Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Oct 21, 2018 – Vietnam – you speak Google Translate, drive Grab Car, make an appointment with Zalo. When the road is full – and it usually is – you take the sidewalk. In a taxi, you get half the receipt block blank as a receipt. The coffee is with ice cream and tea is served to you. Soup is eaten with chopsticks. Of course, you don’t throw garbage on the street, you put it where other garbage is. One does not overtake on the right side, one only passes on the right side. 20 quail’s eggs 30 Cents, and a Coke too. There is neither me nor you, but aunt and uncle and only one word for sister and brother.

This is Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City. My first impression, no surprise and yet surprising: So many (!) mopeds. Mopeds everywhere. What I hadn’t appreciated was that recently the police have taken action so that no more than two people may sit on one moped, therefore the number of mopeds has suddenly tripled. And in between them all there is a car swimming from time to time. Or a pedestrian is walking.

The second impression: There is no continuous horn honking as I would expect. Nobody gets upset either. Everyone is just trying to get there. And a roundabout is only a long curve.

I tested it on my own: You can manage it – just stay calm and in motion. It’s all about right-hand traffic. But now I leave driving to the locals.

So I’ll be working here for six months – getting things rolling, getting things started, connecting – in a Laudert office.

We are sitting in a not so big one-room office with about ten other colleagues. There is quite obviously, rather cold air conditioning, a sitting area on the roof and a balcony. There is coffee, but no milk. And there is a conference room with a beamer – but the cable is too short. In short – we’re sitting in an office that’s perfectly normal by German standards.

More stories and how we solve our communication problem will follow.