Thursday, April 29, 2010

Vietnam. Picking your nose?


That is the question, my friend. Come on, be honest guys... how many of you out there actually secretly pick your nose in public when you think nobody's watching? You know, when you're driving down a quiet road with tinted windows and your convinced that no one can see, you go for it...and pick a good one! Right? Guilty as charged. You know it, I know it.

Well, in Vietnam I don't go by a day without spotting someone picking his or her nose. And no, it’s not that nobody's watching or if they are alone in room, it’s in public... just going for it! It’s just the culture. It’s disgusting, right? But secretly deep down there are some of you thinking, brilliant! It’s the Vietnamese who’ve got it right.
So the answer is YES… if you’ve got an itch, pick your nose.

This photo is actually a photo I found on Flickr, dedicated to spotting Vietnamese nose picker. Good job mate.

As from today, if I spot a nose-picker, I will post it on my blog!

On the streets

When I’m driving down the streets I have spot all people from retailers, construction workers and people waiting at the bus stops, just picking their nose away.


It’s unfair to ask someone to enjoy a good meal, when they have a nose itch, right? So you pick…dude. “Just do it” That’s what nike tells us. Get comfortable before you eat. Men, women, grandma, grandpas, children, they all do it, which in the western world it would turn you off from a good meal. But it’s a routine here.

Working environment

Now this is the one place where I’m strongly against nose picking, but true story:
I was interviewing a person for a very senior position in my company. She had a good CV, good interpersonal skills and was doing really well in the interview until [imagine the “Jaws” build up music just before the shark attack]… she did a quick-picker! Woa What?? I was a little taken aback by it all. Anyway, she got the job. I got over that fact that she was a nose-picker and her skills were perfect for the job description. I realised that as long as I’m living here, I’m going to experience the nose-picking incident.

However, there is a no nose-picking policy in our office!

Romance Gesture

Another true story: Gross. A guy once expressed that he liked me and asked me out for coffee and [“Jaws” music] slipped in a quick-pick as well. That’s totally hot? A quick thought process in my mind: Vietnamese? Yes. Effective pick up line? No. Date? No.


So if you’re travelling to Vietnam and you pick your nose, no one is going give you an evil stare like if you were in Australia.However, as an expat, foreigner, VQ, or some one with class, I recommend that we stick to some ground rules.

Don’t pick your nose in the following situations:
  • · In a professional environment
  • When your dining
  • When you are talking to someone
  • And don’t go for the big ones in public. Quick picks are ok
  • In particular, don’t pick when your around other expat, foreigners or VQ, because you will get the evil stare!

In summary, “Just do it” if you have to. Follow the simple rules above and you should be fine.

You’ll find that I’m not going to write about the typical things you expect in a travel blog like, how beautiful the sunset is, the traffic, and all that. I will write, with real insights and thoughts from some one whose trying to live an Australian lifestyle, here in Vietnam.

I will label my story titles as:

  • Vietnam. Discuss Vietnamese culture, lifestyle, etc
  • Business. Share my business venture
  • Flashback. Share my experience in the past.


  1. The Vietnamese are disgusting, rude, crude, unfriendly and nasty. Did I mention unwilling to adapt to the way people do things in the civilized world. One may be uneducated, but must one look like it? Can't they at least try to look like modern, civilized human beings?

  2. They are so proud of themselves, and so proud to be Vietnamese, and proud to do everything their way, regardless if it's the wrong way and it never works. They'll just always do things "the Vietnamese way" because they're too proud to learn and develop. They have almost no knowledge of the "real world" and think they are so superior, because that's the myth they keep perpetuating is that they are the best!

  3. "...unwilling to adapt to the way people do things in the civilized world." ...uhm, you're trying to say all cultures should assimilate themselves to your idea of 'the civilized world'? So with you're ideology, all cultures should assimilate themselves into which 'civilized' culture exactly... perhaps the American Gun culture?
    One may be uneducated, but shouldn't paint an entire culture with one broad stroke... LMFAO