Voices Of Saigon- What do you like most about living in Saigon?
In this round of ‘Voices of Saigon’ we ask “What do you like most about living in Saigon?”. These three ladies we met in a park and in an old apartment building, share their best experiences living in Saigon. Read on and find out for yourself what Saigon is like from the locals’ perspective.
Kim Vy- Marketing Executive, 26 years old
I have spent almost 27 years in Saigon, but when I was asked what the best thing in Saigon is, I find it really hard to pinpoint just one! I really do. But it’s not because there’s nothing. On the contrary, there are so many things to consider. I’d have to say, though, the people themselves.
Why do I love the people living in my city? Because they’re surprisingly and weirdly nice! For example, last Friday, while I was on my way home from work, my phone had nearly fallen out of my pocket. It was half way out, but I didn’t notice, as I had my headphones on. Then three different people passed, trying to tell me “something”. But of course, I couldn’t hear a thing! Then a man who looked quite bewildered, drove next to me, pulled my headphones out and literally yelled at my face: “Watch your phone!”. It felt great that they were looking out for me. You could also be riding a motorbike with the kickstand down, and you’ll see how many people will go out of their way to try to remind you so that you don’t hurt yourself.
And if you want to find your long lost relatives? Come to the local market! You will find your mom, dad, grandma, 3rd cousins… Many elders love to call themselves “má” (mom) and “bố” (dad) to everybody, as a term of endearment; and I love it! Some people may not like that, but to me, it’s pretty heartwarming.
Certainly, there are still a lot more enjoyable things in Saigon that I could mention, but overall I love this city and I am proud to be a Saigonista!
Thanh Phuong- Copywriter, 26 years old
To be honest with you, I’m a very romantic person. I love seeing beautiful scenes, reading a book in a vintage cafe or watching the rain alone. That is why I love living in a city that has a nostalgic atmosphere, featuring many old French-styled buildings, like Saigon – not to mention its frequent and sudden storms. But the greatest thing about living in Saigon is no other than the kind and friendly humans that inhabit it. My first impression of Saigon was when I got lost in this big and crowded city, and was helped by a stranger. I was a young girl from a small town, as I had recently moved to Saigon to attend my first year in University, and the busy street full of motorbikes totally amazed me. I was riding my bicycle, exploring the streets, when I suddenly realized that I had no idea where I was. A man whom I had never met before came over and tried to help me. And in order to make sure that I would find my way, he biked with me a very long distance until I got home. It was so kind of him! Trust me, if you live in this city long enough, you’ll fall in love with it, and perhaps fall in love with a Saigon man, just like I did with my boyfriend!
Ngoc Loi- Sewing Operator, 27 years old
I am a Vietnamese woman, who was born in the border region between Vietnam and Cambodia. I lived with my husband and two daughters in a small village in Cambodia for many years, and we recently moved to Saigon in order to look for a job. The best thing about living in Saigon is that everything is close to you; and there are plenty of job opportunities as well. It’s just a few blocks from our apartment to the nearest market, where I can grab fresh vegetables and fish for my family’s meals. There are also so many choices for a delicious breakfast and amazing snacks, which is very convenient for a working mom like me. I can now easily grab some packs of “cháo” (Vietnamese poridge) for my girls on the way home from work, without worrying that they will get hungry in the meantime. On top of that, Saigon offers our family a great opportunity to increase our income. In our hometown, my husband worked in the field while I had to stay at home doing housework and taking care of the children, because there was not many job opportunities for me back there. Since we’ve moved here, my husband and I can both have a job. He’s now a bricklayer and I work as a sewing operator in a big factory. Our life has changed and my children can have a better education. How great is this!
If you are a local Saigonista and would love to share your story in our next issue, contact us!