It’s a bit strange for new comers to hear such questions about personal life as “Where is your home?”, “How much is the rental?”, “How much do you earn per month?”, etc that kind of that. And literally, uncomfortable or not, you ask yourself “Jesus Christ! What do they think?”
“What do they think?”
The question that my friend, a Vietnamese in birth, asked me when she back to her hometown after years of studying in Finland. I couldn’t answer. Back then, I didn’t fully understand. May be because of that’s just kind of culture things, deep inside our blood vain.
Hang on! It’s a bit strange here, not only with the motorcycles – photo: internet
To answer that, have you ever noticed that there are Vietnamese people, who can spend hundreds of thousand dollars for cars, houses in such a poor country. It’s because, not only Vietnamese but also the others Asian countries, fancy about expensive stuffs. To prove that they’re rich, belong to the upper class and some how, a better class of people. In a society that the value of a person depends on the wallet that he/ she has, we Vietnamese just want to know where we are in front of you, and of course the other way around, where you are in front of us.
It doesn’t mean that they want to pay for your apartment rental fee while asking about it. It also doesn’t mean that they want to offer you better jobs while asking about your salary. It’s just something that Vietnamese people put into a normal conversation, that’s all. We would like to be friendly, open and that’s what close friends talk to each other. Of course, that’s not everything that we talk about.
So what should you answer? Just give them something indirectly as “I earn a little bit” (Vietnamese like modest), “I live around the xyz district”, “My home is in South Saigon” (they wouldn’t notice the address even if you say it, they just want to know the area so sometime they would offer you a lift or something like that). Or you can be honest “That’s a personal question”, no big deals.
“That’s just kind of that.” – I answered my friend and shrugged my shoulders.
“Ooh, that kind of that” – She replied.
Saigonstay – All the best a local friend can give you!