Tag Archives: social life

The f*cking expat trap

13 Jan

THE F*CKING EXPAT TRAP  I’ve spent six months in Vietnam and, though I swore I would never do it, I’ve become a stereotypical expat: I’m drinking more beer than ever, going out with friends every single night, swearing more and more, riding motorbikes without a helmet and more than happy to have a cleaner do my chores. These are the reasons many people eventually return to their home countries with bulging bellies, a few scars and longing to move abroad again.

There's nothing better than cracking open a cold "bar bar bar" beer to enjoy on my rooftop.

There are plenty of excuses for this kind of behaviour: filling the void of family and friends, the need to create new social networks, lack of kitchen facilities at home, and the beer’s cheap.

Sometimes I drink because it’s frustrating living in a developing country too, which makes any Australian say “f*ck it, I need a beer”. Try walking on the footpath and being under constant threat of getting run over or abused by motorbikes. Motorbikes are at the bottom of the food chain on the roads in Saigon, but they sure make up for it by ruling the footpaths. Imagine spending a week without speaking to your boyfriend and then you finally arrange a Skype meeting only to race out of the office, into torrential rain, you can’t catch a cab but can’t walk either because your street is flooded and then you finally get home and the power is out so the internet doesn’t work and he’s almost asleep by then anyway. That’s when I have a beer, and I bet my boyfriend does too.

Saigon Barhopping costs just US$5 for five beers at local bars with great people. This photo was taken at last Friday's hop.

There’s always welcoming drinks for new volunteers or friends, farewell drinks, birthday drinks and drinks for an opening of a new venue or exhibition. There’s temptation with promotions like Ladies’ Night at Lush Nightclub on Tuesdays which offers free drinks for women until midnight. There’s Saigon Barhopping which costs just $5 for a whole night of local beers at local pubs with a great mix of new people (thanks to my housemates for creating this brilliant venture). Heck, you can buy a carton of beer for less than $10 and a coconut full of flavoured vodka for just $3, so why the f*ck not!

There’s a website which expats in Saigon love because it sums up these types of experiences, frustrations and f*cking fun. Go to www.whattofuckingdoinsaigon.com now. Cheers!

By Marissa Toohey

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