In life, I think nothing is right 100 percent. For example, we usually say Northern Vietnamese are hard-working and thrifty, that doesn’t mean all Northern Vietnamese, that means a large number of Northern Vietnamese. Therefore, what I write below is not 100 percent, it is about 80 percent.
Vietnam is developing day by day, the standard of living is higher, the infrastructure is more modern etc. but one thing has not changed for many years. It is consciousness. In my opinion, Vietnamese consciousness is terrible.
First, I want to mention the way Vietnamese behave in a restaurant. You can easily see that most restaurants are so noisy, from diner to expensive restaurant. Because the cost of the meal is paid, they think that they can do whatever they want in the restaurant such as talking as they are the only customers. In Western countries, they also have noise in those places, but not so noisy like Vietnam. Let’s compare:
A Chinese restaurant:
A French restaurant in Japan:
Moreover, what Vietnamese do in a buffet party is more horrible. They usually take more than they can eat, although they know that, and then leave out a lot; sometimes they even ask to take the food to their home. I think they do that to be worth the money they pay. In Singapore, you will be punished if you leave food on your plate at a buffet party.
The next problem is punctuality, which is very good for people’s work and life because it helps things to operate smoothly. To Vietnamese people, concept of time is relative, so punctuality is not considered as an important matter. My father is an example, he is a ship captain who has traveled around the world and worked with many foreigners for many years. One day, during his break time in Vietnam, he received a wedding invitation at six o’clock and he decided to leave home at five thirty so as not to be late, which he considered as offense to the bride and the groom. When he went home at nine o’clock, he was angry because the party begun at seven thirty, so far from six o’clock. He said the next time he went to the party; he would not be on time like that. I think the host did that because they wanted to wait for the guests to gather in full numbers. However, most of the guests did not want to be at the party early and wait for the latecomers, so they tend to get there close to the time that they think it would begin. Therefore, they were waiting for each other, and wasted a lot of time. In Western countries, when the time comes up, the event will carry out even there are some guests have not come yet. Sometimes, latecomers are not allowed to participate.
Spiderman Peter Parker was going to MJ performance; focus on what happen after 3:30:
Vietnamese people have curiosity, which is one reason why they study so well, but the problem is they are too curious. If there is an accident such as a collision, or a suicide, etc. many people will stop and get closer to see, and then gradually there will be a crowd on the street.
In the left picture, each dot represents a person. The red ones are the ones who directly see the scene of the accident. The green ones are the ones who just see the red ones and stop to know what happened. I do not understand why the red ones only stop to see what happen, like see movies, and do nothing. The green ones are crazier because they cannot see anything but they stop only to know what happened. However, after knowing that there is an accident, they do not want to go, they want to find out more information about the accident and keep staying there. They do not know that what they are doing not only prevent the police from solving the problems but also make a new problem, a traffic jam and even worse, wasting the precious time to save the life of victim.
The situation above is just one reason that causes traffic jams. I think the main cause is Vietnamese do not stand each other. This is a situation I usually see while going to English class at five thirty:
The arrows represent the vehicles running on the street. In the first picture, everything seems normal. Next, the light change, so the pink ones should stop to let the blue ones go. However, it do not usually happen in Ho Chi Minh City, some of the pink ones often try to pass even the light turned red just to save their time. In the same way of thinking, the blue ones, who are waiting the green light, try to pass immediately when their light turns on, despite the fact that some of the pink ones have not passed yet. This is the reason of an ordinary traffic jam.
Pink: We’re going to be stuck! Blue: If we can’t go, you neither!
Let’s discuss more about this topic with the questions below (by comment):
_ First, why aren’t Vietnamese on time? We all know that punctuality is good. Why do they prefer to waste time of each other?
_ Secondly, what do they want to see in an accident? There is nothing worth to see, it is not fun at all. Why don’t they do something helpful instead of looking at the scene?
_ Finally, they wear beautiful clothes, ride luxury motorbike, drive expensive car etc. they try to look fashionable and civilized, but why don’t they behave civilized?
Võ Trung Kiên