Friendships in Vietnam
You cannot make it happily in Vietnam without local friends to help you. not many people speak english, the market vendors will rip you off (maybe only a $1 but it starts to add up y'all), and you will eventually need a mechanic for your broke-down motorbike.
One of the first people we met here in Vietnam was a nice local woman. She asked us in broken English if we had family here. We replied, no, and said we hoped that friends in nearby Japan would come visit us though. Then she asked if we had any friends here. We had only been in Vietnam for a few days at this point. We replied, no, again. I felt sad for a while after.
As time has moved forward, we have made friends though, quite a few local friends actually. First, our friend, Dung, who calls us and stops by with farm-fresh eggs. She’s helped us a lot recently. Then, our neighbors across the street, Huy and Thuy. They treat us like family. We get our eggs from them too. They have over thirty chickens and roosters waddling around through their blackberry farm. Their brother, Phap, and his wife Xi, own the restaurant around the corner where we eat several times a week. They help us with things like getting chicken breast, instead of an entire chicken, at the market for a good price. And since our motorbike breaks down a lot they also helped us to find a good mechanic.
The importance of having friends is not lost on us. It’s so important here. It’s important everywhere when you’re so far from home. The Vietnamese are some of the friendliest people we’ve ever met. We feel lucky to be a part of it all. I can't wait for someone else to ask us if we have friends here so I can say, "Yes!"