose in alleyways, love crowing at sunrise which can be as early as 4:30am in Saigon.

This is just my short list.  I am curious to hear about your list.

  • jonhoff

    Funny I am going to publish something very similar soon!

    • @jonhoff Some Japanese bloggers always come up with interesting articles so I get my ideas from them.

  • SeahorseViet

    I’m surprised that you don’t mention traffic jam

    • @SeahorseViet Traffic jams are everywhere. They do not bother me in Saigon since the traffic keeps moving. Try enduring a traffic jam in the US.

  • RiinaKoch

    yap, that’s a good list of things that are annoying but after having left Vietnam make my eyes watery because I somehow miss them – strange, I know. my favourites: no.5 (xe oms) and no.8 (gas station queuing) 🙂

    • @RiinaKoch I plan to start walking in the city for exercise after being lazy with my motorbike. I suspect my list will get bigger. I love Saigon for its annoyances. 🙂

  • HoangTu

    haha you even put the no.9 in the list? :))

    • @HoangTu Yep, that is why I had to pay a ticket. Both policemen spoke English, this was in 2005 which surprised me. They were both funny.

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