Saigon Stories – Experiences in Saigon

As I sit here typing this entry, it is pouring buckets just like it does everyday during the rainy season. Many people do not like rain, and neither do I, except for these types of thunderstorms we get everyday. I love a good storm and this is the first country I have lived in where a new storm rolls in every 15 hours.

Also, the main form of transportation here is the motorbike. So when these storms come in you see the entire crowd of traffic pull to one side and put on ponchos. You have never seen anything more ridiculous than myself in a suit, backpack with computer inside, motorbike goggles, and a poncho. I swear I will take a picture next time just to prove silly I look. But that is life here. Most people just don’t have the luxury of cars to sit in and keep out of the rain. No matter how good your poncho is you will always get a little wet.

My recent discoveries:

1. You need a passport to enter the library and you are not allowed to bring your own books. The reason is they do not have a security system to guard against theft so if you are not allowed to bring in your own books then they are able to make sure every book is checked out and don’t have to ask.

2. Many institutions here will not accept older bills. There is also a counterfeit bill problem and bills are often rejected. I went to the bank yesterday and got my salary after which I went to the electricity provider of HCMC to pay my bill. They would not accept one of the bills I had just gotten from the bank!! The only other time this has happened is when I first arrived in the country. I exchanged some yen at the Vietnam Bank counter at the airport. I was then in a local disco (Apocalypse) and they would not accept about 5 of my 100,000 VND bills because they were counterfeit!!!

By Mateo de Colón

Global Citizen! こんにちは!僕の名前はマットです. Es decir soy Mateo. Aussi, je m'appelle Mathieu. Likes: Languages, Cultures, Computers, History, being Alive! \(^.^)/