Sunday, May 2, 2010

Vietnam. Superstar Status

Let me tell you a little secret that other expats and Viet Qs may not want to admit.
They may tell you "I'm here to experience culture, people, natural landscape..," Bullsh*t. They're here because it makes them feel good. It's called the:


Allow me to explain. There are about 3 times in your life when you can typically reinvent yourself. And by that, I mean if you don't like who you are, there are approx. 3 significant life chapters where you can change or update your identity.

So let's paint a scenario: You're are a complete dork, you're short, your mother makes you wear ugly outfits to school because it was on sale at K-mart, the kids call you pizza face everyday when you show up for school. And let's face it, the chicks ain't digging you much (Sorry, I'm using a guy in this scenario). So what do you do? You wait until that significant life chapter comes... then what? Reinvent yourself.

That's right, you update your wardrobe, you grow a few inches, get a funky new hairstyle, start face washing with Proactive (cos that sh*t works) and the chicks now only know of you by your supercool sexy nick-name, such as Javier San Diego Jose Alonso.
What are these life chapters?

1. High-school. {if you go to a high-school where none of your primary school friends go to}
2. University or College {Where most of us reinvent ourselves}
3. Entering the workforce {Where you'd try to reinvent yourself again if it didn't work at Uni}

Now, if all three life chapters doesn't work for you, there's a 4th, and that's Vietnam. You still don't know what I mean? The Superstar Status is like the Peter Parker turns cool scene in Spiderman 3.

Now that's what foreigners and VQs feel like, when they've lived here for a while.

When foreigners or VQs live here, they are treated with a little more respect compared to back home. Many of the general Vietnamese look up to foreigners and VQs, seeing that we had the opportunity of good education, wealth and better lifestyle. Now that may not be true, but it's the general perception. In particular, for the men who come here and pretend that they're cool to hook up with the girls. And the American-VQs are the most guilty of them all (Not all... but some). Arrogant.

Not to say that all Vietnamese perceive foreigners that way. The more affluent Vietnamese don't really rate the foreigners or Viet Qs as better than them at all, and there is a rise in affluence in Vietnam. Long gone are the days where Vietnamese girls would get an arranged married to have the opportunity to live in a western nation. Because it's all happening here in Vietnam.

And yes... I do walk down the streets like the cool Peter Parker.

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