Thursday, January 21, 2010

Where you from? How long you stay?

Everywhere you go, people ask you "What's your name?", "Where you from?", "How long you stay?", often in rapid fire.  One tourist must have finally gotten fed up with the repetitive questions as he had a T-shirt made providing the answers.
The Vietnamese are also great salespeople.  You will never hear someone ask you how they can help you or if you are looking for something in particular.  Even before you get to a store, you are greeted with, "Hello, come here please."  If you are already within browsing distance, it's "You buy something."  Vietnamese women may be small, but they can be quite intimidating when they command you to buy something.
Another one of our favorite sayings is "same same, but different."  We got this a lot when ordering shoes or asking about product comparisons. 
Me:  I want the boot to look just like this one you have in the window.
Cobbler:  OK, no problem. I make same same, but different.
Me:  Huh, what do you mean different?  Different how?
Cobbler:  No, no, same same...but different.
Me:  Uh, OK. 
You can pick up a "same same" T-shirt pretty much anywhere and look for restaurants advertising as "same same, but better."   

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