Of the many questions I get asked, the one I get most often from Vietnamese và foreigners alike is why I want to live in Vietphái nam.

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It is one that I find difficult to lớn answer, even lớn myself sometimes: I know I want khổng lồ be here, I am happy here. But how bởi I explain, especially to Vietnamese, that I prefer to lớn be in a developing country, dependent on a temporary residence thẻ, where I cannot own property, with a so-so job & low income, not being able khổng lồ speak the local language, while I could be baông xã in London, where I have a lovely two-bedroom apartment in the center, used khổng lồ have sầu a very well paid job, không lấy phí healthcare? Difficult, that is probably why the first word I learnt in Vietnamese was ki cuc (weird), which is what I was told by now a very good friover when we initially met.

Last weekover I went down to lớn Sa Dec in the Mekong Delta, lớn spend the weekover with the Kieu family, my girlfriend"s parents, and there I was reminded of why I want to live sầu here: Vietnamese people!

Regardless of the obvious communication problem, every time I go to lớn visit my future in-laws I am treated lượt thích a king: always smiles from all of them, and ensure that I have enough food and drink và all what I lượt thích most. What is more I am astonished about their memory to spot what I really like, and they ensure that there is plenty around me.

Many expatriates have sầu written khổng lồ Vietweek concurring that despite the problems they face in Vietphái nam, it is simply not acceptable that people direct their anger & slurs at all Vietnamese. This forums, "Your two cents", opens the floor for you, the expats, khổng lồ hold forth on the changes you see in Vietnam: what disappoints, what pleases & what you would like to see happen. Thư điện tử your thoughts khổng lồ editor

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This has its dangers though:

My over 100 kilos in weight can give you an idea of how much I eat. At the Kieu"s I am always overfed with amazingly lovely home page cooked fresh food, so this time I managed khổng lồ gain two kilos in two days.

But that is not the only danger. Although my girlfriover has assured me her family does not drink và I have sầu only seen them drink on special occasions they really can! Last Sunday around 14 of us gathered for lunch, and food and beers were flowing (I have sầu now kind of managed to survive sầu drinking beer with the Vietnamese, the ice is my ally), however after so many beers the first bottle of Napoleon XO brandy was opened... and I was proved that I cannot compete with Vietnamese in drinking!

I am always treated so well by each and every thành viên of the family and extended family, never asking for anything in return. Happiness flies all over the family, where life is simple but happy. There is respect, there is willingness khổng lồ help, there is union, there is simpliđô thị but above all there is happiness và that is why I want to lớn live sầu here because I came in tìm kiếm of happiness.

 I have found it, not only with the Kieu"s but with Vietnamese society in general, and with my lovely students in particular.

By Alfrevày De La CasaThe writer is a British expat who lives & works in Ho Chi Minh City

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