The traffic is horrible. Not only for us cycling, but also for us going by foot. It is scary to cross a road, but at the same, it is a lot of fun. And yes, be careful when you cross the road. Don’t be afraid to face lots of motorcycles, buses and cars, when you cross the street. The traffic in fact is like a spider’s web. Or maybe it is like a machine, pre-programmed with Artificial Intelligence, no matter if we understand or not. You will not be able to understand the rules. So by crossing, first, you should wait a bit, continue, wait and continue, and keep doing that while watching all the vehicles. You need to keep your eyes on vehicles on both sides because some people violate the rules and go in a different direction. Be aware, there is a timer counting the time left before the light turns green or red. Mostly, the crowed on the light which turns green soon, starts a couple of seconds ahead.
There are no rules but everyone follows them.
So my advice for you to cross the road: keep walking and the scooters and cars will move on a principle of a „roundabout“ you. Drivers will go in front or behind you, depending on the speed you are crossing the street. Don’t rush and never turn back. Sometimes, we felt lost and that was the time for following the locals to cross the road. After a while, it gets a lot of fun doing it as the locals do. You will get used to this culture.
The spirit of entrepreneurship
Thousands of small shops and restaurants you can find along the streets. There seems to be a huge desire for the wish of starting an own business. This entrepreneur spirit of many locals might be the wish for having the freedom to do its own business in a socialist country. They want to be self employed.
You can find the small shops everywhere and especially the small street food shops are an important part to the culinary culture in Vietnam and of course attract us tourists in a very intense way. Somehow it feels like they bring their kitchen to the outside and we are able to have a family cooked meal.
Until your stomach rebels at this often unclean food stall, you will love this culture.
The food – Dogs, Cats, Mice
How glad I am that I no longer eat animals. I couldn’t write about this topic, because I do not see the difference between eating a cow, a pig or a goat and to eat a cat, a dog or mice. They are all sentient beings who, if we were to ask them, would rather not be killed for ending up on our plates. And who are we to get excited about the cruel killing of dogs and cats for meat, but never personally look into our stables of factory farming.
When tourists brag about having eaten dog meat, but they themselves would hardly be able to beat a dog to death with a stick, or fry it alive with a flamethrower until it is crispy. Well, a lobster such a man could throw probably already alive in hot water. So at least the freshness is guaranteed.
No, actually I don’t want to accuse, but to make attentive on a phenomenon, which stands in direct connection with the dogs and their consumption, the rabies.
Every year rabies kills tens of thousands of people in Africa and Asia. The disease is fatal almost 100% of the time. Rabies can be transmitted through dog bites and cat bites.
Live dogs are transported across borders for the dog meat industry, introducing more strains of rabies. And not only the bite, but also during slaughter, preparation and consumption rabies can be transmitted. Cholera and other fatal infections following the consumption of dog and cat meat have been demonstrated. And poisoning occurred after consumption because the dogs were poisoned for capture and the poison thus continued to act when the meat was consumed.
Well, the appetite gone? Then better stay with the mice. They are caught exclusively in the rice fields so that the meat is tasty and healthy.
Cambodia, China, Indonesia and Vietnam
In Vietnam alone, about 5 million dogs are eaten, only 1 million cats
Northern Europeans and Americans do not eat horses, Hindus do not eat cattle, Jews and Muslims do not eat pigs. Many people find fish and lamb disgusting. Dogs and cats, shellfish, guinea pigs and other animals are appreciated only by minorities. Only one creature is grilled, baked, roasted and boiled all over the world: the poor chicken.
So if we often disagree on the choice of animals to eat around the world, we do not on chicken. There are about 17 billion chickens in the world. Some of them have only 33 days until they are fat enough to fill our bellies.
Enjoy your cultur! Bon appetite!
By the way, even if the food in Vietnam is very meaty, we often had it easy, because first of all there is almost always rice with vegetables and egg. Unfortunately, the broths in which is cooked will be rather beef or chicken broths and also the taste is nothing tasty at all for me. But there are many stores with the addition “Chay”. This means no meat and does look like this:
Vietnamese Beer Culture
Drinking beer in Vietnam is so popular and there are so many options. It all began with the French introducing beer in Vietnam in the 19th century. Imported beers flooded the market, but after the demand started to grow, and the beer industry became established, Vietnam started to produce their own.
Vietnam beer is big business! It may surprise that the country is in the top 10 worldwide for beer consumption. So Vietnam, go for it. Vietnam is still far from being one of the top consumers of beer per capita, but the beer industry is working on this. There is still potential for the market economy.
Culture in Vietnam
This article is not meant to be about the sense and nonsense of culture, but of course all these facts described above are culturally influenced. Culture must be preserved, say some. Those who feel exactly this as just suitable for themselves. That one can change this however also. Culture must not necessarily be worth preserving will say the others.
Perhaps once again a point to question thoughts around its own view on the things.