We’ve got eight years worth of your emails and comments online. Some are good, some are bad and some are downright bizarre. Here’s a selection.
(Once a Foreigner, Always a Foreigner, December 2009)
Nick (Nick Ross is the author of the article), you couldn’t be more PC if you tried. Your article was complete rubbish. The main problem is not foreigners, but the Vietnamese people themselves. They have absolutely no interest in allowing foreigners to integrate into their society. I have been in Vietnam for a very long time, can speak Vietnamese and am married to a Vietnamese. May I suggest you take an elementary course in Vietnamese culture, read a book, or more importantly, be honest!
(A Capital Affair, Mar. 2010)
You mention that you should never speak Vietnamese as a foreigner when doing business or you will be treated more harshly. What complete rubbish! If more people learnt to speak “business Vietnamese”, there would be less stories of people being ripped off.
Hold on a sec!
Is it just me or does The Word have the best looking staff in Saigon? Without naming names I’ve had the pleasure of running into several of the guys and girls that work for the publication on many a drunken night out and can categorically say that I quite fancy them all! Are any of you single?!
I recently had the misfortune of coming across your editorial piece in the February issue of the word magazine (The Prelude, February 2011) in which you referred to “a lot” of expats as being “somewhat damaged goods”. Damaged goods. What a charming turn of phrase you Americans have. Only someone who grew up in a cutthroat society that quickly divides its entire population into a few “winners” and a vast underclass of “losers” would have the nerve to use such a vile and hateful descriptive of the very people your publication claims to cater to.
To your credit you do not refer to all expats by that term-only most of them. How kind of you. Am I to take it then that you exclude yourself and your friends from such a categorization? Of course you do. The chosen ones. One wonders how your kind survive being forced to rub shoulders with such a desperate rabble on a daily basis.
I also find your use of the word “somewhat” to be a cowardly attempt to soften a highly offensive term. Much like if I were to refer to you as being somewhat an ignoramus or you were to refer to a Vietnamese person as being somewhat a gook. Do you see? It does not matter what you surround such terms with. They simply should not be used in the first place.
(Is Saigon for Hipsters? April, 2012)
“A hipster is a blasé semi-intellectual below the age of 40.” Thanks for writing another condescending article on a topic that has been written to death over the last 10 years. As you say, “even you, yourself are most likely a hipster,” and given this vague list of traits that could apply to virtually anyone (liking culture and art, not spending a lot of money, sitting in a cafe, and adhering to current fashion trends), either everyone belongs to this detestable social movement, or the label “hipster” doesn’t really have any meaning.
(Confessions of an English Teacher, August 2012)
Well, this surely got the town talking! The stories are hilarious as heck. As a teacher myself, I’ve been known to behave in such a way before, but now I’m reformed. English teachers do get a bad rap here but I gotta say sometimes we deserve it. Also, it doesn’t mean all of us are like that, like in any profession, there are good and bad.
Fluff ‘n Puff
I like what you’re trying to do at Word, but you publish too many puff articles. Is that really necessary? You should try being more independent.
(Lifestyles, April 2013)
What a load of tosh. Except for the article on the bia hoi lady and the piece about BiBi — it’s good to see what he’s doing now — I thought that was a thoroughly unappealing and badly written cover story. Do you have any jobs available? I could come and help you out with your writing.
Hanoi to HCMC Bike Ride
We are writing to you as six of the 16 riders who completed the cycle from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City in April of this year. First we would like to thank you for your article in the June edition of Word Vietnam (page 102). However, we are disappointed with the portrayal of the ride and we feel we have been misrepresented. It didn’t show what we’d accomplished, and for what amazing cause.
(Now You Can Buy, July 2015)
Good article. But there was one thing you missed. You can buy a property here, but you can’t sell a house if you have a mortgage on it. You have to own it outright.
What a load of xxxx. You really think anyone in their right mind is going to buy a house here? You can’t even get a visa these days.
50 year leases don’t make sense. Buy a house in Europe and you’re looking at a minimum of 70 years. Anything below becomes a problem.
The Front Cover, October 2015
I just LOVE the picture on the cover. It reminds me why I love this country: it’s all about emotions. So moving…
Great cover this month. I hope you’re going to give a copy of the magazine to that woman.
Wow! A really moving cover. Love it!
To read more of this cover story, please click on the following links:
In the Beginning There Wasn't the Word
A Short History of Word
What You Say
Our Top Articles
Did You Know?
Seven Creative Uses for Word