When you travel around the world, you’re having the best time of your life but you can also have some hard time with the locals… Here is two examples of the most annoying things that I do not like in South East Asia!!
DON’T TELL ME YES
“Yes” is a word that we use every day… But you can’t imagine how this word could have made me angry during my stay in South East Asia!! Weather in India, Vietnam or Cambodia, people can speak English more or less. They’re making an effort and I appreciate that. Like them, English is not my mother tong and I’m still making mistakes or don’t understand the meaning of something. Fair enough!
The other day I was in a restaurant asking the waiter about the menu: – “What’s Hammock?” He answered : – “Yes!” I looked at him and said: – “You can’t say “Yes” to this question… I am asking you what is Hammock. Is it a sauce, or chicken or fish?” And he looked at me and says: – “Yes!” See, now you understand why I don’t like when people say “Yes” to me. They don’t understand you but they still answer your question as if they were persuaded it’s the right answer! I told the waiter: – “Don’t say yes to me if you don’t understand, ok? Be honest with me and if you don’t understand what someone says to you, just answer “I am sorry miss but I don’t understand what you said, can you repeat please?”, sounds good ?” My neighbour looks at me and starts laughing… A few minutes later, I had a drink with him: Connor from Vancouver. Thanks to this story I had a nice evening and the waiter understood at least for 10 minutes that tourists don’t like when they answer “yes” to every questions.
Sometimes it can be very annoying. The other day I was in the bus. I showed a map to a girl to ask her if we were at the station I was looking for. She said « yes », but obviously she didn’t understand the question cause I found out that it wasn’t the right one. I had then to take another bus! Damn it people!!
MY LIFE’S SAVER
Yes it’s great to travel; yes I’m having the best time of my life… But sometimes you can feel the harassment from the tuc-tuc drivers… It started in India: they can’t leave you alone. You say “No”, once, twice, three times, and they are still behind you begging for you to take their tuc-tuc. Then, you get angry and yell at them “Nooooo”. In Vietnam, they asked you only once or twice and leave you alone.
Then in Cambodia, it was worst! At least they have the smile. But I can assure you that when you have every minute someone asking you “Tuc-tuc Lady?” You answer “No” He, then asked you “And tomorrow?” You answered again “No! Your only wish is to walk away and yell at them but I always tried to stay calm in every situation.
It’s in Siem Riep (Cambodia) that I found my life’s saver… A t-shirt with written “No Tuc-tuc Today or tomorrow”. Honestly it changed my life cause as I was walking in the street they could recognize my T-shirt and they were hiding their eyes like they didn’t want to see my T-shirt! And if they were still asking, I was only showing it to them with a big smile! No more arguing. Life is much easier. You also have T-shirt with this inscription “No tuc-tuc, No massage, NO money!”…Very good as well because as you go into south-east Asia in particular Cambodia, Laos & Vietnam, they ask you for “Massage Lady?”
If I was on a desert island I will bring with me music. It will be my life saver for sure !! But if you’re doing a world tour, do not hesitate one second, bring with you that t-shirt. It will makes your life so much easier!!