A striking quote by Arthur Schopenhauer caught my attention:
Friends and acquaintances are the surest passport to fortune.
I, for one, could personally attest the truth in it. So I dedicate this post to 100 of the nicest people I have met in Saigon, Vietnam and the hundreds of tips they have shared to make my life here cost more than a fortune!
Oanh was one of the first people I have in contact with even before coming to Vietnam and we’ve been in constant communication ever since! This made my first impression on Vietnamese people-lovely, friendly and helpful. My lovely friends in Vietnam have shared a lot of things to me, making my stay in the country enjoyable and wonderful. I have been introduced to Art Hair Jaja, Phuong Linh (SPA) by Laura, Tony Barbershop and SPA and Yoochun (a Korean restaurant) by June, West Lake and Joma Bakery Cafe in Hanoi by Brina, Eden Mall (which has been replaced by Vincom Center II) , Tax and Saigon Square by Russell, and the yummiest and best-value-for-Dong cupcakes by Phoejane. Speaking of cupcakes, Franco once invited us to L’uisine for a coffee date and this place has become one of our most frequented places since then. This place is very popular for its cupcakes, cakes, ambiance, and customer service! And there’s Steve who was the reason why we came to Au Lac de Brazil where we had our first fine wine in Saigon. Oh, here’s a trivia for you! He was the person to convince hubsy and me to join Twitter.
Twitter made it possible for us to know a lot of different people outside our inner circles and work. Thru Twitter I came to know Christine who is also a blogger and mom. You see, the connection is easy when you find with them some common grounds. She helped me find a dentist who happens to be her friend- Dr. Khanh. Here are my Twitter friends whom I have already met and continue to tweet with: Anita- she loves taking photos of old buildings, Lena –a very witty lady whose punch lines I always enjoy, Thuy- she gave us the opportunity to post something on TuoiTre News, Patrizio – a coffee expert who loves social media a lot http://www.copencoffee.com/ , Ben –”the Singaporean boy showcasing Vietnam”; he owns http://www.vietnam720.info/ and always prompts me with my typos, Anders with his lovely partner Uyen who are very successful with their venture http://www.eat.vn/ , Pedro – his business now is helping teachers teach better and land a job in Vietnam. I want to include Andrea although I have never met her but hubsy saw her in one of the TEFL conferences. She’s active with the #eltchat and also runs a blog : http://worldteacher-andrea.blogspot.com/ . Another blogger who blogs consistently is Lyra, who runs Hello Saigon ; I’ve met her two lovely boys too. Jen of SitesnBites brought cookies in one of our meet-ups and I loved her right away! And oh, you should check my Favorited tweets- she and her groom danced Gangnam Style on their wedding. Kevin is one of the most active bloggers in Vietnam– http://www.saigonnezumi.com/ . He manages SaigonBlogs on Twitter too. Veve learned Vietnamese when she was here. What’s more exciting about here is that she can speak a lot of languages- should be more than 5! Yes! A true polyglot! Am just glad we had met before she moved to Hong Kong. Tam is the owner/manager of The Bean Store. He has helped me get an interview with the Nielsen’s boss- Darin who gave us an awesome learning experience! Sue is a great photographer; I have seen her photos on her IPad and I also follow her on Flickr. Another remarkable Twitter personality hubsy and I have had the chance to meet was Walter. He is an educator and an author. He blogs here: http://www.destination-saigon.com/ . Just in case you want to follow them, they are all on my list : Vietnam Tweeps .
Google is a good way to check out things/places/people but as for myself, I rely on my friends’ suggestions. I talk to my friends personally or ask them on Facebook or Twitter or text them. Kim knows where to buy electronic stuff like the mouse, passport USB, etc. Every time he recommends something, I trust it without questions! How did we meet Kim? Through our pretty friend Kaye of Fern Accessories. By the way, you can see her at the Flea Market in District 7. Jao directed me to Phong Cach Mobile to buy my phone. Yeng had tweeted Cuc Gach Quan then we took our visitors to that place. Our new discovery-Titi Resto-was introduced to us by our bestie Phil. Ian was eating a heavenly dark chocolate cake when I asked him where he got it from. Guess where? NYDC and the cake is called Boo Boo! Another food lover Rain– he showed us where to eat cheap seafoods by the street. Ha! You can’t believe this but it’s just beside KFC on Pasteur St. I’d learned about Vietnam’s Next Top Model and wanted to get tickets but didn’t know where and how. Nhung just gave me 2 VIP tickets and there I was, taking photos of the models. Nhung had made my dream come true- to see Tyra Banks in person. Yen is my friend at work who loves gadgets; she educated me about Blackberry. Mien , another friend at work, noticed I was using Skinfood then helped me purchase more products through her aunt who went to Korea. These products are really expensive in the Crescent Mall. I have saved 50% in cosmetics! The power of connections!
There are a lot of nice people in Vietnam- local and foreigners! This is one of the BIG reasons why we love living here.
Alright, alright… this isn’t 100 yet. There’s Part II so don’t hate me if your name’s not here. YOU have influenced us in a lot of ways. Don’t forget to check out site form time to time.
Related Post: 100 People in Vietnam (Part II)